LIVE OAK — With the Suwannee Bulldogs wrapping up their summer workouts this week, they finished on a high note.
Suwannee took part last week in a two-day, 11-team padded camp at Valdosta (Ga.) High School and coach Kyler Hall was pleased with what the Bulldogs showed against high caliber competition.
“The first day was one of our better days throughout the whole summer,” Hall said. “I thought we competed much better than in our first one. I thought our execution was better, effort, just across the board.
“Then we came back the next day, it was early morning and a little sore, and I thought the following day was just as good, if not better. That’s always a good sign when you can follow it up.”
At the camp, the Bulldogs participated with two teams from VHS as well as Tift County (two teams), Camden County, Ware County, Thomasville, Crisp County, Early County and Bacon County from Georgia as well as Gadsden County and Lake Gibson.
The consecutive days also allowed a number of different Bulldogs a chance to see the field. Hall said younger players really had a chance to get in reps on the second day of the camp.
“We kind of made it a priority on the second day to see the young guys,” he said. “It was good all around.
“We came out pretty injury free, just a little sore.”
And when things got a little heated in between teams on the first day of the camp, Hall admitted it was good to see the fight in his Bulldogs. He added it also provides a teaching moment before the season arrives and consequences accompany a mixup.
“As far as the emotion, just not backing down from anybody, it was good to see,” Hall said, noting that players leaving the bench during a mixup in a game or throwing a punch face a six-week suspension. “Sometimes that happens. If that never happens, that might be a problem. But when you see it, part of it is like, ‘Ok. These guys are getting after it.’ Back in June, when we had our first OTA up there, I didn’t see that same fight and emotion up there. So that was part of the improvement, the emotion that you played with.
“And now it’s more of controlling that emotion and using that torch to play between the whistles. I think our kids can do that.”
Now, Hall and the Bulldogs turn their attention and emotions to Monday’s start of fall practice. Hall said the summer means next week isn’t Day 1. Rather, it’s just a continuation of the work already put in.
“Very productive,” he said of the summer. “Just from the weight room and the field work as well as putting stuff in offensively and defensively, I think we’ve made a lot of gains. And that’s something we’ve improved over the years.
“Really next week, we’re going to use it as a recovery week and cleaning some things up as far as installation goes.”