He encourages his players to give it their best effort, but he doesn’t come up with game plans designed specifically for a seven-on-seven game, even if that means some other teams will have the advantage.
Branch said the focus of seven-on-seven passing camps, and everything else during the summer, is to prepare for the season.
“We run our plays,” Branch said. “We don’t create plays. We don’t make up a new offense. We run what we run during the season on offense and defense.”
The Grangers are taking advantage of the seven-on-seven format this summer, though.
Earlier this month, they competed in a seven-on-seven tournament at the University of Georgia, and on Monday, they’ll take on East Coweta at Granger Park at 6 p.m.
In July, shortly before the start of preseason practice, LaGrange will participate in a seven-on-seven tournament in Carrollton.
Still, as valuable as the seven-on-sevens can be, Branch said they bear little resemblance to an actual football game.
“It’s not like real football,” he said. “They’ve got three receivers over here, and two over here and no backs. A guy stands back there about 10 minutes waiting to throw the ball. They run plays they don’t really run in a game like a 1-yard pass right over the middle.”
Branch said his players did a lot of good things at the Georgia seven-on-seven tournament, particularly on the offensive end.
“I thought we weren’t very good on defense. Offensively, we were pretty good,” Branch said. “We did a lot of scoring, and we scored with a lot of people. We were able to throw and catch it with two groups. I thought offensively we showed a lot of promise. Defensively, we were really confused.”
Branch did add that the defensive players made strides the more they became accustomed to the format.
“By the end of the day we were playing much better,” Branch said.
Outside of the seven-on-sevens and the various camps the players are participating in, Branch said “the kids are doing a good job in the weight room.”
The Grangers will continue with their offseason program before taking a Georgia High School Association-mandated week off the week of July 4th.
High-school teams aren’t allowed to participate in any organized activities during the called dead week.
After that, it’ll be full-steam ahead, leading up to the start of preseason practice later in the month.
“We kind of turn it up a notch after dead week,” Branch said. “(The week off) is good for everybody, and then we’ll kind of hit it hard.”
LaGrange will visit Valley (Ala.) for a preseason scrimmage on Aug. 17 before opening the season on Aug. 31 at Newnan.