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Eagles are on a mission

POSTED: July 19, 2011 5:49 p.m.

At Riverview Middle School the football team is on a mission.

The Eagles began summer workouts recently and will continue throughout the rest of the summer.

Not only are the Eagles getting stronger and faster, but their skill players will have participated in three passing camps by the close of summer.

The first camp was held at Riverview. The team played host to Liberty and Riverwatch middle schools.

Riverview will travel to Flowery Branch for a Fellowship of Christian Athletes passing camp. The Eagles will face several teams, including, C.W. Davis (Flowery Branch), Putnam County, East Hall, North Hall, White County, Union County and West Hall.

"We will see some pretty good athletes," said Head Coach Mark Thomason. "It will only make us better."

Riverview will travel with between 35-40 players to camp at Flowery Branch. Not only will quarterbacks, running backs and receivers participate, but the team will also take 7-10 linemen.

The lineman will compete in one-on-one competitions during the throwing sessions.

"This gives us a chance to get a lot of kids out there and involved. Our kids start to get excited about the upcoming season. It also shows them what kind of shape their in and what they need to work on," Thomason said.

The Eagle coaching staff likes to use passing leagues to take a good look at how quarterbacks throw the football and the catching ability of the receiving corps.

"We are trying to find what kind of speed our receivers have and the routes that they run. We would also like to see what they do after they catch the football," Thomason said.

On defense, the coaching staff is trying to evaluate the coverage ability of linebackers and defensive backs.

"The big thing is that they know their assignments," Thomason said.

This year marks the third that Riverview has been involved in a passing league. During the first year coaches were just trying to "feel out" whether it was beneficial for the team. By the second year there were obvious improvements in the passing and catching ability of the team.

"It gives our quarterbacks and receivers a special relationship. This is evident when we go to FCA camp and they hang around each other all day. I have found that it really pays off during the season, especially in our passing game," Thomason said.

"It [camps] gives our players a chance to come out and gain a little confidence and that's what we are looking for heading into the season," he added.



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