After five days of mandatory conditioning, Wednesday was the first day high school football teams were allowed to practice in pads under Georgia High School Association guidelines.
Not all Columbia County schools practiced in pads, and Greenbrier might have been one of the last teams to hit the field. Once the Wolfpack’s 5 p.m. practice started, however, it was just 21 minutes to the first hitting drill of the season. Linemen faced linemen, fullbacks took on linebackers and receivers squared off with defensive backs while a running back attempted to make it through the line unscathed.
“They were excited about it,” Greenbrier first-year head coach Kevin Hunt said. “It’s called a spider drill. I got it from a Georgia clinic seven years ago and the kids love it.”
Making plays on both sides of the ball during the drill was returning tight end/linebacker Kris Cannon, who said he wished they could have had two practices instead of just the one.
“It’s great, we’re out here hitting, getting after it as a team, working hard,” said Cannon. “I’m just excited to get it going.”
Not everyone was as excited about the first day in pads, however.
Running back Jeremy Harden was on the sidelines nursing an injury and unable to participate.
“It’s a horrible feeling,” said Harden. “I love the team, I love to sweat with the team and I like to progress with the team. I’m missing bonding time and it’s killing me.”
Hunt is getting the team ready for its season-opener Aug. 24 at home against Cross Creek, a team he coached for four years prior to joining Greenbrier as an assistant coach in 2005.
The team went 5-5 in 2011 and Hunt is upbeat about what it can accomplish.
“We don’t look at it as a rebuilding year, we just feel like the kids can go out and compete and they feel like that, too,” Hunt said. “One thing we’re going to do I can always assure the kids is that we’re going to be in good shape and we’re going to play hard.”