Riding the HS footall circuit on Day Four of the Training Camps

Made the trip over to Page High School this morning and the Pirates were hard at it, from 8-10:45am…..

The first thing that got my attention was how hot it was today and the fact that at Page, you are right out in that heat, with no trees, no shade and you’re lucky and you can consider yourself blessed, when that breeze comes blowing through….

The morning heat is different from the afternoon, because there’s so much humidity in the morning, as the dew is drying off and the ligering remains, of an early morning rain dry up and move away…..

Today it was shoulder pads on, for the first time and there was some popping going on, but it was all still under control. The sights and sounds of the practice, have their own special personality, as the Pirates move into the offense-defense mode and the running game gets the nod for the offense, as they go to work….

The Pirates are working in three different offense versus defense groups and there are bags, dummies and equipment all over the place, as the players get busy….Drills in groups continue and there must be between 100-120 young men on hand, for this the fourth official day, of the new season…..

There seems to be a very big difference with the shoulder pads on and everything the players are doing, takes on a much more realistic feeling….

About this time we hear a loud horn and it is time to switch groups and that means, “No Walking”, as you move from one area to another….Walking could get you a set of up-downs on the spot during practice….It is now 9:50am and time to split the Varsity and JV’s for more offense-defense……

While the teams continue their work, there is one guy standing by himself on the practice field and he is working on his punting……

Coach Gillespie lets his men know what they need to be doing, when he gives them a reminder, “Catch the football, don’t lose your focus”…..As the team runs the plays, the Coach adds more words of instuction with, “Run it again, run it again”……You also hear a lot of what we were detecting last night, when the coaches tell you again and again, “Let’s Go, Let’s Go”……….

“Let’s Go”, is the new catchphrase of this current decade……

The offense is working, with the bags lined up as defenders and now we are starting to see more pass plays…..Offense, on one end of the field and the defense, is on the other…..Offense is running plays and the defense is reacting to passes as a whole unit, with every man to the ball….

Time for a water break and helmets are on and we get a nice breeze coming through and that is a real blessing, when you can get some air, in an open area….

The next phase is a teaching session and helmets are off and the players can sit down with their helmets off, during this teaching session….It has to be a real chore for the coaches to try and learn all of these players names….From where I am sitting, up on the hill above the practice field, there are tennis shoes everywhere, around the bleachers where I am sitting….The players can not wear their cleats back into the gym, after practice is over and they will need these tennis shoes at around 11am, as they head to the clasroom and then on to the weightroom…..

Watching Page, they are a fast team and a quick team, much like Dudley and that will help to make that game very interesting, when the two teams get together at Page this season…..

As the players grab what will probably be their last water break of the morning, they can take off of their helmets and sit down…..It is not long before one of the Pirate players says, “We are ready coach, this break time should be over” and it is time to get back to work…..

Two groups of offense vs. defense are battling and it is the red on offense and the silver on defense…..Coach again says several times, “Run it again”, run it again”…….The contact is developing and a lot gets done here in this practice, in a short amount of time…..There is no wasted time…..The upper body popping, is starting to pick up and another breeze picks up and it also time for more up-downs, for the defense, as they fail to pick up their man in pass coverage….

At 10:34 the Coach tells his men to bring it in and they talk about what went on today and what to expect for the rest of the week….At 10:45 it is time to take it in and head to the classroom and after that to the weightroom……

Page has put in a good days work, but their day will not really end, until around noon…..James Summers, Drew Rogers, Tuc Phan, Orlando “Junior” Hatfield and Dylan Sykes will among the main offensive weapons for the Page Pirates in 2010……


  1. I didn’t think there could be any contact until the teams are allowed to go in full pads.

  2. I think the deal is that you can have light contact, but still no tackling allowed…..

    There would be no reason to have the pads on if you weren’t allowed to work on some of your blocking schemes……

  3. The rule states no body to body contact until monday…. They can put on the pads and get use to them but they’re not suppose to be popping until 6 practices are complete. Looks like Page maybe getting a head start!

  4. It all depends on the true definiton of popping….My definition of popping and the true definition of popping may be different…..

    I have seen contact at practices even without the shoulder pads on….

    If you had a kid like me out there, there would be popping the minute the ball went up in the air…..

    It is tough to eliminate all forms of body contact, the game is football…..

  5. The Hatfields moved. Better tell Patrick Nusdeo to get his hands warmed up for Western Guilford…..

  6. There was no hitting at Page.. I have been at practices since monday of this week..

    All they are doing is hand tagging and a simple arm wrap up.. no hitting. Also, the defensive players wear arm sleeve pads. Which makes it no body-to-body contact.. its pad to body.

  7. Accidental contact is one thing….Lining up and going body to body with no blocking shield is another. The rules are the rules if every other team must follow so must Page!

  8. The pads are also good for getting some sled work in and some teams will be popping the sled a few times times this week…..It will be much better when they can hit human beings instead of bags and dummies…..

    I heard a coach in one of the practices the other day yell, bring that dummy over here”, and one of the other coaches yelled back, “who you calling a dummy”….

    If you guys want some contact, then meet with my teammates on Thanksgiving Day….

    I tell the team and the opposition the same thing each year, it’s the same old speech, “Somebody is gonna get hurt today and it’s not going to be me”….That’s the approach you have to take every time you go out there….This is not some kind of Girl Scout Cookie sale going on here……

  9. Page-Dudley or Dudley-Page. 1 and 2 or 2 and 1 take your pick. The rest of the teams may as well stay home. Watch out for the PIRATE-PANTHER matchup for the METRO 4-A TITLE! this is the yeer.

    BIG ED

  10. WOW Ed

    I guess the rest of the Metro might as well play their non conference schedule and cancel the rest of their games.
    But being a fan of the Piedmont 4A I dont see either team beating HPC or Ragsdale this year. Both Page and Dudley are to one demensional on offense. Page may have a better chance with the addition of the reciever from western.

  11. The Smith Golden Eagles are coming after both of the teams that he mentioned and Western will fight it out with Grimsley, Southeast and Southern for last. Three team race for first with Eagles, Panthers then Pirates. The Time Has Come.

  12. Did you just proclaim that Smith is going to win the Metro! Bold Statement birdman time for Smith to put up or shut up! This year they don’t play two really bad teams at the start of the season. Also this year they have Andrews in week 1 so I guess we’ll see early on if this team is for real.

  13. you guys have already proclaimed Dudley and Page . . . . .don’t get caught with yo’ “pants on ground” lol

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