Conditioning for 2013 prep season officially begins

by doug gorman

The Newnan Cougars tuned up for today’s start of high school football practice with a trip to Carrollton and at 7-on-7 football tournament Tuesday afternoon.

Newnan finished with an impressive 6-1 record, but head coach Mike McDonald, who enters his fifth year as head coach, was just happy to see his team gets some reps.

“You don’t block and you don’t tackle, but it was a pretty good chance for our guys to work on some things,

McDonald said.

It was the third passing league tournament the team attended this season.

The Cougars won the 7-on-7 tournament in Columbus and finished in the middle of the pack at McEachern.

Newnan will answer an early-morning wake-up call with a 9 a.m. practice in helmets and shorts this morning.

More than 80 players are expected to be out for today’s first allowed practice by the Georgia High School Association.

“We are limited to just two hours,” McDonald said, We will spend time working on fundamentals.”

Newnan was picked second in this year’s Region 3-AAAAAA preseason poll behind defending champion Langston Hughes.

East Coweta opens practice with depth on offense: The East Coweta Indians took a hard hit with the graduation of Region 3-AAAAAAA Offensive Player of the Year Dee Godfrey, but there is some offensive experience coming back for Clint Wade’s squad when it opens practice today. Wade’s offensive unit brings seven returners back on offense and four on defense.

“We feel we have a pretty good nucleus of players coming back,” Wade said at the Region 3-AAAAAAA media day on Monday.

It starts with returning quarterback Bryce Gemmel who became the starter last year.

Gemmel showed his ability to pass and throw en route to a 5-7 record.

“We just have to get the ball to the right people to be successful,” Wade said.

Today’s practice opens today with wide receivers Markel Boston and Jacob Bergstrom expected to contribute.

Defensively, lineman Tristan Mann and linebacker Jay McKnight enter preseason practice with big expectations.

East Coweta was picked third in the Region 3-AAAAAA preseason poll, picking up one first-place vote.

Northgate begins rebuilding process: Northgate head football coach Tommy Walburn is expected to welcome his team back today when the Vikings begin the first official day of practice.

The veteran football coach returns for his fourth year in control of the Vikings, and during the early part of the preseason the coaching staff will be focused on trying to replace three players who signed with Division I schools.

Northgate will enter the season with its third different quarterback in as many years.

This year, Tyler Rowland is back after serving as the team's top backup and will be one of the candidates to earn the spot this year.

Benton Washington missed the early part of last season returns to drills as one of the top running back candidates. Despite getting a late jump on the season, Washington earned first team all region honors.

Walburn has had plenty of success in his first three seasons with the Vikings. Two years ago, the coach led the team to a undefeated Region 4-AAAA and a 11- record, including an undefeated regular season.

Last year, Walburn's team struggled in the early portion of the season, and finished with a 5-6 record.

Despite its early struggles, the team’s 15-3 victory over the Mundy’s Mill in the last game of the regular season, put the Vikings back in the playoffs.

However, a first-round 31-14 loss to Harris County in the playoffs ended the 2012 campaign.

Northgate opens the season against Heritage of Conyers at home on Aug. 30.

A year ago, Northgate fell to Heritage on the road 9-7.

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