Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

May 13, 2014

Wildcats keep fire burning as practice continues

VALDOSTA — With three days of spring practices for the Valdosta High Wildcats football team complete, the Wildcats' main focus is keeping their energy up at practices.

“We’ve had three great practices but we just weren’t quite as sharp today,” said coach Rance Gillespie. “It’s not that our kids did not give effort or anything like that. I don’t want to portray that at all, because they gave great effort, but it was just a little vibe that wasn’t quite there like it had been for the first three days.”

With a barrage of hard hits, pass deflections and good tackling, the defense was certainly the star of Monday’s practice however. Cornerback Joshua Norwood returned to practice after missing the first practice on Thursday due to a track meet and jumped right back into football mode, covering well in 1-on-1 drills. Linebackers Terrell Roundtree and Tayvon Westley are both showing that they’re ready to become senior leaders on the defense, making nice defensive adjustments before the snap and laying down a few big hits as well.

“We were still pretty physical today. We did some good things, but it feels like we were just missing a little bit of an edge,” said Gillespie.

The “missing edge” that Gillespie was looking for was not achieved by the offense however. With top receiver Alex Cason headed to Marshall in the fall, the remaining wide receivers struggled to catch in traffic on Monday, and were consistently knocked off their routes by the Wildcats defense.

A big focus for the Wildcats this summer will be to find a receiving threat to take over the duties of Cason. That will be hard to do, especially with the third leading receiver from last year’s team, Khalil McClain working at quarterback this spring. Receivers Ricco Ramsey and Kaleb Whitfield are now seniors and will be the first choices to become the new No. 1 receiver.

Working at the quarterback position once again on Monday was McClain, who needed a bit of encouragement from coach Gillespie after a tough practice for him, watching many of his passes get deflected or get dropped. However Gillespie knows that the extra practice time is nothing but good.

“With the baseball guys out, we’re 10 guys down. The positive about that however is we’re able to get a lot of guys in to get more reps that they might not have had gotten a chance to get otherwise. It’s building our depth,” said Gillespie.

The Wildcats have three more practices before they play their annual spring game. Wildcat practice begins today at 4 p.m. and will resume Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. after a day off on Wednesday.

On Saturday, Valdosta Middle school and Valdosta High will combine to showcase their talent from sixth graders all the way up to varsity on Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium. Sixth graders will play at 3:30 p.m. followed by seventh grade at 4 p.m., eighth- and ninth-grade at 5:30 p.m. and lastly the varsity will take the field at 7:30 p.m.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • Blazers to play three games on GSC-TV

    Valdosta State will play three televised games this fall, the Gulf South Conference announced Wednesday as it released its GSC-TV schedule.

    July 31, 2014

  • 2014 World Championships 216 (640x427).jpg Best of the Best

    The students of Performance Martial Arts Academy continue to rack up accolades and after a weekend in Little Rock, Ark., those accolades include the title of world champion.
    Mark Webb and Madison Swain both earned world championships at the American Taekwondo Association's Taekwondo World Championships a few weeks ago. Four other Performance Martial Arts students also competed in the event.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Berrien practice 1a.jpg Moving forward

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Falcons_Ryan.jpg Ryan takes teaching role for Falcons offense

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bridgestone_Tiger.jpg Woods faces 2 big weeks that shape rest of season

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Blazers Blog