The aluminum bleachers were full at Grovetown Middle School on Wednesday when a bus pulled in to drop off more potential members of Grovetown High School's first football team.
The Warriors started spring practice in April, and coach Rodney Holder said the practices were averaging 53 players each. Holder expects the number to rise during summer workouts once the school year is concluded and spring sports seasons are finished.
For now, without pads, the Warriors have worked on special teams formations and devoted a bulk of time to the run game. Holder said June passing camps would provide ample opportunity to air it out.
He said the most important aspect of spring practice would be meshing all the new faces.
"The biggest thing is us getting to know them and them getting to know us, and coming together and starting to build that unity," Holder said. "... We're getting kids from so many different directions."
Warrior coaches also have used spring workouts to try to identify who will play at the skill positions and to have quarterbacks in place before the passing camps.
He said the majority of players in the first-year program would take advantage of the six quarters they are allowed to play each week during the season, meaning they will play both JV and varsity.
The Warriors won't play a region schedule their first season. They will play four home games and travel to the rest during what Holder said he thinks is the toughest schedule in the area.
"We made a commitment to our seniors, with them coming over, that we're going to get them exposure," Holder said. "Those tough games are going to be our playoff games."
Grovetown High School's football boosters club held its first meeting Feb. 19 and elected officers. But Holder said fund-raising efforts probably wouldn't start in full force until June or July.
Grovetown coaches and administrators won't be allowed in their facilities until June 1 at the earliest.
"July is going to be the time to get after it from a fund-raising standpoint," Holder said. "We're just asking everyone to understand we're trying to get everything settled with the building."
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