The First Football Practice at Grimsley

I got the chance to go by Grimsley on Monday afternoon and watch the team as they went through their first workout for the 2006 season. Football practice officially began at 6pm and the team got it started with some stretching and some light running. You can only go at it in helmets and T shirts the first week of practice and with the heat it would have been rough to be hitting the field in full gear on Monday. The temps were probably in the mid-90’s and there were numerous water breaks for the kids.

Several Whirlies showed up for practice on Monday and they had not gotten their pre-season physicals and Coach Todd Shuping was ticked off to no end. The coach had a few choice things to say to the players that we can’t print here, but the long and short of it is the kids could not practice without the physicals and they were not doing anybody any good because it was the first day of practice and these kids couldn’t do a darn thing. Get out my face and and out of this place and don’t come back until you can practice and when you do come back you’re gonna pay the price. A few kids did stick around and hold practice dummies or stand in a spot to simulate a player’s position on the field.

The kids went through some drills and then they started running plays and breaking up into some seven on seven groups. Again it was extremely hot but the kids seemed to having a good time popping each other as much as they could without wearing pads. Grimsley has a ton of talent coming back from last year’s team that made it to the state championship game. The two major losses were Robert Lane(QB,RB,DB) and Brandon Peguese(DE).

The Whirlies return QB Josh Stewart(they had him lining up mainly at DB on Monday), DE Jamar Reese(this kid is unbelievable, sleek-smooth-quick and only a Junior), DB Jack Schultz(outstanding as a Soph. and will be even better in 2006), TE/LB Cody Walker(could be a future star), RB’s Jon Morris, David Moore, and Lionel Shoffner are all due back, big linemen Matt Douglas(6’0 320), Andrew Oakes(5’9 300), Jordan Fowler(6’2 260), Bryan Kenney(6’7 295), Mike Morgan(5’9 250), and Micha Doub(6’3 230) are slated to return as is the four-year starter at kicker Gavin Segall-Abrams.

Grimsley should be loaded and the way they were practicing on Monday they look hungry and better not be taken lightly. The drills the Whirlies were running were way beyond what you normally see on the first day of workouts and it is obvious they are at an advanced level on July 31 because they have done their homework over the summer months. These kids have been getting ready for this week all summer long. It is hot but it is time to get to work, the first games will be here on August 18. Kellie Dixon of the News and Record and N&R photographer Lynn Hey were also at Monday’s practice and will be covering the HS scene again this season.

2 thoughts on “The First Football Practice at Grimsley

  1. Andy, going out and watching practice in this weather is commitment on into itself! It makes you really appalud what it takes for these kids to get ready for the season.

    As for if the team formerly known as the Purple Wirlwinds can come up with an encore will remain to be seen. It will be a lot different being the hunted instead of the hunter. But this looks like a team that can handle it, this is Coach Shupings 4th season and the change in attitude, conditioning and on field intensity was evident even that first season when they only won a couple of games. John Bunting at Carolina has talked for years about changing the culture, Todd Shuping truly is starting to see that happen.

    I covered a lot of the Whirlies games last year doing correspondent reports for Eddie Thomas High School Football Scoreboard on NCNN, and of course with the reports I was doing for you over at WPET. It truly was palitable how much enthusiasm this team was starting to generate in the community.

    Jamieson Stadium for all it’s history and splendor is a tough place to fill and often can come off cold and distant even when a couple of thousand people are in the stands. Last year the crowds steadily increased all year and they even drew decently on the night of the West Forsyth game with weather better suiting for staying inside (thank god for covered press boxes). And for the yearly battle with Page for the first time in memory I actually think there were more people on the Whirlies side.

    Plus the atmosphere is much more enthusiastic, and when the team enters the field thru the stands it does send goosebumps up ones arm. Grimsley has always been called a sleeping giant. This is the year we see if this beast is ready to truly rise or if last year was just the beast waking briefly to grab a glass of water.

    Of course lets not forget about some of the other stalwart teams in our area. I fully expect squads like NW Guilford, SW Guilford, Southern Guilford and perhaps your Alma Mater, Western Guilford making some noise. And don’t even get me started about Dudley, the true class of our county. Plus with new regimes starting at Page and Smith things could get very interesting this season as both of those schools have the potential to put together teams almost out of nowhere that can becomes factors as the season goes along!

    August 18th can’t get here quick enough. Oh wait, Bob Dylan is playing that night over at Ernie Shore Field. What to do, what to do! Suggestions?

  2. Josh Stewart was running the show at #1 QB in practice at Grimsley on Tuesday afternoon. JS looks sharpe and he knows how to get it done in the air and on the ground. Josh may shock you with his running ability but he better be careful and not get hurt when he exposes himself on that naked bootleg.

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