The dog days of August are winding down for the South Effingham Mustangs football team.
The Mustangs will cap three weeks of preseason practice tonight with a 7:30 scrimmage against the Screven County Gamecocks at The Corral.
And it can’t come soon enough for the Mustangs, either.
“We’re kind of tired of banging up against ourselves all the time,” Mustangs coach Greg Manior said. “We’re interested to see how our guys execute against some good athletes at Screven and whether we can hang with them or not. We’re kind of anxious to see what we can do.”
Though the 2008 Mustangs will be younger than in years past, Manior will have some experience to draw upon from his players. With the number of returning players who either started or came in off the bench.
“We don’t have as many seniors, but we have a lot of guys who played a bunch of snaps last year,” Manior said. “They know the fundamentals of our offense and defense. We’re farther along than we were at this time last year.”
But there are still some starting spots up for grabs among the Mustangs, especially right along the line of scrimmage, where graduation hit the team hard.
“We still got some spots on the offensive line and defensive front,” Manior said. “In this scrimmage, we’re looking for execution and for guys getting after it. It’s a total team thing we’re looking at, who can make the block, who can make the tackle.”
Without the benefit of two-a-days, Manior and his staff stretched their initial week of practices to late in the evening to get in more teaching time with their players.
“I had to apologize to some of my parents,” he said. “For the first eight days of school, we practiced til 8 or 9 o’clock. We got about four and a half hours of teaching on the field. We made the necessary adjustments.”