Published: 11:27 PM, Mon Jul 30, 2012
Terry Sanford Bulldogs work on 'progress' at first football practice
While the rest of the football team at Terry Sanford labors in the baseball outfield, the offensive linemen are by themselves in an isolated area not far from the football stadium.
They run drills through what looks like a plumber's nightmare of pipes designed to force them to stay low to the ground.
Josh McNeill, a senior tackle, has been going through these same drills for five years.
"We have to work through sitting low, work on our punch and stuff like that,'' he said.
Although he and most of the other Bulldogs have been working out most of the summer, the rules of the N.C. High School Athletic Association require on this first official day of practice that they wear helmets, shorts and T-shirts and can't engage in body-to-body contact.
Wouldn't he prefer to get right into the business of full contact?
"Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't,'' he said. "This is good. We're working on progress. Everybody is looking the same, not trying to be different, doing the right thing and going hard every play.''
McNeill feels the Bulldogs are ready to rebound from a disappointing season, and he thinks the offensive line will play a key role in that.
"The key for the line is communication up front,'' he said, "staying low, getting off the ball, going hard every play, every down.''
McNeill said the season is an important one because it will be the last one for some time that the Bulldogs will have a chance at winning a 4-A championship. Beginning in 2013, they will drop down to the 3-A classification.
"We might as well go hard and go as far as we can,'' he said. "Try to get that state championship.''
- Earl Vaughan Jr.