Competition is what’s on the mind of the Carrollton High School football team during the early stages of summer, and it is set to get a fair share of it over the next few weeks.
Sean Calhoun and his Trojans began their summer camp tour this week at nearby Redding Field, participating in a two-day OTA on Wednesday and Thursday with host Bremen, Troup and Rockmart.
Knowing how the camp would benefit his ballclub, the third-year CHS head coach jumped all over the opportunity to have his guys put their pads on and go face-to-face with talented neighboring schools.
“When (Bremen) coach (Davis) Russell hit me up about it back in January, it was a no-brainer because I knew that he was going to do a fantastic job and the kids were going to be focused and physical,” Calhoun said. (Troup) coach (Tanner) Glisson does a tremendous job with all of his athletes and then (Rockmart) coach (Biff) Parson does a fantastic job with that Wing-T, which we needed to see. These are three quality programs with great players and coaches that know what they’re doing, so it’s an invaluable experience for our kids.”
Going into the OTA, the Trojan head man and his troops were ecstatic about the opportunity to simply get back out on the field and put their pads on someone else.
You can scrimmage against each other a countless amount of times, but nothing beats proving yourselves against other teams.
“Our guys were excited. Even though it hasn’t been that long, spring feels like it was a long time ago. So having the ability to put the pads back on and hit a little bit is always good,” Calhoun said. “Everybody gets amped up a little bit more when the guy across from you is from a different school. You always want competition and you can only do that to a certain level in practice with your own team. Just being able to do competition with somebody else is such a great tool.”
Calhoun further expounded upon the importance of his players being exposed to one different scheme after another during the two days at Bremen, a fact of life they will have to get used to during the week-to-week grind of the fall.
“It’s great to get teams together that are not all the same,” Calhoun noted. “Bremen’s doing some good, unbalanced offensive stuff. Troup excels at the QB-run and throw and then you’ve got the Wing-T from Rockmart. Then from an offensive standpoint, you’re seeing all kinds of different defenses for the very first time. It boils down to us just getting all types of different competition this early in the summer and it’s outstanding.”
Bremen’s camp was just the beginning of a busy three-week period for Carrollton as some of its summer stops include a padded OTA with Milton, a trip to Auburn for a team camp, the Corky Kell 7-on-7 Invitational Tournament in Roswell on June 15 and the Adidas 7-on-7 showcase at McEachern High School in Powder Springs at the end of the month.
“The OTAs, padded camps and 7-on-7s all come down to who’s going to compete, who can be coachable and who can learn on the fly,” Calhoun said. “We haven’t schemed up any of these teams, so we’re going to see kids get thrusted into some adverse situations and you can’t always do that in practice. So we’re looking for who’s going to step up to the occasion and who’s going to make some plays.”
For the days in between when they’re not competing, it will be business as usual for the Trojans as they continue their steady build toward the fall.
“When we’re not doing those camps, we’ll be focused on our weight room and conditioning,” Calhoun said. “We want to hang our hat on being one of the most conditioned and physical teams in AAAAA. Hopefully by late July, we’ll be rocking and ready to go.”