There are just 22 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2020 high school football season. But make no mistake, despite the COVID-19 outbreak, swirling uncertainty since April, and the cancelation of spring practice, preparations for the upcoming campaign have been underway throughout the state since early June. And teams throughout northeast Georgia are in full countdown mode.
With that in mind, we spent the last couple of weeks catching up with programs around our area to get a feel for how the summer is going and what coaches believe the fall will look like. We call the series "Two-a-Days" in honor of those old-school grinding sessions that lead us out of summer and into fall, asking each area coach two key questions about the state of their respective programs.
Over the next two weeks, AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night will get you prepped for the start of gridiron action with responses from coaches throughout northeast Georgia. (Teams run in alphabetical order)...
There are rebuilds and then there’s the Trojans, who are having to replace 19 starters from last year’s playoff team.
Youth and inexperience already were going to be a concern even with a full spring, summer, and fall practice. But the COVID outbreak killed virtually all on-field evaluations until a month ago.
We asked coach David Bishop where they stand as the fall practice season is nearly upon us and the first game is just a month away.
QUESTION: Coach, you had a lot of holes to fill coming into the season and the COVID outbreak certainly didn’t do you any favors. How much progress have you been able to make since returning in the summer?
ANSWER: In terms of creating mentally and physically tough players, I feel like we are in a pretty good place at this time. Knowing what to do, what to read, who to read, drops to take and routes to run, we are solid. Being able to execute them at game speed is going to be a challenge. We won’t be able to know those things until we play. Losing our 11-on-11’s have definitely cost us from that perspective.
QUESTION: As you head into the fall, what is the bigger concern -- offense or defense -- and has there been a bright spot so far, whether it be at a particular position or a player?
ANSWER: I am not sure that my concerns are different for either side of the ball. The thing I know from experience is that the defense is almost always ahead of the offense early on. A bright spot so far has just been our players, especially the skill kids. We have what we call “finishers” at the end of each workout. They are designed to test you mentally and physically and you have to put your discomfort aside for the good of others. These kids are crushing these finishers and constantly raising the bar for the next one.