Three local high school football teams will be off on Friday for a bye week in their schedules, but that doesn’t mean players will get a break in their practices.
Glynn Academy head football coach Rocky Hidalgo said his team (2-1) will use the off week to work on fundamentals as players continue to develop the team chemistry necessary to compete for a Region 2-6A title and a deep run in the playoffs.
“We work on fundamentals every day,” he said.
The off week will give running back Nolan Grant time to heal from surgery, he said. Grant is expected to return for the game against Wayne County on Sept.14.
“It will be a test,” Hidalgo said of Wayne County.
The Red Terrors will take another bye week the first week of October, just before the start of region play. Hidalgo said he scheduled the two bye weeks by design.
“I like having two bye weeks,” he said.
Tony Glazer, new head football coach at McIntosh County Academy, didn’t have control over this year’s schedule. The Buccaneers are taking their second bye week of the season this week before playing seven consecutive weeks to finish the season.
Glazer said the goal during the off week is for his team to get healthy. Currently, six players are nursing injuries and three are expected to return when McIntosh faces Jenkins County on Sept. 14.
The team will also hold regular practices as players learn Glazer’s new offensive and defensive schemes and continue to grow as a team.
“It’s more about fundamentals and fixing mistakes,” he said. “A bye week can be helpful.”
While two bye weeks in the first month of the season is beneficial to a young team’s growth, Glazer said he would have scheduled them differently if he would have had a say in the decision.
“I wish we had one later in the season,” he said.
The goal is to see continued improvement as the season progresses, he said.
“We’re young and we’re making mistakes,” he said. ‘We’ve also learned our kids are tough.”
Sean Pender, head football coach at Brunswick High, said he gave his players the day off Monday. He said it was the first time in 20 years of coaching that he gave his players a weekday off after the start to a football season.
When his team resumed practice on Tuesday, he treated it like it was Monday where he reviews videotape of last week’s game to correct player mistakes. On Wednesday and today, the team’s focus is in on one-on-one drills.
Players will concentrate on special teams in a Friday morning practice and have a rare Friday night off.
Pender said he would have preferred to have a bye week later in the season but it didn’t work out when the schedule was made.
“We drew to have Week 10 off as the off week,” he said. “It was the bad luck of the draw.”
The bye week the last week of the season could work out if the team makes the playoffs and has that week to rest and prepare for its first-round matchup.
“A week off would be helpful at the end of the season,” he said.
The week off will help players with minor injuries heal before the season resumes for the Pirates next week
Pender said he plans to travel to the Savannah area Friday with some of his assistant coaches to watch region foe Richmond Hill host Camden County. It will give Pender and his staff a chance to scout the teams, which are both on the schedule.
Brunswick’s next opponent is Camden County on Sept. 14 at Glynn County Stadium. While the extra time to prepare will help the Pirates prepare for next week’s game, the focus is on continued growth by players.
“They’re a much improved team,” Pender said of the Wildcats. “Right now, we’re concentrating more on ourselves than Camden County.”