When the Callaway Cavaliers walked onto the field for their first preseason practice in 2013, they were hoping the upcoming season will yield big things.
The Cavaliers were coming off a terrific 2012 season where they went 10-2 and made it to the second round of the state playoffs, and many of the players responsible for that success were coming back.
So when the Cavaliers began preseason practice a year ago, hopes and expectations were high.
What followed was the finest season in the history of the school.
The Cavaliers went 12-2, won a second straight region title, and advanced to the final four for the first time in school history, and they pushed the powerful Buford Wolves to the limit before losing 24-14.
Now here the Cavaliers are again, ready to hit the field for their first practice of the 2014 season, and Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins believes the players have what it takes to keep the good times going.
“Last year was a very special group of young men,” Wiggins said. “They were very committed, and they had great leadership. This group has that, too. We just have to continue working, and do what we do.”
Teams aren’t allowed to have full-contact practices until Aug. 1 according to the Georgia High School Association.
Callaway will hold five non-contact practices, all at 6 p.m., before donning the full pads.
Wiggins said those five days will be a valuable time for teaching.
“The first week, we’ll work a lot on fundamentals,” Wiggins said. “We’ll install our offense, defense, and special teams. We want the kids to be familiar with everything we do before we actually put on the full gear. You never can teach enough fundamentals. The first week will be geared toward that. We’ll condition hard, and prepare for our scrimmage game (on Aug. 15 against Greenville).”
As the Cavaliers make the transition to preseason practice, Wiggins said it was a productive summer.
The players were busy, whether they were participating in camps, seven-on-seven competitions, or the team’s strength and conditioning program. “We had a great summer,” Wiggins said. “We attended several camps, and I feel like our kids got better.”
The summer, Wiggins said, “seems like it goes faster every year. It really goes by.”
Wiggins said the players understand how important each day is, whether it’s a summer day where all they’re doing is lifting weights, or it’s the Thursday practice right before a big game.
“We always try to stress, making the most out of each day, and each workout, and I feel like our kids value that,” Wiggins said. “You stress to the kids, particularly the seniors, making the most out of each day, because high-school football is one of the most special times in a person’s life.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 (ext. 232) or on Twitter @lagrangesports