MOULTRIE – One thing has not changed amid the changes going on in the Colquitt County High football program: winning.
The winning that counts is still more than two months away, but some of the Packers were able to hold up No. 1s in Athens Tuesday as the champions of the University of Georgia’s 7-on-7 competition.
That’s just getting the month of June started when Colquitt County football players began voluntary workouts under first-year head coach Justin Rogers. It’s a month that’s full of college camps, more 7-on-7 contests and organized team activities with padded practices.
Right now, it’s helmets, sneakers and slick black attire.
“It’s wide open,” said Rogers, the former Jones County High head coach hired in mid-April. “We’re trying to put six months worth of work into three months. It’s fast and furious.”
There’s another 7-on-7 this week and two more next week. The week after that, Rogers said that’s a time to really focus on the Packers with weightlifting, speed work and other drills. At the end of June, there’s a two-day OTA out of town.
“We packed a lot in June trying to see where we are,” said Rogers. “Then when we come back in July we’ll be able to evaluate and move things around as needed after the dead week.”
The other 7-on-7’s for Colquitt County will take place at Florida State, Auburn and the annual Corky Kell in Roswell. This is June 14, and one of the schools in the Packers’ pod, Pod G, is also on their 2019 game schedule: Grayson High. One other team of note in this pod is powerhouse Buford High. The remainder of the pod is Chattahoochee and Lambert.
“We’re sliding over to Cairo for a two-day camp with about 12 teams,” said Rogers about the OTA. “What’s neat at the Cairo camp is we will go at 6 each night. In the morning, our freshmen will be going over there doing a two-day shoulder pad camp. We’re excited to give them that opportunity for the first time ever.”
As stated, it all got off to a great start with Colquitt County winning the UGA 7-on-7. That comes off a spring practice featuring a big scrimmage game win over Meridian, Miss., at Troy University.
When Rogers began the summer program Monday, he was able to welcome his entire coaching staff. It’s a mixture of returning coaches from previous Packer staffs, those who worked with Rogers at Jones County and others working both in Moultrie and with Rogers for the first time.
“They are building relationships,” said Rogers about the assistants. “We had one out (Wednesday) that’s finishing packing up moving. He’ll be here (Thursday). That was the only one (out Wednesday).”
Rogers himself went from that spring game in Alabama back to Gray in middle Georgia to do his final packing to completely relocated to Colquitt. It was a good way to spend the Memorial Day weekend.
“We’re fired up to have the family and kids here,” said Rogers.
“The (players) are going great. They are really good boys. They still do things that teenage boys do. You better believe they do. They are no different than my own children. But they have responded well, battling through adversity.
“(Wednesday) they were sore … banged up. They lifted hard on Monday, and Tuesday for the linemen and the backups. The other guys threw all day at Georgia. But they came back and had a good day and got better.”
What else hasn’t changed in Packer football is the interest generated from college programs. The 2019-20 senior class has prospects at positions such as running back, tight end, linebacker and cornerback. Rogers said there are no commitments to report now, but a whole lot of offers.
“Our rising senior class is getting a lot of looks, and juniors as well,” he said. “We’re excited about that.
“It’s camp season. Everybody’s going off to camp. We got a bunch at Mercer, a bunch at LaGrange, a couple going to Valdosta (Thursday). It’s that time of year.”
The other time to take note of is Aug. 24 when Colquitt County opens the 2019 season at the Corky Kell Classic against North Gwinnett. This will take place at approximately 3 p.m. inside Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.