PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Many high school football teams around the Panhandle will play under the lights two weeks from now, but the Holmes County football team will be getting things going a little earlier as they play on Friday night in an officials scrimmage at Cottondale.
“They are gonna be ready. I know Coach Griff has got a good bunch so it’s gonna be a good test for us to go out and play against a live opponent two weeks into practice, to get us ready and we still have two more weeks before the real game one. I think reps especially for our bunch is invaluable right now,” Holmes County head coach Jeff Lee said.
The Blue Devils have been working hard this offseason, rallying behind their motto, G.A.T.A., which stands for “get after them aggressively.”
“We’re tough. I think we’re gonna be tough. We got stronger, we got bigger this year, we got faster it’s always good when you got a little speed. Everyone is sleeping on us a little bit, but I think we’re gonna have a good season,” Holmes County quarterback Colby Jones said.
Part of that physical change can be attributed to a different practice plan.
The team has been doing some early morning practices to start off fall camp with some weight room work at the start of them.
“We’ve changed our though process on practice and we started back in the spring and the result there was really good, the kids were fresh and you have to suck it up as a coach though and say it’s not about me, it’s about them,” Lee said.
That change in practice schedule showed up during the spring game too. Even though 15 players were not able to play in it, the rest of the team still managed to shut out Vernon.
“What it’s done is build our depth, and we notice now, some of the guys who started that game are backups now, but their experience level they got and the reps they got, you can’t trade that in, it was unbelievable in that game,” Lee said.
With the depth of their team, the hard work and good attitude, Holmes County has the ingredients for a pretty good season and their goal for it is simple.
“I just wanna play every game as hard as we can, I just wanna be somebody to compete with, I just don’t wanna be pushed over,” Holmes County wide receiver and defensive back Jake Riley said.
The squad said they feel ready to take on Bozeman in the officials scrimmage at Cottondale on Friday night and hope their fans are too.
“Expect a lot of younger players to get a lot of playing time. We got a group. Expect some good games, a lot of good games, we’re gonna GATA some. That’s about it,” Holmes County left tackle Tyson Shores said.
The Blue Devils take on North Bay Haven in week one of their season on August 27.