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Blue Devils hope to start where they left off
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SHS FOR 7.31

Statesboro coach Steve Pennington discusses expectations for the first practice of the fall.
    Around the state of Georgia today, high school football teams will click-clack their way onto practice fields and begin the long and arduous road to August 31, the statewide season opener.
    For Statesboro, that road began in the spring, and coach Steve Pennington expects things to run smoothly when about 100 boys hit the fields today at 3:30 p.m.
    “We want to pick up right where we left off from spring practice,” he said. “We just consider the summer a long halftime. It’s not like we’re starting over. We will hit the ground full speed. We will cover every facet of the game the first day.”
    Teams across the state are limited by the GHSA to shorts, shoulder pads and helmets the first week. Pennington, in his fourth year at SHS, hopes to have his team more intense on Friday than they’ll be today before donning full gear on Monday.
    Another concern for teams across the southern portion of the state is the often intense heat that comes with August football. Although highs are expected to top out in the low 90s this week, Pennington said he and his staff will still mandate breaks every fifteen minutes.
    As for the football, Pennington’s plans for the first three days of camp are clear: “By Friday, we want to make sure that we’ve done enough to create enough soreness in them that they want to go home over the weekend and rest. We want to knock all the rust off in these three days so that when we come back Monday we’re not slowed down whatsoever.”
    The Blue Devils (9-2, 2006) hope to cover their entire special teams play this week. As far as figuring out who’s going to line up where, the SHS coaches already have a pretty good idea of who will be where from spring practice. Pennington said summer growth spurts are usually the x-factor in fall position changes.
    Today’s workout will wrap-up around 6:30 p.m.
    “Our team is well acclimated with each other,” Pennington added. “They’ve seen each other. The only thing different is they may see a few more girls (today) than they have all summer.”

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.