MOULTRIE – Colquitt County head coach Justin Rogers said the practice his team had Saturday morning at the high school was the one they should have had in May.
“This was the start of spring football for us today,” Rogers said while leaving the practice field at the high school following a full-pads practice that lasted just over two hours.
“And I don’t think it was bad. I thought the defensive line got after it a little bit. The effort was there and the kids were excited to play football again.”
Rogers cautioned that while he was pleased with many things after the first day, “We’ve got to get better.
“But after today, we are one step closer to getting better.”
Georgia high school sports were shut down because of the highly contagious coronavirus in mid-March, costing football teams around the state their traditional spring football sessions.
The GHSA did allow teams to begin restricted summer sessions on June 8, but teams had not been in full gear since the conclusion of the 2019 season.
The loss of spring and summer practices was especially detrimental to Colquitt County, which had at least nine seniors from the 2019 team that went 9-2 sign to play at the next level.
The Packers must replace Daijun Edwards (Georgia), Nyquann Washington (Tennessee Tech), Montavious Ponder (Fort Valley State), Remon Young (UConn), Tyler Walker (Chattanooga), Jaycee Harden (Valdosta State), Devene Jamerson (Avila), Biron Silas (Fort Valley State) and Nathan Bell (Georgia Tech).
Rogers also has fine-tuned his 2020 staff.
Handling the offense will be Joe Thornton (quarterbacks and co-offensive coordinator), Josh Crawford (receivers, co-offensive coordinator), David Windon (running backs), Jimmy Dudley (tight ends), Buck Hanson (offensive line) and David Hill (receivers).
Working with the defense will be Alan Rodemaker (safeties, defensive coordinator), Dextra Polite (cornerbacks), Mo Dixon (outside linebackers) Greg Carswell (defensive line) and Chad Nighbert (inside linebackers).
Zack Stanaland has been added to coordinate strength and conditioning.
The full-padded practice ended a long, busy week for the players and staff.
Monday through Friday the team went through acclimation sessions to get accustomed to the heat.
“We are all looking forward to having tomorrow (Sunday) off,” Rogers said.
The Packers will practice on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons and hold two-a-day practices on Tuesday and Thursday.
“By the end on next week, we should be making up some ground,” Rogers said.