It’s a busy time for Cavaliers
Published 12:00 am Friday, June 10, 2016
HOGANSVILLE – Tis the season to go camping.
For the Callaway Cavaliers, a major part of the summer routine involves participating in various camps, including one that takes place today at the University of Georgia.
It’s a one-day seven-on-seven camp, which will give Callaway’s players a chance to test themselves against some of the state’s elite players under the watchful eyes of Georgia’s coaches.
Earlier this week, eight Callaway players participated in the Mike Hodges quarterback/wide receiver camp at Middle Georgia State University in Cochran.
Next week, 15 Cavaliers will take part in the Mike Hodges offensive-line camp that will also be held in Cochran.
In addition to the camps, Callaway will have a handful of seven-on-seven competitions, including one that’ll take place at Troup.
Callaway’s players also take part in daily practices at the school that include weight training, as well as some field work.
It’s all part of the process of preparing for a new season that is a little more than two months away.
Callaway, which is heading into its 12th season under head coach Pete Wiggins, will open on Aug. 19 against the LaGrange Grangers.
Callaway has been participating in the Georgia seven-on-seven event for the past few years, and while it is a valuable learning experience, it is also a tremendous recruiting tool for the players.
In the summer of 2012, when wide receiver Terry Godwin was preparing for his sophomore season, he had a breakout performance in Athens, and he was promptly offered a scholarship by then Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
Godwin eventually signed with Georgia, and he was one of the team’s top offensive players as a freshman.
A year ago, wide receiver and quarterback Braylon Sanders had a strong showing for Callaway that helped expand his pool of potential college suitors.
“The kids are excited about that,” said defensive coordinator Dusty Hubbard, who along with the rest of the Callaway coaches will be making the trip to Athens. “They always like going to those places, and seeing those things. It’s always good. It’s really good for our kids, because a lot of them will get to see Terry and spend some time with him.”
Callaway offensive coordinator Matt Napier said even though the team leaves early for Athens each year, usually before 6 a.m., they players are always wide awake and eager to get started.
“You can tell, you’ve got them showing up at 5:30 in the morning ready to go,” Napier said. “They’re excited about it.”
Callaway is wrapping up the second week of its summer program.
During the week, Callaway’s players are at the school beginning at 9 a.m., and they’re usually there for about two hours.
“We work out in the morning at 9, and we’re typically done by 11, depending on how much field time we have,” Hubbard said. “Different days, we’ll do different things.”
Hubbard said participation, which is voluntary during the summer, has been tremendous so far.
“We’ve been lifting the last two weeks, and the numbers have been great,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard said he summer is a valuable time “because you start getting a feel for your team that year.”
“You have spring football, but you learn a lot about kids in the summertime when they don’t necessarily have to be there by rule,” Hubbard added. “But they’re there, and you see the kids that you can count on, and you start to figure out some things. That really kind of starts your year off football-wise.”
Callaway will continue its summer program until July 25, which is the official start date for preseason practice according to the Georgia High School Association, and teams are allowed to hold their first full-contact practice on Aug. 1.
Callaway will play a preseason game against Northside on Aug. 12 in Hogansville, and it will begin the season a week later against LaGrange.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports