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Cougars working hard during spring practice

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – It’s time to get to work.

The Lafayette Christian School Cougars, who are coming off another banner season, kicked off spring practice on Monday on a sweltering afternoon.

The Cougars will be on the field again today, Thursday and Friday as they prepare for a new eight-man football season that will get under way in August.

“This is really a teaching camp more than anything,” Lafayette Christian head coach Nate Shaw said. “We’ve got a lot of  young players coming in, but we’re also real-tooling our offense. So we have a lot of things going on that way. We’re just going to try to lay a good foundation, teach it slowly, make sure we understand the basics, and hit the ground running in the fall.”

The Lafayette Christian School football program has been rolling of late.

The Cougars have been in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association final four in each of the past four seasons, and they won the state championship in 2015.

A year ago, the Cougars figured to be in rebuilding mode after losing a talented group of seniors, including Eli Shepherd, who is playing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

The Cougars continued to excel, though, and they reached the final four once again before falling short.

Now, the Cougars will look to keep the good times rolling, and they appear well-positioned to be championship contenders once again.

Among the returnees is junior quarterback Landon Whitley, who was the starter on the championship team in 2015, as well as offensive lineman Knox Evert, who Shaw said is up to 290 pounds.

“We’re going to have a huge offensive line,” Shaw said.

While there were 18 players at practice on Monday, Shaw said there are 22 players signed up, and more could be on the way.

“We’ve got 22 here, padded up, with a couple of other maybes,” Shaw said. “So we’ve got a full roster.”

Some of the younger players were part of a middle-school team that enjoyed plenty of success last season.

The team reached the GICAA state-championship game.

“They lost in the title game,” Shaw said. “They rolled through the regular season, and rolled through the playoffs and beat some good teams. They were the only team to score on the team that won the championship. They scored like 25 points. So they were the only team to challenge them. So they expect to win. We tell them, we know you’re young, but we don’t care.”