Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 5, 2014

Blazers looking for more consistency

VALDOSTA — Through their first eight spring practices, the Valdosta State Blazers have shown glimpses.

And the lack of intensity as last week wound down is a thing of the past.

Still, when the Blazers hit the practice field at 9 a.m. today for their second scrimmage, coach David Dean is still hoping to see a little more.

“More consistency and we’re always coaching effort,” Dean said, as VSU will then have just four more practices prior to the Blazers’ spring game  at 10 a.m. April 12.

“Flying to the ball on defense and finishing off blocks on offense, finishing off plays whether it be routes or catches or whatever.

“We’re going to be grading that very hard when we go look at the film on Sunday.”

Before they get there, though, Dean is hopeful they can get more consistent. Other than that, he has been pleased with the playmaking abilities shown by both the offensive and defensive units during the spring period. That ability was flashed during Monday’s scrimmage as well.

“We had some positive things offensive and some positive things defensively, which is good to see because one side of the ball didn’t dominate the scrimmage,” he said. “I think we had a lot of guys on both sides of the ball make some plays. But I think we’re still lacking a little bit of consistency. We have guys making plays but not every single time.

“But we’re still in the learning process. That’s why we practice.”

One area the Blazers weren’t consistent during Friday’s eighth practice was hauling in passes, as coaches mentioned drops repeatedly during the workout. However, that wasn’t an issue for junior college transfer Shane Henderson. The former Hancock College standout, who signed with the Blazers this spring and is in his first semester at VSU, routinely caught anything close to him.

“He’s got good hands and he’s doing very well,” Dean said. “He’s one of those that works hard and wants to get better.”

That followed a disappointing ending to the Blazers’ first week of practice where they were on the field six straight days to open the spring. While expected, Dean still wasn’t happy with the loss of enthusiasm during that time. But since the first scrimmage, along with a couple days off since, that hasn’t been a problem again.

“I realize they were a little fatigued and they’re not used to that kind of workout,” he added. “You can go in the weightroom and lift all you want, but when you come out here pounding on each other and running for two hours, it gets kind of difficult.

“I understand that but you still like to see those guys’ effort. But this week, we’ve had great effort.”

Banged-up Blazer

Sophomore defensive end John Gray went down near the end of practice during 11-on-11 drills with an apparent right knee injury. The former Colquitt County standout, who is 6-foot and 258 pounds, was helped off the field as the Blazers finished practice moments later.

Dean said the status of Gray’s knee won’t be known until after tests are ran.

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • 150723-Lowndes_Brooks5.jpg Winding Down

    In its final 7-on-7 test of the summer, Randy McPherson was pleased with how the Lowndes football team looked Wednesday morning.
    Brooks County coach Maurice Freeman, on the other hand, was worried about the kind of hole the Trojans would have dug for themselves at Martin Stadium against the Vikings and Lafayette (Fla.) had it been a real game.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Grable signs with Tampa Bay

    Another former Valdosta State football player joined the ranks of the National Football League when linebacker Jeremy Grable signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

    July 23, 2014

  • MaryAlice.jpg Just Keep Running

    Forrest Gump once said, "I used to run to get to where I was going, but I never thought it would take me anywhere." In the case of 18 year-old Mary Alice Smoot, anywhere is Tampa, Fla.
    After four years of unparalleled success running cross-country at Valwood, Smoot will continue running competitively next season at the University of Tampa.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 10U ELITE World Series Champs.jpg DKSA Elite win USSSA Global World Series

    DKSA ELITE just continues to win, the 10U team’s latest victory came in the USSSA Global World Series held in Destin, Fla. July 8-12.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowndes_McPherson.jpg Milestones on tap for upcoming season

    Some milestones are destined to occur, like when Georgia Christian hosts David Emanuel on Aug. 22 in the Generals’ first varsity football game since the late 1960s.
    Others will have to wait and see what continues to take shape come Friday when teams can begin fall practice, and especially Aug. 1 when teams can suit up in pads for the first time, such as can Valdosta win its record 24th state title, or can Lowndes capture its fourth state championship under Randy McPherson, or can Valwood and coach Ashley Henderson play in its third straight GISA state championship game?
    As we start to find out the answers to those questions in just a few short weeks — the regular season is just 31 days away — there should be a few more milestones for area coaches to mark 2014 right along with the Generals getting back on the gridiron.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Jimbo.jpg Back on top

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • ACC_Petrino.jpg Petrino returns to Louisville for first ACC season

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Braves_Marlins JUpton.jpg Jones lifts Marlins past Braves in 10

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ant Smith.JPG Anthony Smith ready for new test in college

    Smith was a three-year starter as a Wildcat and quickly worked his way up as a leader on both the defense and the team as a whole.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • Wildcats participate in national 7-on-7 tournament

    The Valdosta High Wildcats have been working extremely hard this summer to prepare for the football season. Summer workouts and a plethora of 7-on-7 tournaments and competitions have kept the Wildcats busy.

    July 20, 2014

Blazers Blog
More