VALDOSTA –– Lowndes football is still seven weeks away from their first regular season game of the season.
But you wouldn’t be able to tell from the intensity of the Vikes this summer.
Wednesday was the second time that they’ve faced the Brooks County Trojans in 7-on-7 competition this summer.
The Vikings defense shined in the competition, rarely allowing any substantial gains for the Trojans.
The Vikes offense had a rougher time, with several routes overthrown or missed, but that’s expected in the summer.
Overall, the message has remained the same for the Vikes: Keep improving.
“Don’t stand still,” head coach Randy McPherson said on the message to players. “Continue to try to get better, faster, stronger. In the weight room. Just not to get complacent and satisfied.”
It’s difficult for the Vikings to get complacent because they face new competition every week—similar to during the season.
In the coming weeks the team will have a 7-on-7 scrimmage against Thomasville before hosting hame-and-home joint practices with Lee County.
The constant renewal of non-teammate competition keeps the Vikes on their toes.
It also helps that the Vikings are returning so many players. No player stands out because they all know how to let each other shine and celebrate each other.
“They work well together, they respect each other and they appear to really play for each other,” McPherson said. “Defensively everybody has gotten better. It’d be hard for me to single just one guy. I think the ring leader on the back of the defense is Shawn Martin. He’s got a lot of leadership qualities. Josh Brown at corner has had a really good summer. (Tyler) Belchar at the other corner. Then there’s the two saftey’s (Brandon) Brown and (T.J.) Quinn have really been getting better. It’s a defense where really the only kid we lost was Jamri Hill. Other than Hill graduating they’re all back. So that’s kind of the bright spot so far.”
With time winding down before the end of summer, the Vikings offense took the opportunity put in extra work after the scrimmage.
Quarterback Jaccuri Brown and Lowndes’ receivers worked on techniques and catching drills.
Senior Cornelius Wright was among those receivers and was a bright spot for the Vikes offense during the scrimmage.
There was a route where Wright made a sharp cut and caught the ball after ghosting the corner that was covering him. A few plays later Wright caught a pass on the back of the Brooks’ defender and wrestled him to the ground in what would’ve been called a touchdown in a live game.
In both scenarios Wright celebrated with his teammates as if he’d made the game-winning play in the state championship.
To Wright, he’s just trying to lift everyone’s spirits.
“I just like having fun and turning my team up. Just having fun,” Wright said on his animated personality. “Sometimes everybody has a bad day. I just like to bring everybody up.”
Wright and the rest of the Vikings will continue through the summer schedule with workouts today before having three days off for the weekend.