“We had a good summer and feel like the kids are in shape and that they got a lot stronger,” he said of a team that returns the majority of its starters from last year’s overachieving 9-3 team. “That was our main goal in the summer.”
Along the way the team also sported two passing-league teams, a tribute to the depth they have at the skilled positions this season, and played in a combined 59 games, finishing runner-up in two tournaments and winning their pool in another. The summer also saw the Bears host a 10-team passing league camp, the school’s first such camp in recent memory.
But that’s all behind them now as the team sets its sights on putting on the pads later this week.
While the team practiced in helmets Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings last week, the Bears will vary their workout schedule this week, practicing on Monday morning and Tuesday evening before hitting the field for two-a-days in shells on Wednesday. A single practice follows on Thursday before the team has a two-a-day in full pads Friday.
“We’re going to try to fine tune the fundamentals and details of the game,” said DeVoursney.
Griffin has has two-a-days on Monday, Wednesday and Friday the week of Aug. 6-10, while holding single practices on Tuesday and Thursday of that week.
If this all sounds different than the practice schedule the team has followed in the past, it is. It is a safety measure put in place by the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) to ensure player safety across the state during the heat of August. After a rash of player deaths and injuries in recent years across the country, associations have stepped in to regulate workouts.
Regardless of the schedule, all the practices are leading up to Griffin’s preseason scrimmage Aug. 17 at Newnan.
“We’ll be a little dead legged, but that’s the way we want it,” DeVoursney said of the practice schedule leading up to the scrimmage. “We want them to play through it.”
Griffin opens the regular season Aug. 31 at Dutchtown before hitting the road to take on Northgate on Sept. 7 and then coming home to take on Jonesboro Sept. 14 in a rematch of an opening-round state playoff game the Bears rallied to win 47-43 on the strength of pair of touchdown passes from then sophomore quarterback Jaquez Parks to classmate Devontae Freeman in the final 2:21.