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Prep players defy the heat, resume workouts

July 18, 2010
By L Ausmer of Pass Christian High School

Prep players defy the heat, resume workouts

Formal practice begins July 26

PASS CHRISTIAN - The heat index soared into the high 90s, but that didn't diminish the enthusiasm or competition at the 7-on-7 passing drills at McDonald Stadium on Tuesday morning.

Gulfport bused over to "The Pass'' to work on its passing game against the Pirates. And a spirited drill ensued. Gulfport quarterback Dennis Robertson was showing off a strong arm as were Pass quarterbacks Zack Favre and Devon Evans. Meanwhile Gulfport linebacker Jamison Goins was displaying his speed from sideline to sideline.

While the calendar indicates that official fall practice begins on July 26, reality says that it began two days ago. After a week in which players were restricted from any kind of workouts by the Mississippi High School Activities Association, players began to hit the weights again on Monday and will continue to work out until putting on helmets on July 26.

"Every sport goes through a summer season in June,'' Pass Christian coach Casey Wittmann said. "The kids are pulled in a lot of different directions. What's good is (the week off) gives them a chance to freshen up. And it gives coaches a chance to freshen up.

"Once we start, it will be 2-a-days, then school starts and the busy season kicks in. The week off gives everyone a chance to catch their breath.''

The majority of Coast football coaches will be in Jackson today through Friday for the annual MAC (Mississippi Association of Coaches) Coaches Clinic.

The Pass players meanwhile will get to meet and listen to a talk this morning from Buffalo Bills linebacker Reggie Torbor, a former Auburn star.

Gulfport coach Mike Justice said Tuesday's competition was good, and it was a chance for his defense to improvise on the spot.

"Our kids know their kids and it was a chance to practice against somebody else,'' Justice said. "We both benefit. There were some nice catches, nice throws and no contact.

"We didn't know what they were going to run. They didn't know what we were going to run. We had to make some adjustments.''

The drills are all about pass patterns, timing and playing pass defense. No linemen are involved.

For the Class 4A Pass Pirates, it was an opportunity to test themselves against a 6A power.

"This was a chance for the kids to match their skills against another team, and a chance to bond together as a team,'' Wittmann said. "We have the Southern Miss camp coming up on Monday. I like to play some of the bigger schools. It's a chance for us to match up against some highly-ranked competition.''

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALDDenzel Bradley attempts a diving one hand catch against Gulfport during Seven-on-Seven drills Tuesday morning.-

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALDPass Christian quarterback Devon Evans looks downfield for a receiver during Seven-on-Seven drills against Gulfport Tuesday.-

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALDDeonte Swanier of Pass Christian (left) tries to catch a Devon Evans pass during drills against Gulfport Tuesday morning.-

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALDKadaven Bell cuts upfield after catching a Devon Evans pass during Seven-on-Seven drills against Gulfport Tuesday morning.-

TIM ISBELL/SUN HERALDZack Favre delivers a pass during Seven-on-Seven drills against Gulfport Tuesday morning.-

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