Area high school football teams are in the midst of a short week of practice.
The leftover impact of Hurricane Irma rolled through the Augusta area Monday and closed schools at least through Tuesday. Some returned Wednesday like Columbia County, while Richmond County was among those that remained out.
Closed schools meant no practice for most area football teams until Wednesday at the earliest, leaving coaches scrambling to get a week’s worth of preparation in just a day or two.
Despite the short week, most area games currently remain on schedule. Richmond County announced Wednesday that all games would be played on schedule Friday with the exception of Westside at Josey, which was rescheduled for Oct. 6. Indications are that all games in Aiken and Columbia counties would be played Friday.
Warren County’s road game at First Presbyterian Day was moved to Saturday at 6 p.m.
The short week means technology is a coach’s best friend as staffs work to give players their usual preparation despite not meeting as a team until the middle of the week.
“We just encourage our guys to watch film,” North Augusta coach Brian Thomas said. “That’s all we can do. We couldn’t practice because school was out. We encouraged a lot of prep, film study, and I think they’ve bought into it. They knew a lot today when we got in there. I was excited about that.”
Thomas said the players were excited to get back on the field Wednesday for practice as North Augusta prepares to travel to White Knoll on Friday.
Senior receiver and defensive back DeJuan Bell, who’s coming off three touchdowns and two interceptions last week, used the extra time off to rest.
“Some of us got together and we all worked out,” Bell said. “We didn’t want to be too heavy on our feet, so we did a little bit of footwork drills and went home and rested.”
Greenbrier is another team that returned to the practice field Wednesday.
The Wolfpack are preparing for a big non-region game Friday against Richmond Academy, as both teams are 3-0 and further building a new program culture.
Wolfpack coach Tony Kramer is another who relied on technology to stay in touch with players and help them prepare for their opponent. Like most teams, he uses Hudl, a website where teams can post videos of plays and games, as a film service to get his players prepared.
“It gives us the opportunity to get the film in front of the kids, whether it’s on their phone or computer or laptop or tablet, whatever it is,” Kramer said. “They have the opportunity to see what our opponent’s tendencies are, how they line up. That doesn’t substitute for being on the practice field and having coaches give you information you need to know, but at least they get to see what the team does.”