Local – and not so local – football players got a taste of collegiate football Wednesday.
In the midst of their mini-camp tour through Georgia, Division II Valdosta State University’s coaching staff paid a visit to Augusta Prep, where close to 40 players took part in the two-hour event.
Blazers’ head coach David Dean told the campers that it wasn’t a tryout.
“What we’re doing is we’re trying to present things that we teach our football players,” Dean said. “Like I told them before we started, you’re coming out, you’re making yourself a better football player by the work that you’re doing, you’re making your football team better.”
The Blazers were getting something out of it too, however.
“One thing it helps us get around the state,” Dean said. “We don’t have the opportunity sometimes to go to Atlanta and Augusta on a Friday night to watch games and this gives us an opportunity to get into this area, watch some guys perform.”
One of the ones taking part in the camp was Evans’ 6-foot-5, 240-pound senior defensive end Myreon Bennett. He attended a camp at Georgia Tech over the weekend and was planning on attending a Georgia Southern camp the next day.
“I’m just trying to get looked at, get some exposure,” Bennett said.
Augusta Prep junior Joseph Shaver is working his way back from a knee injury in the Cavaliers’ sixth game in 2013 that sidelined him for the year. Participation for him had a simple explanation.
“I’m just out here trying to get better, we’re all trying to get better,” Shaver said.
The Blazers came to Augusta Prep since they wanted to get back to the area. Dean and Cavaliers head coach Harry Bacheller have known each other since the 1980s.
Bacheller, who will have his own camp at the school from July 7-9, was happy to take a step back and let his players see a different style and interact with others.
“Our kids get coached up by a great staff and some different people and some of the other kids from different schools get to come over to our place and work with us,” Bacheller said. “I think we even have a couple of opponents out here.”