Lifting towards the fall
Published 3:24 am Wednesday, May 31, 2006
By By Matthew Nascone
As the Escambia Academy Cougars football team readies for the 2006 season, they have a slight disadvantage. They had no time for spring practice before the end of the school year.
Many of the football players participated on the baseball team and they made it to the AISA 2A Final Four and head coach Heath Gibson said that was more important than having spring practice.
"So many of our athletes play a lot of sports and I was very happy for what the baseball team was able to accomplish," he said. "I would trade out spring practice for a baseball Final Four appearance any day."
And Gibson and the football Cougars have done that for the past three years. But Gibson said there is still plenty of time to get ready for next year.
"Summer is the biggest time of the year for us," Gibson said. "That is when we can build our strength and speed. And endurance is never an issue because of how many sports these guys play."
Gibson said one of the keys to next year is staying focused on their summer weightlifting plan. Summer team camp and individual camps are another way the team will get ready for 2006.
"We can now go to one seven-day team camp any time during the summer," he said. "And these guys can also hone their skills at the various individual camps."
Overall, Gibson said there is one main reason he is not worried about not having a spring training.
"Everything we run is on timing, so we will be OK if we don't get any hitting in," he said. "I feel good because we have a lot of kids who are dedicated to the football program here and they are going to work hard. We have to fill in some holes on our line, but we are returning a good number of skill position players."
The Cougars lost seven seniors to graduation and it should be an interesting fall as they will attempt to defend their Area Championship.