After two hours of fast-paced practice Thursday morning, the Troup High football players weren’t done.
Troup head coach Lynn Kendall had all of the players line up on one side of the practice field, and they divided into different groups and ran up and down the 100-yard field several times.
Troup finished each of its first five preseason practices with some sort of running drill, and head coach Lynn Kendall said it’s a way to test the players’ ability to keep pushing even when they’re exhausted.
He was pleased with what he saw, but not surprised considering how hard the players worked during the summer strength and conditioning program.
“I’m mixing things up just to test their mental toughness,” Kendall said. “I want them to have faith in what we’re doing (conditioning wise).”
Earlier in the week, Troup ended practice with what Kendall calls the odd-man out drill.
There are four players and three cones, and “whoever is the odd-man out, he has to sprint to a middle cone which is 20 more yards,” Kendall said.
Thursday marked the fifth practice session for the Tigers.
According to the Georgia High School Association, the first five practice sessions can only last two hours, and the players can’t wear full pads.
That changes today when teams across the state can begin holding full-contact practices, and they don’t have to adhere to the two-hour time limit.
The Tigers were set to hold their first full-contact practice at 9 a.m. today.
Even though the Tigers weren’t able to hit during the first five days of practice, Kendall said the team still got a lot accomplished.
“We have good pace. We’re getting a lot done,” Kendall said. “And the guys are really getting better at practicing like that.”
While full-contact practices are obviously critical, Kendall said teams can still get a lot done without full pads, as long as they keep the pace up.
“It wasn’t so long ago, you try to do a helmet and shorts type thing, and the mentality of folks was, that’s like Thursday walk-through,” Kendall said. “You need to have the intensity. But you have to practice that to get that.”
The Tigers are continuing to prepare for a season that isn’t far away.
Troup will play a preseason game at Upson-Lee on Aug. 15, and it will open its season on Aug. 29 against LaGrange.
“We’ve got a lot done so far, but we’ve got a long ways to go to get where we need to be,” Kendall said.
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 (ext. 232) or on Twitter @lagrangesports