Riding the high school football practice circuit

Made a couple of stops this afternoon and saw Ragsdale over in Jamestown and the Grimsley Whirlies over off of Westover Terrace….

Will try and make a few more stops along the way on Tuesday.

Ragsdale started at 5:30 and was working on past 7:30pm and the Tigers have a lot of kids out for football, it looked like maybe a 120 or more on the fields, up above the Kenneth T. Miller Stadium….

Lots of things going on at this practice and Coach Tommy Norwood has a veteran coaching staff and these men are running their workouts like a well-oiled machine. Keep your helmets on while you are working and run from one drill to another…..

Ragsdale had the Varsity and JV’s split up for most of the activities and it was linemen, LB/DB’s, QB/WR’s/RB’s all going through their paces….Ragsdale will be ready to defend their conference title and by the looks of their practices, it is all business….Again it was drill after drill, do it again and run on and off the field…..

You had linemen working on their splits and learning how to get down the line in pursuit and you had DB’s and LB’s taking an angle as they took on the fullback, coming in off the tight end’s hip…..You also had LB’s and DB’s working on pass coverage and also picking up the RB as he made his cuts up the field…..

There is only so much you can do without the pads on, but Ragsdale was finding ways to cover just about every phase of the game, on Day One in Jamestown….The Tigers were even working on punt coverage and punt return formations, with return men working on gettng up the field….

This was the perfect day for the first official day of practice, with the great temperatures and Ragsdale was making the most of this rare cool afternoon, with work details in full force and assignments being carried out, as if this was the day before the first game of the year….

Grimsley was at work and they got going at around 4pm and they were still going strong at around 6:30, when I left them to finish the opening day of football practice….

The Whirlies had a very good turnout of 9th graders, with right at 30 freshmen working out on the far end of the practice field…..Pretty much all conditioning early on, for the freshmen….The varsity side had about 45 Whirlies working with Coach Damon Coiro, Coach Mitchell, Coach Pat and the other Grimsley leaders….

Grimsley was doing many of the same type things that Ragsdale was doing, but when I got there, Grimsley was starting to work heavily on their offense and the defense…..Grimsley is learning new things like the players on the sidelines sending in plays, to the QB in charge on the field….The players on the sidlines will get the call from a coach and then relay the play to the quarterback, much like you see in a college game or an NFL game on TV….

The Whirlies have a couple of big linemen, but overall they look to be leaner and quicker than they were in 2009….The same system is in place at Grimsley that you see at Ragsdale, run everywhere you go and keep your helmet on until you are told that you can take it off….

Grimsley is working hard to get their new and young players acclimated to Coach Coiro’s way of doing things and they are finding that their coaches have the energy and enthusiasm, that can quickly spread to the kids, if they start to see results and it appears that those that have been working hard over the summer, are starting to see those results….

Grimsley has a long way to go and as we have stated before, it won’t happen over night, but if the kids will stay the course, they will see results and they can be a part of turning this program back around…..

In a contrast from what we saw back in the old days, neither coach was trying to kill their players today, but they were trying to teach them the right way to do things and to make sure they had the football players attention at all times…..

Good practices/workouts on Day One for Ragsdale and Grimsley……


  1. sounds good Andy. They were walking off the fields a little after 8:00 tonight in Jamestown. Can’t believe the first game is less than three weeks away.

  2. Typical Ragsdale practice. Norwood and his team get the most out of what they have. Great teachers of the game.

    Early signs are Ragsdale should be pretty good. And they have a big freshman class in numbers as well as size. Ragsdale nemisis has always been not enough big bodies. May not be as big a problem in the future. Norwood handles o-line himself. He’s had to turn a lot of 185 lb. kids into linemen. Walker and Anderson handle d-line and except for last year he has to do the same.

  3. Ragsdale will take the Piedmont 4A again this season! Everyone else needs to take notice! Go Tigers!!!!

  4. Bison,

    We heard the same thing out of yall last year. Bison this Bison that blah blah blah! I think we were up by 3 TD’s at halftime. New year same old result. Ragsdale walks thru the Piedmont 4A! Write it down and take a picture!

    -Ragsdale Fan

  5. The Bison are taking it all this year in the Piedmont 4-A! Everybody else better back off cause we’re ready to knock the door down and we’re coming on in to get that trophy. We won the Eastern Guilford Showcase and so we are already unbeaten at (6-0) and that will not change….Bison Beatdown coming in ’10.

    BisonInTheHouse-“Year of the Bison”

  6. Bisoninthehouse,

    6-0??? Are you counting 7on7’s with no pads on? LOL!!!! That’s the only thing HPC will win the trophy in! A game of two hand touch! HAHA! The year of the Bison! LOL!!! That was back in the late 90’s! Ragsdale is the new powerhouse on this side of the Triad….We own HPC and SWG!

    —Ragsdale Tigers Baby!!!!
    2010-2011 Piedmont 4A Champs

  7. Looks like all the trash talkers are out in full force already!!! Man I love football season!!!

  8. I bet you there are going to be some real dog fights with Ragsdale-HPC, HPC-NWG and Ragsdale-NWG this season….

    Ragsdale-Page and Ragsdale-Dudley will be wars as well….If Ragsdale went 5-0 through that gauntlet, then they would deserve the Triad title and that is what the Tigers did last year…….

  9. I think Glenn and E Forsyth and NWG will be better than HPC. HPC finished in a 3 way tie with Glenn and E Forsyth last year. After the draw their official place was 4th in the conference.

    RHS will be better on offense this year than they were last year. They return QB Heavner (All Confernce) , RBs Smith (1600 Yrds in 09) and back-up Brown, WRs Roberts (2nd leading reciever in 09) and Shouse (over 100 yrds and TD against Glenn in 09) , TE Roamer and 2 – Offensive linemen. I do not think you can re-load if you were already loaded and this offense is loaded.

    On Defense they certainly lose a lot of talent – but have 2 returning and 09’s back-ups got lots of PT last year and not just at mop-up time. All 3 of their LB’s – Grimes, Pompey and Swaim will be considered for all-conference this year. This D will give up more points than last year’s D. But this year’s offense will score more points. So it could be a wash.

    This Ragsdale team may not be as well oiled at the beginning of the season as last year’s team – but by the time November gets here they will be running on all cylinders.

  10. Just be glad that Mo won’t allow ORMA in the mix. Would be embarrassing for Rags and the likes.

  11. I hope so Patton since it’s not a High School team and their playing with 5th year seniors plus they recruit! Sounds kinda like they would have every card stacked in their favor now doesn’t it!

  12. What’s embarrassing is the chaos that is ORMA football. Already have players leaving and returning to their public schools. It’s August and they still don’t have a schedule. Hardly a level playing field for GCS schools to play ORMA but I would love to see them get their rear end handed to him by Ragsdale.

  13. OH NO not another ORMA fan. Hey patton when do they practice? I want to see the team that all of Guilford County is afraid of.

  14. It don’t think it would be legal for ORMA to play the GCS schools…..From a roster I saw at NC Preps, they have post high school players and would not work out under NCHSAA guidelines…..

  15. They have at least a partial schedule which you can find searching schedules of other schools on maxpreps. Don’t know if it is a full schedule. They have one home game and several away games. It is not a very strong schedule. They have one tough game against a school in VA Woodberry Forrest who appears to be pretty good and they play Aug. 20 at West Brunswick who I think is a 3A school out East who is average or slightly above.Then they play the following small private schools:
    @Carlisle School in VA- 1-9 last year
    Victory Christian their one home game- 2-9 last year
    @Hargrave Varsity not the PG Team- 1-9 last year.
    I completely understand the draw of the basketball program as they play a lot of games and travel a lot and play really good competition. I gather their facility is at least decent. I am not sure I understand the draw of the football program. Having driven by the school and what I assume has to be their football field they are using, it is small, not very nice, one set of bleachers, and no lights. They will be playing mostly on the road and against these small private schools in front of small crowds, and they are playing several teams that would not come within 30 points of the weakest Guilford County Team. The draw of kids for basketball I totally understand. But I am not understanding the draw of the football program, but maybe there is something I am not understanding. I am not trying to be critical. I am just trying to understand.

  16. The draw is the lies and deception that kids and parents a told. Some people will believe anything if u tell lies

  17. Um, I really hope that they did not schedule Carlisle High School from Virginia. If this is the same team that I’m thinking of (in Martinsville, VA), then the powers to be should be totally embarrassed that they have their so-called studs playing this team.

    I don’t know what the powers to be are thinking, so I’m assuming they want to beat up on scrub teams to try and convince people how great they are.

  18. No area schools will play them because they have everything to lose and nothing to gain. If they were to win (which is highly unlikely), nothing changes for their program, but if they lose, they risk losing their best talent to Oak Ridge next season. Especially when they see all the scholarships the Oak Ridge roster is getting. The field they are practicing on is as good or better than what most schools practice on and it is not where they will play their 3 or 4 home games. The schedule has been modified and they play 4 strong teams and some average to not so strong teams…but I understand that next year they start traveling more out of state to places like Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and possibly Mississippi. Anytime something new and hyped comes along the haters will hate, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Sounds to me like they are working on something very positive with lots of potential for serious players. Time will tell.

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