Football fans can take comfort that the season is quickly closing in. Just three days after the Atlanta Falcons opened up training camp in Flowery Branch, high school practice has also started. Also, the University of Georgia opens camp today, while defending ACC champion Georgia Tech opens practice Thursday.
Per GHSA rules, high school practice is not allowed to open until Aug. 1, and every coach is entitled some flexibility how to structure practice sessions after that. Locally, East Hall and Dawson County opted not to waste any time and hit the practice fields at the stroke of midnight Sunday. The Tigers will continue with a four-day camp on campus.
Habersham Central also opened with practice Sunday to jump start its four-day camp for players, along with Riverside Military, which opened with its first of 12 two-a-day practices Sunday under first-year coach Chris Cotter.
The list of local schools waiting until today to open football practice is a little more extensive. Chestatee, Johnson, North Hall, Gainesville, Jefferson, Union County, Lumpkin County and White County are all starting with practice, many of which are holding two-a-days today.
Lumpkin County coach Tommy Jones says that the much of the offseason in today’s high school football environment is to have players familiar with the offensive and defensive playbook after summer conditioning.
“Fifteen years ago, teams spent the first two weeks of practice in August installing a basic offense and defense along with building a solid conditioning base,” Jones said. “Now, the goal is to already be at that point when you begin the first official day of practice.”
FLW FISHING: Lake Lanier will be the epicenter for bass fishing’s biggest tournaments this season with the FLW Outdoors Cup starting Thursday at Laurel Park. This four-day event will bring out some of the biggest names in the sport and a hefty pay day for the top finishers.
The top professional will take home $500,000, second place wins $100,000 and third place takes home $85,000. Cash prizes are awarded to the top 78 anglers, as well as co-anglers.
During the event, there will also be an FLW Outdoors exposition from Thursday-Sunday at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth.
Last year, Greg Hackney, from Gonzales, La., won the $500,000 awarded to the winner, thanks to an 11-pound, 12-ounce catch on Day 2 of the event held on the Three Rivers in Pittsburgh.
WOMEN’S GOLF: The Hooters Women’s Collegiate Team Championship opens Tuesday at Achasta in Dahlonega. Fifty-five two-person teams will be competing at the event, with each team consisting of players from the same university in a 54-hole stroke play three-day event.
The competition will feature players from all levels of collegiate golf, including 42 Division-I schools, four Division-II, six Division III and one NAIA program.
Several Top 50 Golfstat Ranked Division-I players will be participating in the event, including Braselton resident Emilie Burger from the University of Georgia, Brooke Pancake from the University of Alabama and Cheyenne Woods of Wake Forest.