LAURINBURG — As the calendar flips to June the Fighting Scots football team has two weeks before they return to practice.
The program will graduate 32 seniors next Saturday and will look rebuild with a crop of underclassmen and eight seniors.
“The week after graduation is a down time. We’ll have an organizational meeting then we start practice June 18,” Bailey said.
The team will lift in the morning followed by an hour and a half practice. The schedule will repeat on June 19, with the addition of a trip to Pembroke for 7-on-7 drills against Purnell Swett at 6 p.m.
In the past, Bailey has stated that 7-on-7 drills are not necessarily indicative of what the Scots offense is going to look like on Fridays in the fall.
“It’s hard to really get a true evaluation with 7-on-7. We’re never going to look so good in the 7-on-7 match ups, that’s not really what we do,” he said.
With the addition of new offensive coordinator Matthew Barrett from the collegiate ranks, the Scots offense will lean more on the run-pass option than it has in previous years, according to Bailey.
On the defensive side, the Scots are still looking for four guys to play secondary. The last several seasons the Scots secondary has been the “weak link.”
“It’s really been that way the last couple of years,” he said. “We’ve had some individually good performances, but collectively we haven’t had a great unit. We were scoring so much that it was offset, I don’t know if we’re going to score at that level.”
Scotland’s offense averaged 48.6 points per game last season, but were allowing opponents to score an average of 27.7 points per game.
“We won’t have the offensive line we’ve had. We’re going to have to play great defense and make people throw it because of our front seven, but when they throw it we have to be able to defend it,” Bailey said.
The Scots begin BCS team competition, where players were divided into eight teams and pitted against each other in various speed and skills drills, on June 20. The team competitions are held every Wednesday during summer practices.
Coach Bailey and his staff keep score throughout the team competitions to determine the rankings for the BCS Championship.
On June 21, the Scots head across the state line to Dillon High School for their second 7-on-7. Scotland will travel to Wilmington on June 27 to participate in an all-day 7-on-7 camp at Hoggard.
“We have the dead period the first week in July, then we have a dead period the third week of July,” said Bailey. “It kinda sucks because we get the kids in shape then they have a week off.”
The Scots will close out summer practices with a varsity mini-camp on July 25-26. Dates for those have not been released.
The first official day of practice for the 2018 season begins July 30 from 6 to 9 p.m. as players and coaches try to avoid the heat of mid-day.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]