The three area private schools — Skipstone Academy, Faith Christian Academy and Griffin Christian High School — all participated in some sort spring football drills this month and they all went pretty well.
Skipstone, which went a school-record 7-3 as an independent 8-man football team last season, basically had two weeks of non-contact, instructional drills for their prospective players starting at the end of April. Skipstone had 47 prospective players show up in the spring — 25 for varsity and 22 for junior varsity, which pleased Warriors head coach Dan Salvador.
“It was great to see the guys come out, especially the new players. And we hope to get even more players during the summer and fall,” Salvador said. “During the spring, we as a staff worked on the very basic fundamentals of football, starting with blocking and tackling. We also went over our 5 base plays for the year and details and responsibilities for each player.”
Salvador said the Warriors will even have a bit more size this spring, even though they lost 240-pound senior fullback/lineman Charence Wright, one of the biggest players they’ve had.
The Warriors will start summer practice July 23 and will have 7-on-7 drills during the summer. Skipstone has officially joined the Glory For Christ League this season with its first preseason game slated for Aug. 10 at Appling Christian and its first regular-season game Aug. 17 at home against the East Atlanta Cougars.
FCA, which went 2-7 in 2011 in the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama Athletic Association (ICSGA), had 16 players show up for conditioning drills this spring. FCA athletic director Jim McClelland Sr. said the coaching staff worked on a few 8-man football plays with the prospective players and put them in workouts in shirts and shorts.
“We had spring drills from May 3-17 and it was standard conditioning drills,” McClelland Sr. said. “They will get back in action in the summer, starting the third week of June. They’ll be working in helmets, shirts and shorts in June.”
McClelland Sr. said Lions head coach Teron Jones will return and his son, former head coach Jim McClelland Jr., will be an assistant coach in fall 2012.
The team with the most change this spring was Griffin Christian High. The Crusaders, which had trouble finding enough able bodies to practice and finished 0-10 in 2011, had 25 guys out for spring practice this year and Crusaders head coach Bobby Brogdon was pleased with the turnout.
“It was exciting to see all the guys out for spring. I’m positive this will continue during the summer and into the fall as well,” Brogdon said. “The guys worked hard from May 1-11. We gave them a basic fundamentals package and we’re confident we can do well in our new region.”
The Crusaders, which were way overmatched in numbers and strength in GISA Class AAA last year, will compete in the ICSGA’s 11-man football league in fall 2012. The new league should be much more beneficial for the Crusaders. According to Crusaders athletic director David Hammond, GCHS will only play football in the ICSGA; all the other sports will remain in the GISA.
Brogdon said the guys have been working hard in the weight room three days a week, thanks to the return of defensive coordinator and strength coach Randy Wilson and offensively they should do well thanks to new plays from new offensive coordinator Stuart Gottlieb, who was briefly the head football coach at Skipstone.
The Crusaders had a Blue and White Scrimmage Game after the end of spring practice and the Blue team, coached by Brogdon, beat the White team 14-0. Brogdon said they will have some 7-on-7 drills this summer and the team should be ready to go in the fall.
“We hope to go from worst to first next season,” Brogdon said.