VALDOSTA -- Today's football quiz. What team is practicing from dawn to dusk this week at Valdosta State's North Campus field?

Is it:

a) Valdosta State

b) Atlanta Falcons

c) Colquitt County High School

The answer? C. For the third-straight preseason, Colquitt County High School's football team has traveled down to Valdosta for its week of football camp. The Packers are living on the Valdosta State campus and practicing four times a day on the North Campus intramural fields.

This begins a busy time for football at North Campus. When Colquitt County leaves Friday, Ware County High takes over on Saturday. Valdosta State begins practice Aug. 10.

"The folks at Valdosta State are awful good to us," said third-year Colquitt County head coach Mike Singletary. "The folks here act like they want us here, and that's not always the case with colleges. Nowadays colleges seem less and less willing for us to use their facilities.

"Valdosta State works with us. They make sure we have everything we need. We'll continue to come here as long as we're welcome."

As are the high school football practices on both sides of town, Packer practices are a popular place for their fans. At the 7:30 p.m. scrimmage, CCHS fans have lined much of a sideline to watch.

"Our folks will come down like that every night," Singletary said.

This is the first of four weeks of practice before game-week preparations (CCHS opens Aug. 30 with Bainbridge), and that's changed the meaning of camp week.

"We'll condition less because it's too early to get them in game condition," said Singletary. "We'll spend more time on teaching."

It also continues a long stretch of football, which began in late June with weightlifting and conditioning and could last until just days before Christmas with the state championship game.

"We're asking more and more of the kids," Singletary said. "That's a long time for a teenager. It makes for a long season."

Not to mention the recent changes in the school calendar. At CCHS, classes begin Aug. 9.

"If we do a camp situation, we have to do it now because school starts next week," Singletary said.

The Packers are coming off an 8-3 season, losing to Valdosta and Lowndes in the regular season and Macon Westside in the first round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.

CCHS brought 96 players to camp, including 25 seniors and 25 freshmen. Tops on the Packers' wish list, Singletary said, are finding defensive backs and wide receivers.

"We've only got one guy back from last year who played in the secondary," Singletary said. "And in our region, the one thing you can't be is one-dimensional. You have to be able to throw the football, so we're going to have to find people to throw it to.

"We've got a quarterback (Montgomery Slaughter) that can get it done, we've just got to find some people to catch it."

Colquitt County returns to Valdosta Oct. 18 to play at Lowndes. The Packers host Valdosta in Moultrie on Nov. 8.



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