Glynn Academy continued its work on the field Tuesday as the team gets ready for the scrimmage against Valdosta this Friday.

Coach Rocky Hidalgo had his team work through the usual practice, but Tuesday it was time to send his team a message and push them to another level.

“I push our kids. Greatness just doesn’t happen. Winning championships just doesn’t happen,” Hidalgo said. “I’m going to be hard on our kids because it’s the only way. We’re not talented enough just to run out there and beat teams because we’re better than everybody. So we have to do things better than teams. We have to do things better than we did last year.so for me, I want to push those kids because when they get out of here, they’re going to be pushed in life, that’s the reality of it.”

The first challenge of the season will come against a talented Valdosta team who ended the Red Terrors season in the second round of the playoffs last year.

Hidalgo made it a point to put that in his after practice speech with the team. He talked to the group about the matchup and how he wants them to come out and play hard.

Valdosta has Jaheim Bell who had 52 catches for 770 yards last year. The Wildcats also return starting quarterback Tate Rodemaker who threw for 3,539 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.

Hildago said that he knows Valdosta is going to be good on both sides of the ball. He also mentioned both Bell and Rodemaker in that after practice speech to get those names into his guys’ heads.

“They’ve got some talented kids coming back, Jahiem Bell is a really good player, and is one of the best players I’ve ever coached against,” Hidalgo said. “Rodemaker, the quarterback, is very good. I don’t know where he has offers from but ought to have a few of them because he really spins it and puts it where it needs to be and makes good decisions with the ball.

“They’re going to be running around on defense, going to be well coached on defense. Coach Rodemaker is a defensive guy, so they’re always very good on defense.”

This game isn’t about winning or losing. It’s more about seeing where the team is at before the real games begin. Hidalgo said that this gives him and his staff the chance to make some changes if needed.

“Football season is a marathon, not a sprint. So for me, early games, especially scrimmage games, I want to see how our kids compete and see if we have the people in the right spots,” Hidalgo said. “A lot of times it comes back to personnel. We say hey this guy did very well in here and he can grow into that position or this guy looked out of place and we need to make a personnel change. We did that after the scrimmage last year, and we will probably have some personnel changes this year.”

Hidalgo said Glynn might be down three offensive linemen for the scrimmage, and while that doesn’t help things, it will allow some guys an opportunity to get on the field and step up.

“It’s going to give an opportunity for some guys to go in there, play some ball and show what they can do,” Hidalgo said. “So they’ll get some tape and show if they’re ready to play on Friday nights or not.”

The biggest thing Hidalgo wants his team to do on Friday is to compete. The scrimmage will give him a good gauge on where the conditioning is, along with seeing who’s being physical and who isn’t.

“I want to see them play really hard,” Hidalgo said. “The biggest thing I want to see our kids go play fast and be physical and see how much of that we have to fix. If our kids hit the gate and they’re physical, and they get after people, then it’s not about how to it’s about what we’re doing and making sure we’re doing the right thing. So we’re coaching a little bit of how to and what to do right now.”

Glynn Academy and Valdosta face-off at Glynn County Stadium on Friday with kick off slated for 7 p.m.

More from this section