Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
In the midst of this hot summer spell of weather, it is a relaxing thought for many to dream of crisp, fall Friday nights on the gridiron and the sights and sounds of high school football. In Manchester, the Greyhounds and Coach Dustin Cook have already begun their preparations for the fall, getting their athletes in the gym for an early lifting and conditioning program.
“The big thing for us right now is just getting as much strength as we possibly can,” said Coach Cook. “Going into our camp in July and then getting to Aug. 1, we want to be in the best shape that we can and be as strong as we can. We feel like that will put us in good spot when practice times to be in our peak physical condition.”
“We will continue with strength and conditioning through the rest of June and a little bit into July and then the last two weeks of July we will have our team camp and take our 10 allowed days of instruction. That leads into two-a-days to kind of introduce our offensive, defensive, and special teams schemes.”
It will be a sort of rebuilding time for the Greyhounds as they were hard hit last season by losses to graduation and will have a lot of young faces on the sidelines in 2016.
“Any time when you are in a small school and you lose 23 seniors off your football team, you are going to have a lot of new faces and we have a couple of key injuries that are also going to hurt us this year, especially losing running back Bryan Young. We’re going to be relying on guys that haven’t done as much for us in the past but I think they will be up to the challenge and they have worked hard so far this summer. I’m excited to see what they can do once we get the pads on.”
If you have driven past the Manchester football stadium lately, you will see that the field is under new construction and therefore the Hounds will be looking for a practice spot until their field is ready and according to Coach Cook, lines are being painted on an open field near the water plant in Manchester and the team will use that as their pre-season practice facility.