Valdosta Daily Times

Top Sports News

March 27, 2014

Back to work

Blazers enthusiastic as they open spring practice

VALDOSTA — Perhaps it was the sunshine and beautiful weather Wednesday afternoon. Or maybe it was the opportunity to officially put 2013 behind them.

But whatever the reason, the Valdosta State football team was excited to be back on the practice field Wednesday as the Blazers opened up spring practice.

“It’s fun to be back out here and seeing everybody running around,” sophomore quarterback Kaleb Nobles said. “It’s fun to see everybody get going.

“It’s fun to get out here and see how much work we’ve been putting in, how much progress we’ve made.”

VSU coach David Dean agreed with his signalcaller, pleased with the enthusiasm the Blazers showed on the first day. However, Dean is also curious to see if the excitement level sticks around once the Blazers get further into the 14-practice spring period.

“It feels great,” he said. “It feels good. It’s been a long time since we’ve been out here on this practice field. I thought we had a lot of enthusiasm out here today, which I was glad to see.

“I think our players were excited to get back out here, and obviously the weather has a lot to do with that too. It was a nice sunny day. And I think our guys were excited about getting to practice and get started all over again.”

That will pick up quickly as VSU will be on the field the next five days before getting a day off Tuesday. The Blazers conclude the spring period with their spring game April 12.

Before they get their, though, Valdosta State has a lot of work to do, including installation. That will also be welcomed.

“There’s not a whole lot of thinking because everything you’re putting in is kind of base,” Dean said. “You’re putting in basically the foundation of everything you’re doing.

“By about day four or day five, when you basically have everything in and everybody is moving around, that’s when it gets a little different. The concentration level is what I’m interested to see and the retention level of our guys, being able to handle that over a four- or five-day period, that’s what I’m looking forward to seeing. If we can maintain this enthusiasm level through that period and be able to think and do all those things.”

While getting a fresh start, the Blazers are pushed by the disappointment of a year ago. There, the defending Division II national champions finished 6-4 and sitting at home during the postseason.

“Just not to settle for anything,” sophomore defensive back and former Lowndes standout Kenny Moore said about the motivation provided by last year. “Make every opportunity count.”

Added Nobles: “It was awfully disappointing last year. A lot of guys have that chip on their shoulder that we went under our standards last year.”

That is a welcomed sound to Dean’s ears too.

“Hopefully that does motivate them,” he said. “To experience what we got to experience in 2012 and then not making the playoffs, it’s a huge letdown.

“When we recruited these guys, that’s what we put in front of them that the expectation is to be good every year. We didn’t make those expectations, and we know that.”

Still winning a national championship wasn’t the objective on the first day of spring.

“We’re not trying to win the national championship right now, though,” Nobles said. “That’s the goal, that’s the ultimate goal. But we’re not going to win it right now. We’re going to win it in December.

“So we’re working on it every day, focusing on little tasks to make sure guys know their jobs. And if we do that and get better every day, everything will fall in line.”

1
Text Only
Top Sports News
  • Valwood.jpg A Different Look

    With football summer workouts in full swing, occasionally the intensity and competitive drive can wane going against teammates. But on Friday, Valwood, Brookwood, Lanier County and Tiftarea Academy broke up the monotony by meeting at Goddard Field for a four-team, 7-on-7 passing league.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • pilcher.jpg Berrien competes in 6-team passing camp

    If Ed Pilcher had his way, Berrien High would never throw the football.
    But that doesn't mean the veteran coach doesn't enjoy the opportunity that a passing league, or the six-team passing camp at Cairo on Thursday morning, can provide his Rebels.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bubba Walker promoted to defensive coordinator

    Valdosta State Linebacker Coach Bubba Walker has been promoted to fill the open posiiton of defensive coordinator for the Blazer football team according to an announcement made by VSU Head Coach David Dean Thursday.

    July 18, 2014

  • Albritton wins NCAA Elite 89

    Courtney Albritton's tremendous 2013-2014 season earned her one more award Thursday night when the Valdosta State softball star won the NCAA's Favorite Elite 89 Winner contest by securing the more votes than any other student-athlete.

    July 17, 2014

  • Justin Roper named Valdosta State quarterbacks coach

    Valdosta State’s hirin of Justin Roper as quarterbacks coach, previously reported by The Times, was officially announced by the school and Blazer head football coach David Dean on Wednesday.

    July 17, 2014

  • Lowndes_Tville 2.jpg Sneak Preview

    Fall practice doesn’t start for another eight days.
    Still, Lowndes High and Thomasville High got a sneak preview of what Friday nights will look like Wednesday morning at Martin Stadium.

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • LeBron: I'm coming back to Cleveland

    Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

    July 11, 2014

  • Div II Championship F_Rodg(11).jpg Beyond Sports Network releases 2014 preseason All-GSC football team

    Football season is right around the corner; exactly 57 days from now Valdosta State set to open its season at home against Albany State, but fans were able to satisfy his or her football withdraws on Tuesday when Beyond Sports Network released its Gulf South Conference preseason All-Conference team.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • VHS_passing1.jpg Rounding into Form

    With the National Select 7-on-7 qualifier looming Friday, Valdosta High School is hoping to be rounding into form.

    July 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • Valdosta5K2.jpg Let Freedom Run

    Fireworks and family barbecues have become the common way for Americans to celebrate the day the United States separated from England, but over the past nine years citizens of Valdosta have developed another Independence Day tradition: the annual Valdosta 5K.

    July 5, 2014 3 Photos

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results