2015 UPSON-LEE KNIGHTS
VARSITY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug 20 @ TROUP COUNTY—Scrimmage (LaGrange) 7:30
Aug 28 OPEN
Sep 04 VS. Pike County (Matthews Field) 7:30
Sep 11 VS. Northeast, Macon (Macon) 7:30
Sep 18 @ Northside,Columbus (Columbus) 7:30
Sep 25 VS. Baldwin (Matthews Field) 7:30
Oct 02 @ West Laurens (Dexter) 7:30
Oct 09 VS. Perry* (Matthews Field) 7:30
Oct 16 @ Mary Persons (Forsyth) 7:30
Oct 23 VS. Howard (Matthews Field) 7:30
Oct 30 VS. Osborne** (Matthews Field) 7:30
Nov 06 @Veterans (Kathleen) 7:30
ALL CAPS Denotes Pre-season scrimmage
*Homecoming **Senior Night ***Community Night
After posting a 7-3 record in 2014, but missing the playoffs, the Upson Lee Knights are in preparations for their 2015 season, in hopes of reaching the playoffs this season.
That preparation began on Wednesday when the Knights started their three-day football camp. The camp started Wednesday afternoon, and ended on Friday morning.
“This is a time for our guys to come together and unite as not only a team, but as a family,” said UL head coach Tommy Parks. “This camp is all about unity, and going through the process of getting better together.”
In the morning session, the Knights took the field and went through drills and different fundamental stations with their position groups. The afternoon sessions were laced with special teams drills, followed by an evening session at Matthews Field, where the team practiced under the lights in full pads.
The environment at practice during camp is somewhat different from that of a regular practice. Players and coaches seem much more focused and the intensity level is sky high. No players or coaches walk on the field at any time, whether they are moving from station to station or going to grab a drink of water.
There is a sense of family, not only between seniors or juniors that have played together for years, but even between seniors and freshmen. Not only are coaches encouraging players, but the players encourage each other to battle through the heat, the cramps, and some of the massive hits being handed out their teammates.
Between practices, players wind down in different ways. Some guys take naps, some players will play a video game, and of course, nearly every player has their phone in their hand, and they are usually on some type of social media. Players are also fed meals, given snacks, most importantly they hydrate all day and night.
While at camp, the opportunity came up to talk to a few players, and they were all asked the question, “What does football camp mean to you?” After hearing their answers, one thing stuck out: they consider themselves more than a team. Here is what these players had to say about football camp.
#2 QB-Kalen Puckett (Jr.)- “Camp is a time to be with the guys and get to know each other better. It gives us a chance to see how each other will react when we are under the lights on Friday nights.”
#1 RB-Quay Reviere (Sr.)- “For me football camp is when everyone comes together as a family, and we build bonds that last all season long.”
#47 K/P-Rich Stewart (Jr.)- “Camp is just a lot hard work that brings our team together. Everyone goes through the same thing, and that makes us stronger.”
#20 LB-Jayden Barron (So.)- “We become more than a team, we become brothers. Football camp is where we become a family.”
#61 OL-Clark Daniel (Jr.)- “We get better as a unit, and we grow together by learning from our mistakes and supporting each other.”
Roaming the halls of the field house, it’s nearly impossible to take three steps without hearing a player or a coach crack a joke or say something funny. Sometimes the player will even pick at each other, but at the end of the day, they have the backs of their teammates or as they say, their brothers.
The Knights will see their first action with another team on Aug. 20, when they travel to Lagrange to take on Troup County in a scrimmage game.
Wes McCard can be contacted at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @WesMc21.