I dropped by both of the schools on Monday and even though the rain was coming down, the practices carried on like normal. The Page football team was hard at it and on the main football field area above the Pirate gridiron practice facilities, the cross country team was very active.
The Pirate football team was running plays in preparation for Northeast Guilford on the road at Bill Bookout Stadium this Friday night. The spirit and overall mood in the Page practice was upbeat and the coaches were doing a great job of keeping their players motivated and focused on the task at hand with NEG just four days away. Page has a lot on their plate right now after the events surrounding last week’s game at WS Reynolds and the Page Pirate Plan seems to be in place for this week.
The Page cross country team was very busy with their workouts and former Pirate soccer coach Zach Osborne is the X-Country leader now and he has about 30-40 kids, both boys and girls, training for the upcoming season. The Page runners work out around the track at the main Page football field inside Marion Kirby Stadium. The runners will get a few laps in around the track after their stretching and warmups are over and then they start the serious stuff.
The runners will take one lap around the track and then they leave out of the stadium and make their way all the way around the football practice facility. That probably comes out to about a mile course by the time they head back on to the track and make one final lap in reverse direction from the way they exited the stadium. You run that last lap backwards and then you are done for a few minutes. After about five minutes rest, you repeat that same run again, and end up doing it at least 4-5 times in the practice.
The kid who wears the baseball cap backwards is the top runner right now for Page and he was the leader on Monday as the team made their way around the facilities. The kid with the baseball cap turned around backwards will be hard to beat, but we will need to see what he has in store when he takes to a real cross country course, with hills and roots and crazy twists and turns.
A couple of Coach Osborne’s lines were almost right out of the movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”.
The coach would tell the runners when they showed up for practice, and they didn’t all show up at the same tiime, “SIGN IN”…..”Sign in at the concession stand”. Page had about 8 runners when practice started and then 30-40 by the time everyone had arrived. “SIGN IN”….”Sign in at the concession stand”.
If you were a Grimsley football player on Monday you may have felt like you were at the “Hotel California”. “You can check in any time you like, but you can never leave”. That had to be one of the toughest practices I have ever seen. The running at the end of practice was not for the faint of heart, lungs or stomach. Coach Mark Saunders has just three days this week to get his team ready for the Thursday game against Northern Durham and the Whirlies didn’t play well at all in the first half at Martinsville this past Saturday, and on Monday they were paying the price.
Hit me with a pass, there was no passing in the gassers at the end of practice. You could not pass go because you had no chance to stop. Keep on going and hope you don’t pass out. Coach Saunders had the Whirlies working on Monday and I bet the players had no problem sitting still in school today, on the first day of classes for the Guilford County Schools.
A good prolonged hard workout by Grimsley on Monday and with RB David Ray back in camp yesterday, Grimsley knows the bottom line is they will be facing more of the same in practice today(Tuesday), with just one more day of heavy work before Thursday night and the Knights of Northern Durham at Jamieson Stadium.
You can learn a lot from watching the kids work out.