COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - This is the week prep football programs in Muscogee County have been waiting for.
The school district gave the go-ahead and they’ve all gone ahead with vengeance, starting up voluntary workouts in advance of fall training camp.
No one was more anxious to get started than the Carver Tigers.
“We’re excited about our opportunity to get better each and every day,” said head coach Corey Joyner. “This was refreshing for us to come out and be able to work with the guys. It’s just about us. It’s about getting ourselves in shape and get ourselves prepared for the season and everything, so we’re just taking it one day at a time. Getting the guys back into a football mindset is the most important thing.”
The Tigers won their first region title in four years last year, but before that, it was eight titles in nine seasons, including a state title in that stretch.
The players did some hard work during the layoff, and they continued that hard work on Tuesday in the team’s second workout. They’re looking -- and expecting -- to climb that hill once again.
“There’s some expectations here, that we’re expected to win, we’re expected to do great, so the guys are looking forward to their own season,” said Joyner. “We had a lot of guys that were leaving so we’ve got a lot of guys that have got to step in and play a lot of minutes now. They did what they were supposed to do when we weren’t around, so they were in shape. That’s the part of maturity that we wanted, that’s the part of maturity that we needed on our team, that we don’t have to push our guys to work hard. They work hard on their own.”
There are plenty of distractions to go with all the work with social distancing and all the medical protocols, but they're still getting the work done. Joyner looks at it as another test for his guys, a test they're passing so far.
“Well, you know, they love the game. They love playing it, they love being around it, it’s just that now we have to practice different types of methods that we normally have not practiced in the past. They’re practicing by the rules. They’re doing exactly what we’re asking them to do, and that’s part of football too, being disciplined and doing exactly what the coach is asking you to do. We’re looking forward to that and these guys are really exerting the effort. They’re coming out and making the necessary adjustments and changes that we need to be successful.”
The Tigers are scheduled to open the season on August 21 when they hit the road to face Hapeville Charter.