Barnwell, Greenwood and Lakeside (Georgia) high schools were all on Tuesday morning's guest list at North Augusta High School, as the Yellow Jackets played host to seven-on-seven football action – "passing league," as the annual summer workouts are known.
Physical contact, such as tackling, is limited during much of the summer, so Tuesday's action was almost entirely focused on passing – how to improve it and how to defend against it. Helmets are used, and pads are not. Several more such sessions are planned for this month.
"A lot of it's timing," said Brian Thomas, returning for his sixth season as North Augusta's head coach. "A lot of it's communication, and just competing. I mean, that's the biggest thing – competing for balls and trying to make plays. I hope we can find a little something out of there as we get closer to the season."
Tuesday's action, all in the Jackets Nest, had each team playing each other team twice
The Jackets' next home seven-on-seven session is to be June 25, with Greenwood as the only confirmed guest so far. July's focus is mainly on workouts, Thomas said.
Tuesday's results were "normal stuff," he added. "We made some mistakes. We made some good plays, too, so hopefully we'll get better."
Among Thomas' troops on duty Tuesday was Bradley Godwin, a rising senior who is looking to serve as quarterback, making the shift from safety. The team's focus at the moment, he said, is on "coming together as a family," with plenty of conditioning in the mix.
Recalling Tuesday's action, he added, "We had a couple of spots that we can fix, of course, but I think we did good overall."
The Jackets are to be in Columbia Friday, taking part in an all-day tournament at Williams-Brice Stadium with teams from around the state.
Dates looming large on the horizon include Aug. 2 (first practice – "helmets only"), Aug. 5 (helmets and shoulder pads), Aug. 7 (full gear) and Aug. 8 (first scrimmage).
The first games of the season are to be Aug. 23, and the Jackets will be on the road, to face Thomson, in Georgia. The home opener is set for Aug. 30 versus Evans.