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Summer good for Cougars

By By Matthew Nascone
The Escambia Academy Cougars will be ready to defend their 2005 Alabama Independent School Association Class 2A East Region title when the 2006 football season rolls around, according to head coach Heath Gibson.
"The summer lifting has been going well and I can see how much these kids have been improving as we get into the later stages of the summer," Gibson said.
The summer has not included any type of team camps, but the Cougars have been preparing for the upcoming season.
"We have been mainly lifting weights and running for conditioning," Gibson said. "Hopefully we will be in good shape when the first game rolls around."
Spring practice was not an option for the Cougars as the baseball team participated in the AISA Class 2A Final Four and the majority of that team also plays football. But Gibson said that has not stopped the players from getting ready for next year.
He said many of the athletes have traveled to individual skills camps across the Southeast including Auburn University and Mississippi State University. It is good to go to individual camps, but Gibson said he hopes he can take the team to a 7-on-7 camp next year.
"Even though our offense is centered around the run, we could benefit from having the team unity at a 7-on-7 camp," he said. "And also it might open up the door for a passing game to add to our offensive scheme in the future."
Not going to a team camp has not dampened the intensity in the Cougars locker room.
"We are ready for that first game and I know these guys' level of excitement and anticipation is the same as mine," Gibson said. "We are ready to put on the pads and get ready for Friday nights."
The first day of practice for EA is July 31. The Cougars will go five days in shorts and helmets and then the pads come on and the intensity picks up.