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
  • 0728-Lowndes practice4.jpg Vikings working out with padded practice, scrimmage on the horizon

    The look was familiar Monday at Martin Stadium.
    The Lowndes High football team’s conditioning practice was essentially a duplicate of the workouts the Vikings have completed throughout the summer.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thomasville_Ryals.jpg South Georgia special for high school coaches

    Phillip Johnson remembers when he had a “Wizard of Oz” moment.
    The North Carolina native moved to Georgia when he was 26 and Johnson, now Lanier County’s second-year head coach, recalls a 7-on-7 tournament leading to the realization that he wasn’t in Kansas — or in his case, North Carolina — anymore.
     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nolin settling in as new VSU soccer coach

    Meet Rebecca Nolin, VSU's new soccer coach.

    July 28, 2014

  • Induction Crowd: Honorees were genuine, down to earth

    More than 48,000 people gathered under the scorching sun at The Clark Sports Center for the 75th National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Sunday, including one woman who carpooled to the event with more than 40 other people.

    July 28, 2014

  • Braves trio all business at inductions

    The Braves seemed almost businesslike in their approach -- something you might expect from a trio that won so consistently.
    Managers Joe Torre and Tony La Russa also remained calm and collected throughout their addresses.
    Frank Thomas took care of the emotional side, his voice breaking and his eyes moist during a heartfelt speech Sunday at the Clark Sports Center.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • Cooperstown Merchants: Weekend was a success

    Cooperstown merchants are elated about the exceptionally prosperous Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, several storekeepers said Sunday.

    During an afternoon lull in business, when the National Baseball Hall of Fame's induction ceremony was taking place, area shop and restaurant owners took a quick breath, reflected and expressed satisfaction with their sales for the weekend.
     

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall of Famers thank fathers for stepping up to the plate

    Great ballplayers thanking their dads at a Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is about as original as oil and vinegar are to an Italian restaurant.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hall_Maddux.jpg Hall of Braves

    The weird part was that Jeff Idelson didn't take a lot of time to answer.
    "Is there any word or description that unifies this class?" was the query posed to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's president.
    "The common thread among the six is profound humility," Idelson said of former managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, and former players Frank Thomas, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, all of whom will be inducted into the Hall today. "I don't think I realized that fully until I spent time with them in December. It was uncanny to me, for the cumulative star power in that group, the humility among them. I think that's felt really strongly with baseball fans."

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • Hall_Cox.jpg Cox’s willingness to defend players stands out to local coaches

    Bobby Cox will be able to add Hall of Famer to his resume when he is inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame today in Cooperstown, N.Y.
    But the former Atlanta Braves manager’s legacy will remain the same to area baseball coaches: his willingness to defend his players.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Valwood_Henderson.jpg Area teams hoping to get over the hump

    Past successes lead to present and future expectations.
    That’s the task faced by pretty much all 12 area high school football coaches present Saturday at In The Game Magazine’s South Georgia Football media day at the Holiday Inn conference center.
    It’s a task that also has the elite group searching for answers as to how to get past the state championship road block in recent years, aside from Valwood’s GISA Class AA crown in 2012.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Blazers Blog
More