GMC News

Looking for unity

JUCO Bulldogs looking for unity in the preseason
By Ross Couch – The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE – When there are more than 90 individuals attempting to work toward one goal, there tends to be a butting of heads along the way.

With the first week of practice in full swing and 91 players on the preseason roster, Georgia Military College head football coach Bert Williams is trying to minimize that conflict before the start of the season.

\”Our main focus right now is unity,\” Williams said Monday afternoon. \”We\’ve gotten a lot of really good work out of these guys, but we\’re just trying to get them working as one, working as a team.\”

The Bulldogs began practice Sunday with light workouts and were in shorts and helmets Monday. The first three days of practice give the players a period of acclimation, allowing them a chance to get used to the school and the practice environment.

\”Right now we\’re just in shorts and helmets, trying to get the new guys accustomed to what we do here,\” Williams said. \”We want them to be comfortable with the offense and defense and special teams before we go full pads on Thursday. If we can get them ready to play before we go full speed, we\’ll be in good shape.\”

Sunday\’s light practice was not GMC\’s first workout since the end of last season. Throughout the spring and summer the Bulldogs, except for the new recruits, have been lifting weights and conditioning in preparation for the season.

\”We probably had 65 or 70 guys here during the spring and summer,\” Williams said. \”We took some great strides in the spring and summer, with the guys learning to work together. We really focused on the guys working as one unit.\”

Another focus of the spring, summer and preseason workouts was coming out of them uninjured. Williams said the team has \”great depth,\” but they don\’t want to have to test that depth because of a player getting hurt.

\”We\’re really hoping to stay healthy,\” he said. \”We have great depth with good athletes who can step in and do the job, but we want everyone to stay healthy.\”

The Bulldogs will be in half-shells on Wednesday – shoulder pads and helmets – and full pads for the first time this season on Thursday. Williams said there will be a heightened since of excitement in the air Thursday as everyone is ready to get back to the norm after an irregularly long off-season.

\”This has been a very long off-season for us so Friday, when we get back into full pads, everyone will be excited,\” Williams said. \”But when you go 5-5 it is going to be a long off-season. We are just ready to get going again.\”

And if the coaching staff can get everyone going, Williams feels as though they will have a good chance at a successful year.

\”We have a lot of talent and a lot of good athletes,\” he said. \”If we can get them working together as one unit we are going to be OK – we just have to get them headed in the right direction.\”

To reach sports writer Ross Couch, call him at (478) 453-1465.