Meridian Star

Sports

June 17, 2014

Summer workouts at Newton County Academy under way

DECATUR — Coming off a 7-5 season and a second-round playoff appearance, Newton County Academy is back at work looking to get back to the playoffs — and make it even further.

And the quest for another winning season began several weeks ago, when the Generals players took to the weight room to get faster and stronger. Offensive coordinator and strength coach Rob Roberts said his team is focusing on building strength and speed throughout the summer months.

“We have some guys who need to get bigger and some guys who need to drop weight,” Roberts said. “Everyone needs to get faster.”

So far, one of the seniors on this year’s team said the workouts have been paying off, not just for him, but for the whole squad.

“I feel like I’m getting stronger,” Generals offensive and defensive lineman Brandon Harrison said. “(Roberts is) working us out a lot, doing agility drills and getting us faster. All the boys are working really hard this summer.”

Harrison also said the participation has been great ever since summer workouts began.

“Everyone’s been working hard and putting in a lot of hours,” he said. “We’re all focused on getting better.”

Spring training was cut to about a week because of the Generals’ baseball team making it to the postseason, which limited how much the staff was able to install before school got out.

“We basically put in one offensive set and then played Enterprise in the spring game,” Roberts said.

And the Generals won’t have a chance to focus on their offensive and defensive schemes until late July, but Roberts said the team wouldn’t remain solely in the weight room over the summer.

“We go out on the field on Thursdays, and we’re going to start doing that twice a week come July,” he said. “We just work on passing drills (when we go out there).”

Harrison said he’s benefitting from the team focusing on more than just strength building. Agility drills have gone a long way to make him a more complete lineman, he said.

“I helps with my footwork, and it’s very important for a lineman to have good footwork and quick feet,” Harrison said. “Some people overlook that.”

Newton County Academy, which plays in MAIS Single A, will dress out between 25 and 35 players when the season starts, Roberts said. Harrison said the Generals will look to build on last season’s success.

“I think we’ll do really well this year,” Harrison said. “We have a couple of big linemen and some good running backs who are fast.”

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