Dead period underway

Published 2:42 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This week is what is commonly referred to each year as a dead period for Georgia high school football teams.

The designation is given to the July 4 holiday week by the Georgia High School Association.

Coach Ed Pilcher’s Bainbridge High School Bearcats or any other Georgia High School Association team are not able to do anything in the weight room or on the field during the week.

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The Bearcats concluded their work in the weight room and on the practice field in shorts Friday, July 2, and will return to work Monday, July 12.

In their on the field work, the Bearcats have been working on agility and speed drills while the quarterbacks and receivers have been doing some throwing and catching.

The Bearcats have two solid returning quarterbacks in senior Rohan Gaines and junior Steven Bench.

While the Bearcats don’t do a lot of throwing in their split-back veer offense, the receivers are usually open when they do.

Gaines and Bench both did a good job running the offense in the spring.

Depending on how the defense reacts, a split-back veer quarterback must decide on one of three options on any given play.

He can keep the ball himself, hand it off or pitch it out to a running back, or drop back and pass.

Coach Pilcher likes to describe the split-back veer as a high-risk, high-reward offense, and that is exactly what it is.

He points out that if the offensive line does its job and the quarterback reads the defense correctly, it can yield some big plays.

Before he came to Bainbridge, Pilcher’s Thomas County Central High School Yellow Jackets won five state championships in the split-back veer.

Leonard Guyton, who quarterbacked two of those Central state championship teams, is the Bearcats offensive coordinator.

Execution by the offensive line is the key to any offense working effectively. There are some good veterans returning along the offensive line. They include three veterans, senior Jim Griffin, senior Timmy McConnell and junior Blair Nix,

The foundation of a season is laid during spring practice, and the Bearcats had a good one.

The importance of having fast paced workouts is probably the thing Pilcher emphasizes most in the spring.

While he gives them frequent water breaks, the Bearcats pace is very fast while they are on the field in the spring.

Their fast workout pace in the spring, coupled with their dedicated work in the weight room and on the practice field in the off season, keeps the Bearcats in great shape and ready to play hard all four quarters when the season rolls around.

I’m not going to make any predictions for the season, but after watching Pilcher prepare a team during three consecutive springs, I will guarantee you that no team the Bearcats play will be in better shape than they are.