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Cougars get set for new season

By Kevin Eckleberry

kevin.eckleberry@lagrangenews.com

LAGRANGE – It’s almost camp week.

For the past few years, the Lafayette Christian School Cougars have held a week-long camp as they get ready for a new football season.

The Cougars will continue that tradition next week.

The players will practice twice a day, and they’ll spend the night on campus Monday through Thursday.

The camp will conclude with an intra-squad scrimmage on Friday morning.

“We use this week as testing and conditioning, and Monday we report to camp and do two-a-days, and they live here for a week,” Lafayette Christian head coach Nate Shaw said Wednesday morning.

Whatever the Cougars are doing, it’s working.

Lafayette Christian is coming off another successful season that ended with a loss in the final four of the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association eight-man state playoffs.

It was the Cougars’ fourth consecutive trip to the semifinals, and they won the state championship in 2015.

The man who was the starting quarterback for that team in 2015, Landon Whitley,

is returning for his junior season, and Shaw said the Cougars will run a spread offense that’ll play to his strengths.

“We re-tooled our system this year,” Shaw said. “We’re trying to take advantage of what he’s good at. He’s excited about the season. I think the kids like what we’re doing. It’s not that they didn’t believe what we were doing before, but we’ve committed to going forward with these ideas. They know that we believe in them. So they’re willing to change.”

While there are plenty of veterans like Whitley who are no strangers to the lights on Friday night, Shaw said he’s also excited about the newcomers to the varsity program.

“We have a huge group of freshmen,” Shaw said. “They were 8-1 last year (in middle school). They had a championship game, and it was a pretty competitive game. They scored on a team that had not been scored on all year. So they’re a talented bunch. We’ve got good size, good speed. And they’re smart kids, too.”

Shaw said all of the players had a productive summer.

“We just get in the weight room, and get stronger,” Shaw said. “We’ve had great participation this year. With our young kids coming in, I’ll take our freshmen against anybody’s freshmen.”

Lafayette Christian opens its season on Aug. 18 on the road against Solid Rock.