When Madison County returns to practice July 10, the Red Raiders will have the full attention of every member of the team.
Madison County, which went 6-4 in Class 4A in 2016, has a lot of two- and three-sport athletes, coach Chris Smith said, so June is a busy month. But after the Georgia High School Association’s dead week wraps up today, everyone will focus on one thing.
“July, it’s just one sport,” Smith said. “It’s all football, nothing else.”
Madison County participated in three 7-on-7s in June, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ 7-on-7 at Athens Christian Thursday. In July, the Red Raiders will head to USC Upstate for another camp and lineman competition. They’ll also play two 7-on-7s against nearby schools.
“(The dead week) is going to be good for us because it’s going to allow some of those kids to get their feet back up underneath them,” Smith said. “All in all, it’s been a busy first month, but it’s been a productive first month for us so we’ve done well and competed and now it’s time to get a little rest for a week and we come back July 10 and we told our kids it begins. It’s time to change the mindset and really get focused on what’s about to happen.”
The offensive line will be a key focus. Madison County graduated its entire offensive line so moving out of the weight room and building chemistry will be crucial. They started that process at the lineman challenge at Athens Christian.
“It gives them an opportunity to build the relationships they have up front with each other and gives them an opportunity to compete and that’s the biggest thing,” Smith said. “Our kids up front, we’ve got to know how to compete so it’s good for us.”
Madison County opens the regular season against visiting Jackson County Aug. 25.