08/05/09 — Area teams continue preaseason practice in humid temps Tuesday

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Area teams continue preaseason practice in humid temps Tuesday

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 5, 2009 1:46 PM

The optimism that accompanies the arrival of a new season and the realization of work yet to be done have been fresh in the minds of three area coaches as football practice has officially begun.

Third-year Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid was pleased with the number of athletes who showed up for voluntary summer conditioning. The Cougars have been able to focus more on game plans and strategy, and less on getting into football shape.

"The kids have done a good job of coming out for voluntary workouts," said Reid. "We have a lot of kids in shape, and we've been able to do a lot more teaching and strategizing instead of holding kids hands."

Goldsboro had 53 players turn out for its first practice on Saturday morning. Reid hopes that number will continue to increase once the Wayne School of Engineering opens its doors on Friday.

The Cougars have elected to practice in the evenings to avoid temperatures in the high 90s. Reid has brought a certified personal trainer on board to teach his players proper ways to take care of themselves.

Princeton head coach Russell Williamson has been encouraged by the experience his team returns, including 16 seniors.

The Bulldogs spent a portion of the summer in 7-on-7 passing leagues and have had nearly 50 players show up for their first few practices.

"With the varsity team, we know what we've got," said Williamson. "We finally have an older team. We have 16 seniors which is more than we've ever had."

Charles B. Aycock transfer David Gurganus should compete for time at quarterback. While Williamson has tinkered with his offense some, he's satisfied with the progression he's seeing on that side of the ball.

"We're so far along," said Williamson. "We've changed our offense a little but not much. It's really been simple getting started."

Rosewood held a mini-camp last week and has seen close to 50 varsity and junior varsity players show up for practice.

Eagles head coach Robert Britt anticipates keeping 22 of those players for his varsity squad while letting the rest cut their teeth at the JV level. Getting a feel for where his club is without scrimmaging another team is difficult, but Britt has found positives elsewhere.

"I haven't seen anybody else yet and we haven't had any body-to-body contact so I can only compare us to where we were last year," said Britt. "This year we have about 18 lettermen coming back. We only had four last year. Just in that I can tell a big difference."

Rosewood finished 2-10 last season and early on Britt has been focused on improving his team's fundamentals.

"We're concentrated on the fundamentals of blocking and tackling," Britt said. "We have to do a better job of getting the right fit of blocking and tackling. I really feel like the team that does those two things well is usually going to win."