Southeast Bulloch head coach Barrett Davis decided to forgo spring football in order to be able to participate in two preseason scrimmages next month, so it's been a busy couple of months of weight training and conditioning for the Yellow Jacket players — on top of covering the Xs and Os — as they try to build on a successful first year under Davis.
“Summer has been a busy time,” Davis said. “We practiced three times a week in June, and have been going four days a week here in July. We have had great participation, we went to four contact camps at Jeff Davis, Richmond Hill, and then a two day camp at Burke County.”
“The summer has been a great time to evaluate what we have, and where to put them in order to be successful.” Davis said, “We only return three players on defense, so it’s important to find those guys replacements. On offense we have six guys coming back, and most of the experience is up front, so I expect our offensive line to be the strength of our team.”
The good news for the Jackets is that they have one of their larger senior classes in recent memory coming up. Southeast Bulloch welcomes back 26 returning players for their final fall with the team. The bad news is that the Jackets must also replace a similarly large class of 21 seniors from last year, including most of the team leaders.
“It’s going to be tough to replace those seniors from a year ago,” Davis said. “I came into a great situation with 21 seniors and over 20 juniors last season. Most of the leaders were already in place. This year we are really going to need some of those new seniors to fill those shoes, and show us the leadership we really need.”
Davis will have some continuity with his large senior class, and while a year under his belt is also beneficial, Davis is also having to make some adjustments with some new coaches, as well as being named co-athletic director along with Aimee Civalier.
“With John Page retiring after 40 years me and Coach Civalier are now the co-athletic directors,” Davis said. “With that comes a lot of paperwork and some additional responsibilities that we are adjusting to.”
“Our coaching staff has changed a bit, “Davis said. “Jeremy Gantt has left for Greenbrier, and Chris Pye left for ECI to be closer to home. Brandon Peterson has moved into the role of offensive coordinator, along with Josh Cole, who comes in with a strong coaching background. Quinton Lattimore takes over as defensive coordinator, and we also brought in some young guys as lay coaches that will really help us out.”
“We will learn a lot more about our team when we put on full pads, and go at it August 1st,” Davis said. “Right now I feel we are bigger, and definitely faster than our team was a year ago. How that translates on the field and in wins and losses, I'm not sure, but we should learn a lot more the first couple weeks in August when we have back to back scrimmages.”
The Jackets first scrimmage will take place Aug. 9 as they scrimmage with Portal and Bryan County. Southeast Bulloch will then take on Long County on August 16th. Both scrimmages will take place in Brooklet at Fred Shaver Field, and both games will kick off at 7 p.m.