Published 12:02 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Blue Devils began workouts 2 weeks ago

Escambia County is all about getting stronger, conditioned and practicing football during summer workouts, Blue Devils head coach Rico Jackson said.

The Blue Devils began their summer workout program the day after Memorial Day.

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From the start until the present, Jackson said June 12 that he’s pleased with how much the players have progressed.

“I just congratulated them because on the first day, they were all sucking wind,” he said. “Today, they were standing tall. They’re already improving.”

ECHS meets Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for workouts.

Jackson said the sessions are focused on lifting weights and cardio, speed work and agility work.

“We then flip flop,” he said. “Some days we do plyometrics.”

During a typical summer for football teams, 7-on-7s are a part of the norm, usually taking place in July.

Jackson said he’s not too hot on the idea of 7-on-7s, instead utilizing organized team activities (OTAs) instead.

“Basically, we practice against different teams,” the coach said about OTAs. “We’ll have a team come in at the end of the month. Then, we have (an OTA) in Hueytown.”

Jackson said the Hueytown OTA is called the North Alabama Team Camp, which will feature between 10-15 teams.

“They do a lot of individual work,” he said. “There’s also a lot of opportunities for team building.”

By the end of the summer workout season, the Blue Devils will be holding an Iron Man Competition.

Jackson said the competition features eight events, such as the bench press, clean, the squat, 40-yard dash, 400-yard dash and others.

The top 10 finishers of the competition will receive a T-shirt, and the winner receives recognition in the school’s football media guide, Jackson said.

Jackson said, overall, summer workouts have gone well.

“We’re averaging 60-65 kids per workout,” he said. “They’ve come a long way.  We’re excited. The biggest thing is being consistent.”

The first day of football practice for the Alabama High School Athletic Association is Mon., Aug. 7.