"We won't know where we really stand until after the scrimmage with Greenbrier," said Larry Campbell, athletic director and head football coach at LCHS.
In order to prepare for the upcoming season, the Red Devils will participate in two scrimmages: a 24-minute scrimmage against Class AAAA Greenbrier High School [August 9] and a 36-minute scrimmage against Class AAAAA Evans High School on Friday, August 24. Both games will be held at Buddy Bufford Field beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $3.
"We're going to play some good football teams early," said Coach Campbell. "Greenbrier and Evans are two-platoon squads -- very few of their players play on both sides of the football. Since most of our kids play offense and defense, the scrimmages will give us a chance to see what kind of physical condition we're in. If we can play with these teams, we can play with most of the people on our schedule."
The schedule is the same as last year's except the Red Devils will meet Class AAAA Hephzibah High School at home in its season opener on Friday, August 31. Region play starts with Athens Academy on October 12.
"I don't think there's another school that opens its season any harder than we do," stated Coach Campbell. "We play Washington-Wilkes, the number-one ranked team in Class AA; Commerce, last year's state Class A champions; Buford, the number-one ranked team in Class A; and Athens Academy, the number-two ranked team in Class A."
This year's edition of the LCHS Red Devils should be interesting to watch. The team lost 18 seniors to graduation which is a lot for a Class A program; it also lost Division I prospect Zaron Shanks to a car accident and a starting receiver to academic ineligibility. Another starter,
an offensive lineman, moved to Augusta.
"We probably lost more starters to graduation than we've lost here in many, many a year." said Coach Campbell. "The next two years are going to be trying times. Everybody's attitude is good; the effort is there, but there is not a great deal of raw talent. The freshman class is the next class that's really loaded with raw talent. Still, we're going to hang in there and give it all our best effort."
In other comments, Coach Campbell pointed out that nearly every position on the football field is wide-open except for the quarterback slot which will be filled by senior Cedric Leverett, who has taken very few varsity snaps. "I'm anxious to see how he will do under varsity pressure," the coach said.
Concerning special teams, Campbell indicated that the Red Devils are starting all over. "We have no punter, kicker, holder, or snapper returning."
In contrast to years past, football camp did not provide answers to most of Campbell's questions. At the conclusion of camp, he said it was too early to talk about the team's strengths and weaknesses, but he would know more after Thursday night.
He went on to report that 53 Red Devils participated in football camp held July 30 through August 3 at the school.
It was one of those rare summer weeks that was neither too rainy nor extremely hot. "The weather couldn't have been better," said Campbell.
The coach and his staff were also pleased with the effort put forth by the players. "They did everything we asked with very little complaining. Their work ethics were superb. It was a good camp."
Coach Campbell further stated that the team is very, very young. "We took 15 freshmen to camp this year -- usually, we don't take freshmen to camp. It's a good possibility that we will see some freshmen playing at the varsity level this season."
The schedule for football camp was as follows: conditioning, 7-8 a.m.; breakfast, 8 a.m.; practice, 9:30-11:30 a.m.; lunch, 12 noon; rest 1-5 p.m.;supper, 5 p.m.; practice, 6:30-8:30 p.m.; fifth quarter workouts, 8:30-9:30 p.m.; and lights out, 11 p.m.
During the week of camp, the players were housed in the church annex at Faith Temple, and their meals were prepared by members of the church's congregation. Coach Campbell thanked Rev. Addison Belangia and the congregation at Faith Temple for helping make the camp a success.
In other items of information, the coach said that reserved seats for the 2001 season will be on sale through Friday, August 17. The tickets, which cost $40 each, may be purchased from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the main office at LCHS. [If you need further information, call Nancy Hardeman at 706/359-3121.]
Reserved seating assignments will remain the same as last year.