With the 2008 season rapidly approaching, the Dawson County Tigers continue to prepare their offensive and defensive squads.
Last Tuesday through Friday the Tigers traveled to Jacksonville State in Jacksonville, Ala. for a passing camp against some of the top teams in the area.
The camp was a tournament set-up with a time limit to throw the ball. Each team had a 25-second clock to call a play and only three seconds to throw.
"It put a lot of pressure on our two young quarterbacks to make a decision. They had to make their reads quick," head coach Jeff Lee said.
"This camp was different for us. We have been going to Presbyterian College for the last five years," said Lee. "We got to play against some teams that we don't normally see."
It was a who's who of football at Jacksonville State. The Tigers played against the likes of Pace (Fla.) out of the biggest classification in the state, Auburn (Ala.), Hueytown (Ala.), and Carrollton, a powerhouse in Georgia.
Lee and his staff also got a chance to see teams that they may play if they reach the state play-offs, such as Adairsville, Dade County and Pepperell.
Quarterbacks Chase Gilreath and Ethan Brown got an opportunity to pass against some experienced defenses for the first time this summer.
"Both our young quarterbacks were throwing for the first time against someone different. We were supposed to have a passing game against Pickens County before the dead week, but they couldn't make it. So this was our first time," Lee said.
"We struggled early, for about the first six games, but we improved as the week went along," said Lee about his offense.
The team progressed nicely during the week, almost beating Carrollton and Pace.
Lee remarked, "Our receivers had a great week. Cody Tobias, TJ Byrd, Matt Christopher, Justin Wende, Grant Brown and Kelsey Boyle really give us some options, not only on offense, but also on defense."
With so many good receivers the Tigers will get to rest more people on the defensive side of the ball.
Defensive coordinator Van Samplesí group was led by corners Jacob Perry and Eian Perry.
"Our defense looked really good. Eian is really starting to step up and Jacob played really well," said Lee. "Cody (Tobias) and Kelsey (Boyle) also had a good week."
Getting away for passing camp also gave coaches a much needed look at personal.
"We get to evaluate our players when we go away. It also gives us a chance to coach them on our techniques and help them to get better. When we open (the season), we want to have our best people in the right places," Lee explained.
The lineman didn't go to Jacksonville with the skill people. However, it wasn't a week off, as they lifted weights and did agilities at the high school.
This will also be a busy week for the Tigers.
Yesterday, the team traveled to Cornelia for a passing scrimmage against Habersham Central, Stephens County and Lumpkin County. Tomorrow they travel to Jasper to face Pickens County. Both passing scrimmages began at 6:30 p.m.
Lee and his staff are also preparing for a camp at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton next Monday through Wednesday.
The season is quickly arriving and Lee and his squad are working diligently to prepare. Dawson will play their preseason scrimmage on Aug. 21 in Calhoun against Sonoraville High School.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.