On a hot and muggy Monday morning, Oconee County High School’s football team split its practice field in half.
On one half was the varsity football team donning Warrior shorts, T-shirts and helmets, while on the other half kids were getting instructions for a youth camp.
Both sides were learning.
“The first thing I told the campers is that our players are here four days a week at 7:15 in the morning (during the summer),” Warrior secondary coach Geoff Lewis said.
“I told them that they’re going to be out here working the whole time like y’all are. This is what we do at the high school level and this is what it takes at the high school level.”
The Warriors used their half to go through a normal summer practice session while coaches split time between that and their youth camp.
While the Warriors practiced offensive schemes during varsity practice, defensive coaches were on the other end of the field going through a simpler version of varsity drills.
Coaches then switched roles during the varsity defensive portion.
“The biggest thing we do on a day like this, when the sun is out, is to get them to play hard,” said Lewis, who was in charge of the youth camp. “When they start to get a little tired, it’s something they can just start to learn is just to play hard.”
The camp, which ended Wednesday, was held from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. and was organized by the Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department.
Varsity players such as quarterbacks T Donnan and Max Johnson also helped with drills while the varsity defense practiced.
“I’m sure it’s great for the kids to come out here and work with Max, a big-time guy to look up to,” said Donnan. “They’re out here working with us and then they’re looking up to us on Fridays.”
For Johnson, who will be a sophomore this season, it wasn’t long ago that he was in the youth position.
“It’s great to get out here and give them some advice,” Johnson said. “Back in those days I was just a little kid looking for advice, too, but it’s good to help the kids get better.”
Most drills involved passing, punting, kicking or running, which is always a youthful-crowd pleaser.
“We try to keep the drills fun,” Lewis said, “and if there’s a ball in it it’s going to be fun.”