At the midway point of Childersburg High School’s fall football camp, Tigers head coach Jonathan Beverly said the seven days of work so far have been productive.
The Tigers open their 2019 season at Shelby County on Aug. 23, and Beverly said he likes what he has seen to this point in the preparation.
“We’ve had to battle the heat the past couple days, but the kids responded,” he said. “We’ve had some good days as far as competitiveness. We’ve had highly-spirited, highly-competitive practices, and that’s what we want to see this time of year. Now, we’ll start to scale down and get ready for Shelby County next week.”
Beverly said by the second week of camp, he and his fellow coaches are looking to see players who are vying for starting positions or prominent roles break away from the pack.
“We want to see separation from the guys who are ready to line up right now and play on Friday night versus those who maybe need to have a little bit more time,” he said. “Maybe they are guys who can work their way in during the middle of the year. Maybe this a year for those guys to be JV guys, but we want to see some separation amongst the roster.”
Beverly said one player who has really stood out in camp is senior Ryan Logan, a player whose versatility may prove to be an advantage in the Tigers’ offense.
“Ryan has played fullback and tight end for us really the past two years, but now, we’re at a place where, offensively, our tight end is a receiver/tight end hybrid,” Beverly said. “That was a spot that we were really anxious to see if Ryan could take that on, and he’s done a really good job. He’s gone from a place where we didn’t feature the tight end as much in our offense, but now we’re starting to feature him a little bit more because he’s shown he can handle running the routes.
“Obviously, he’s always shown us he can block well and do the things we need him to do on the interior, but now, he’s showing us he can do some things on the exterior and out in space. That’s something we’re really counting on to make us a little bit more explosive on offense.”
When it comes to the camp battle between offense and defense, Beverly said most coaches would agree defense tends to be ahead of the offense at this stage of camp. He added while that may be the case for his squad, he’s been pleasantly surprised by the offense.
“Offensively, I think we’ve had a great camp,” Beverly said. “Defensively, we were ahead coming out of spring practice. We’re probably still a little bit further ahead defensively, but we hang our hat on playing great defense. To me, that’s not outside the norm, but I will say, for sure, it’s been the best offensive camp that we’ve had in my time here.”
The fifth-year head coach said his team has been fortunate to avoid anything other than bumps and bruises as far as injuries go, and the excessive heat has given the Tigers more opportunities to work on the mental side of the game.
“(Monday) and (Tuesday), with the heat indexes as high as they were, practices were shorter, first and foremost,” Beverly said. “We went hard, but we didn’t go as long as we would normally go at this point in camp because player safety is number one.
“The second thing, of course, our trainer does a great job. We’ve got ice baths set up, so we’ve got kids who, even if they don’t think they need it, ‘Hey, hop in and cool your body off.’
“(Tuesday), we got off even a little bit earlier and we had a good film session … At this point, that’s highly important as well. Of course, the ball coach inside me wants to get out there and get as many reps as possible outside, but those mental reps inside watching film are just as important, especially with it being as hot as it is, to be able to still get some good work done, but not put our kids in a tough situation.”