LAURINBURG — Three practices and one 7-on-7 drill was all she wrote for the Fighting Scots before progress was stalled again by a mandatory dead period.
Scotland traveled to Southern Pines on Tuesday to participate in Pinecrest’s 7-on-7, where they went against Southern Lee, Terry Sanford and Lee County — teams the Scots won’t play during the upcoming regular season.
“I kind of like that. The less you go against teams you know, the less they can scout you and less chance of them knowing your plays,” said head coach Richard Bailey, “not that I’m paranoid because, by the time we play our conference opponents we’ve seen three or four films on them. I doubt we’re giving away any trade secrets during 7-on-7.”
Bailey said his offense and defense improved as the drills went on, but had to shake off the rust following 10 days off.
“It was not as good as we did at Hoggard because, after 10 days off, the boys had forgot half of what we did,” he said. “We did some good things and had good moments. Defensively we got better as it went on, but we had some rough patches where we had a lot of mental breakdowns.”
The secondary is struggling a bit with the new defensive coverages Bailey is throwing at them. He’s hoping repetition over the next several weeks of practice will help the defense — after another 10 days off.
“We don’t have everyone doing their job and most of it is the mental part,” Bailey said. “It’s like learning anything — everyone learns in their own way and at their own pace. Hopefully with reps, just like in the classroom, some kids pick things up quickly, others need to see it and others need it to be repeated a thousand times.”
The Fighting Scots have one final practice today before they are off for another 10 days due to the second mandatory NCHSAA dead period.
Following the dead period, the Scots will have two regular practices before two days of varsity mini-camp on July 25-26 before the 2018 season officially kicks off with the first day of practice on July 30.
“We have mini camp, which will be two days of rigorous practice, then we give them a long weekend before it starts for real on Monday, July 30,” Bailey said.
The Scots are practicing in the evenings to help accommodate some of the assistant coaches who are taking summer classes. Bailey also hopes the later time will draw more players to come out.
For the summer workouts, there has been an average of 85 players each day, according to Bailey. On the first official day he expects that number to increase to between 110 and 120.
“Even with a small senior class, we’ve had a pretty good freshman group showing up consistently between 35-40,” he said. “We’ve also had 55 to 60 varsity/returning players coming out on a regular basis.”
Practices will be from 6 to 9 p.m. each day until Aug. 8 when the Scots travel to Cape Fear for a scrimmage with Pine Forest. On Aug. 9, Scotland will travel to Lumberton for a scrimmage with Dillon at 8 p.m.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]