He’s not asking for perfection, not in the first week of preseason practice.
What first-year LaGrange head coach Dialleo Burks is asking of his players is to give full effort every second they’re on the practice field.
“Our coaches, what we’re telling them is, give great effort, and great things are going to happen,” Burks said. “If you don’t give great effort, then that’s when bad things happen.”
So far, Burks likes what he has seen.
The Grangers completed their fourth day of preseason practice on Wednesday, and Burks said it “was the most energetic practice we’ve had.”
Like all other teams in the state governed by the Georgia High School Association, LaGrange’s first five practices are limited to two hours, and there are no pads.
Teams can hold their first full-contact practice on Friday, assuming they’ve had five days of non-contact practices.
So far, Burks said there have been a lot of “conditioning type of drills,” and the team has fit as much as it can into two hours.
Burks said special teams has had to take a back seat so far because of the limited time.
“The main two phases are offense and defense with two hours,” Burks said. “And you have to structure in breaks and things like that.”
Burks said he’s trying to instill in his players the importance of making the most out of every play.
“We continue to place in their minds that, we have to win every play,” Burks said. “If we win every play, we’re going to win the game. I can’t let them have a bad day. I can’t even let it in their minds that that’s OK.”
LaGrange will have one more two-hour, non-contact practice today, and things will change in a big way on Friday.
The Grangers will hold two practices on Friday on the first day of a two-day camp.
The Grangers will hold two more practices on Saturday, and they’ll also find time to squeeze in a team picture at Callaway Stadium.
Burks said the team will get away and it will be nothing but football.
“It’ll be a true camp day,” Burks said. “I was out there lining the field today, and it’s nice, it’s quiet. You don’t have the distractions. Those guys can focus. I’m looking for a great time.”
Burks said the players will be spending two full days together.
“We’re going to stay overnight for two nights. We’re getting away,” Burks said. “No cell phone, no keys. It’s strictly about us. It’s all about the experience.”
OF NOTE: Mon Denson and Jeremiah Wright finished tied for first place in LaGrange’s annual Ironman competition.
“They went in, and those two jokers were competing,” Burks said.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 (ext. 232) or on Twitter @lagrangesports