Blue Devils learn defense

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Escambia County Blue Devils defense visited a team camp at the University of South Alabama last Friday.|Photo by Chandler Myers

Twenty-four Escambia County Blue Devils football players were put to the test last Friday at a camp held at the University of South Alabama.

Defensive players for ECHS made the trip to Mobile to learn from Jaguars defensive coordinator Bill Clark and other coaches at the camp, which was completely committed to the defensive side of the ball.

Blue Devils head coach Mark Heaton said the camp was a good thing for his players who learned more lessons of hard work.

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“They all enjoyed it,” he said. “A lot of them thought they were going to have a good time because it was a camp, but it’s all about how you handle it. It was tough and the big thing our kids learned was that it was a ton of work compared to what they thought it was going to be. We always put a lot into it and demand a high intensity in anything we do.”

At the camp, the Blue Devils received an opportunity of a lifetime by learning from college coaches.

Heaton said the chance to l earn from coaches at a higher level will help them understand their position more. He added that the drills and techniques give them that better understanding what they are doing.

“It’s good for each kid to learn from college coaches and graduate assistants,” he said. “The techniques and fundamentals they learn for their position are crucial. They learn a lot of drills and it helps them become better football players at the positions they play.”

The camp put on by USA is held in one or two-day sessions. Escambia COunty took part in the one-day camp, but that one day could help make a difference.

Heaton said the entire camp is devoted to the 3-4 defense, which is the base formation for the Blue Devils.

“It’s all totally committed to defense and you can’t find anything like it anywhere else,” he said. “ A lot of it is centered around the 3-4 defense, which is pretty much the exact version we run.”

The benefits of camps differ from camp to camp, but Heaton likes the good that can come out of team camp.

He said the emphasis on team building is something that could help bring wins for his team.

“I think the biggest thing with the type of camp we went to is it helps build team continuity and team building,” Heaton said. “With the kids being around each other and going through that together in the heat, it helps build a family atmosphere. When you get out there on Friday night, things are tough and you can do it because you have been through that with those guys already.”