Pam Pack gets back to work|Washington football team holds official practice

Published 8:11 am Tuesday, August 3, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
It’s that time of year again.
For the seventh straight summer Washington coach Sport Sawyer will lead the Pam Pack football team into a month-long training camp that will prepare the crew for its 12-game regular season schedule and beyond.
Sawyer estimated that between the JV and varsity teams the Pam Pack had 70 athletes come out for its first official practice of the year. That number may be down a few kids from previous years, but the spirits were still high as the team worked out Monday morning.
“I think it went real well,” Sawyer said. “We worked with the JV offense and the varsity defense most of the day. I think the guys were really focused and we had a really good practice.”
In the past, Sawyer has ran his practices late in the afternoon, but in an effort to beat the heat, the Pack coach started the 2010 campaign at 7 a.m. yesterday.
Sawyer said the morning session worked well and could be something he would do in again in the future.
“I think it worked good,” Sawyer said. “We’d been going at eight in the morning all summer so it wasn’t much of a change for them.”
Leading up to Monday Sawyer worked with the skill position player on offense and the back seven on defense extensively throughout the summer as they participated in a 7-on-7 passing league. The league helped advance the players’ conditioning as well as their skills, however, Sawyer noted that practice doesn’t truly begin until they put the pads on.
“I think they are ready to get a little scrimmaging and hitting in,” Sawyer said. “In the summer you kind of do the same things over and over. Next Monday we’ll start hitting and then we’ll see what we are made of.”
Washington, who finished last season with a 6-6 record and a first round loss to Western Alamance in the 3-A playoffs, lost some key players on both sides of the ball such as Cole Hartley and Tony Turnage from last year’s team. However, Sawyer and his staff have plenty of returning players they can lean on this season.
“Marquin Hill (FB/LB), William Ellegor (RB/DB), Kevin Chapman (OL/DL), Johnny Broadway (TE/QB/S), Darnell Windley (DB) are a few key returning guys we will count on,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer, along with defensive coordinator John Blank, receivers coach Larry Walker, defensive backs coach Wayne Flint, offensive line coach Jim Jones, JV head coach Scott Dills and JV offensive coordinator Steve Flowers will spend most of this week trying to get the players familiar with the playbook, before the team dons pads on Aug. 9.
“This week we want to get a lot of the offense in so that when we start hitting we can go ahead and run some plays,” Sawyer said. “I’ve seen it for years, you have people that you think can play, but when you start hitting it’s a different story.”
Pam Pack football 101
Washington High School will be holding an introductory football seminar on Friday at 8 p.m. for any parent or fan interested in attending. The seminar is free and will go over some of the basic rules of football.
“We got the idea from ECU,” Washington football coach Sport Sawyer said. “It’s a fun way to answer some of the basic questions any parent might have about football.”
After the 45 minutes “Chalk Talk” session in the Washington High School gym, the attendees will be invited to J.G. “Choppy” Wagner stadium to watch the Pam Pack practice. (WDN)