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High school football underway
Devils open fall with impressive first day
080107 SHS FOOTBALL 3
Head coach Steve Pennington addresses his team after Wednesday's practice, the first of the fall. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

SHS 1ST PRACTICE

Statesboro High's first day of practice.

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    Statesboro coach Steve Pennington hoped his Blue Devils would hit the ground running Wednesday on the first day of fall camp. He got his wish.
    “In my 27 years this was one of the better first days we’ve had in quite a while,” he said. “Credit goes to the coaches and their preparation, our players’ attitude was very, very positive, and credit goes to our juniors and seniors in that regard.”
    Pennington also added how pleased he was with the focus of his team, what with the first day of practice landing on the same day as the first day of school, and with the Statesboro campus undergoing major construction changes.
    The Blue Devils went until 6:32 p.m., ending the first day with a mini-scrimmage, then breaking for the locker rooms covered in sweat and gnats.
    “First day of practice went well,” said senior defensive end Deangelo Tyson. “We have a lot to work on but we have a lot of great guys on the team.”
    There’s just 29 days until Statesboro opens the season on the road in Sylvania at Screven County. After the first day, Pennington said the boys in blue-and-white still need plenty of work in their conditioning.
    “Early on we have to make sure we’re doing enough to progress condition wise,” he said. “We can see right off the bat that’s going to be a major obstacle, especially with our bigger players. We’re not going to have November weather in the next two weeks. If we can learn getting tired it’s going to be a win situation.”
    Tyson, who will anchor the defense after the Devils lost John Knox, Justin Houston and Molloy VanGorder, among others, still sees areas that need improvement as well.
    “We’re going to do very well but we got a lot to learn too,” said Tyson. “We have to learn how to read and use our hands a little better, get better leverage and pursue to the ball.”
    The Blue Devils will continue practice today and Friday at 3:30 p.m. before going to full pads on Monday afternoon.    

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