Youth is ruling the day during Effingham County High School’s spring football practice.
The Rebels have 142 players out for the two weeks of spring workouts. Eighty-eight of them are rising freshmen or sophomores.
Getting them used to the intensity of a high school football practice is the first task.
“When you go from one level to the next, it’s a little faster pace,” Rebels coach Jack Webb said, “from rec ball to middle school, from middle school to high school, from high school to college and then college to pros. It’s a good two weeks to get them used to 15 to 16 weeks of high school football in the fall, and hopefully longer.”
But Webb and his staff aren’t overwhelming their younger players right off the bat.
“They’re still learning, so we’re bringing them along slowly,” he said. “We’ll give them a few more reps as they learn more. It’s been kinda slow because we’ve done a lot of teaching.”
The spring practice is more than just a chance to see what the future of the Rebels holds. The Rebels coaches also have some big holes to fill in the varsity ranks.
“We’re trying to find some offensive lineman,” Webb said, noting the Rebels are losing three linemen and two offensive backs to graduation. “We’ve got a lot of things to do there.”
With the huge numbers of young players out, it’s no wonder Webb is glad to have the allotted two weeks.
“I think it’s good,” he said. “You find some coaches have it and wish we had more than two weeks, and some think it’s a necessary evil.”