By TONY STINNETT/ Courier Sports Editor
Unseasonably cool weather for this time of year made last week seem more like fall and that was just fine with Cannon County football players.
The Lions completed the first week of fall camp in helmets and shoulder pads last week.
This week the Lions head to Centerville for a five-day camp in which they don full pads for the first time.
“The weather was nice to us last week,” said senior linebacker B.J. Daniel. “It wasn’t too hot so we were able to concentrate and get through the week in pretty good shape. It’s only going to get tougher.”
That’s for sure.
Temperatures were expected to remain in the 80s with relative humidity during the week; however, Lions first-year head coach T.J. Daniel expects to turn up the heat on the gridiron.
“The players will have more thrown at them and it’s a good mental week because we will be doing a lot and the players’ concentration will be key. Just like a game, you have to be mentally tough and concentrate when you are tired. I believe this will be a good week for us.”
The biggest aspect of the camp is that players will be free of distractions.
They will stay in Army-style barracks in Hickman County. There is no air conditioning (although coach Daniel is taking fans), and there is no cell phone service, which means players also will be without Internet.
“That’s the way it should be,” senior defensive stalwart Jonathan Smith said. “We are not going to camp to swim, fish, play games and have fun. We are going to camp to become a better football team. When we return from Hickman County I expect us to be better than when we left.”
The Lions were expected to return from camp Thursday evening. They have a scrimmage scheduled at Shelbyville Friday (Aug. 2).
Coach Daniel said there are several keys to this weeks camp, including the opportunity for the players to get away from home and bond as a unit.
“This camp is going to help us in so many ways,” Daniel said. “It is going to help on the football side because we will have time to work on things, pay attention to detail and really get on the same page. It is also going to be an important time for our players to bond and develop team chemistry.”