GRINDING IT OUT
ELKINS – As the July sunshine sends heat waves through the area, local high school football teams are finishing up their third week of summer drills.
Elkins coach Greg Hott said the Tigers had approximately 30 players show up daily for the summer practice sessions. He says the numbers are on par with past summer camps.
“I’m very pleased with the numbers, especially since it’s all volunteer,” Hott said. “The kids are catching on very quickly. We’ve really matured since last season. We’re not as big, but we’re much faster. The guys have a great attitude.”
Hott said the team has been going over offensive and defensive formations. He said the extra time during the summer is helpful because it familiarizes the kids with what they are going to be doing when camp starts in August.
“We’ve mainly been going over the offense,” Hott said. “We’ve added a few twists. The extra practice time is especially helpful for the younger players. They get a chance to take some reps.”
Coach A.J. Rapp has been getting his Mountain Lions ready over in Tucker County. Their camp topped out at 39 players during one session.
“We’re going to be really young,” Rapp said. “Our numbers are up a bit, though. I hope to have about 40 to 45 kids show up once the season starts. We don’t have many seniors coming back, so we’ll be inexperienced. We’ve been working with the quarter backs and receivers, running routes. The line men have been working on their stances and firing out, stuff like that.”
Moorefield coach Josh See has his Yellow Jackets working in the summer heat.
On average, he’s had about 20 players show up daily.
“I look at it as a good way to build team chemistry,” See said. “It gives the new guys a chance to go over the offense and the veterans a chance to sharpen their skills. It’s a positive self-esteem builder. I know one thing, we’re going to have to convert a few linemen this year, but that’s the life of single A football.”
The Philip Barbour Colts have been firing on all cylinders this summer, and coach Curtis Bodkins is pleased with his squad. Senior Travis Pomp recently took home top honors at the North Central West Virginia Lineman Challenge. During the competition, he bench pressed 185 pounds, 21 times. Also at the event, teammate Ethan Bright set the event’s record for the farmer’s carry, toting 225 pounds for a distance of 98 yards.
“We graduated a lot of kids,” Bodkins said. “The linemen will definitely be our strength.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids. They will just have to step up. I think we will do all right.”