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Escambia County Blue Devils open fall practice kicking

By By Matthew Nascone
The season does not open until Sep. 1, but the Escambia County High School Blue Devils football team hit the field for their first practice of the 2006 campaign Monday. Head coach Kyle Davis said the day went well.
"It went about as good as could be expected," Davis said. "We were not in full gear, but we got a lot of work done on the special teams unit."
Davis emphasized good play on special teams and he said he was pleased with the effort on the first day. He told his guys that football is broken down into three parts, offense, defense and special teams. And he said games can be won if a team wins two of those three battles.
And he put even more emphasis on special teams as the team was practicing in the sweltering heat of the summer.
"We only had helmets on and we made sure to get as many reps as possible on special teams," Davis said. "And we got a lot of good conditioning in. We gave the guys the week off last week and we made sure to get them back in shape."
The practice covered offense and defense, but Davis said most of the reps on offense and defense will begin when the team puts on the pads tomorrow. But he was satisfied with how his team approached the first day.
"I was really pleased with the effort," he said. "And the mood on the field was upbeat and the guys were all energetic out there. I could tell by their attitudes that the kids were glad to be back out there."
The past two days and today will be spent in helmets and shorts, but the team will begin the full-contact practice tomorrow and have three weeks of preparation before their opening game against Alabama Christian Academy at home Sep. 1.