There was no intrasquad scrimmage. The Wolverines never wore full pads in the two weeks they worked out. Time spent on the field running and throwing the ball was limited.
In fact, the Walker’s players didn’t go over the basics of the team’s multiple offense until the final day of spring.
Instead, team strength and speed were of the essence.
Both are important to second-year coach John East, who led the Wolverines to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the second round of the Class A private school state playoffs.
When the players were on the field for spring practice, they were mostly running and sprinting. Forty-yard sprints were a regular part of the practice agenda, according to East, as were runs up and down the stadium steps and other agility-related exercises. If the players weren’t outside running, they were inside the weight room lifting with their legs.
In the summer, however, it’s going to get more intense.
East said the players will be pushing and dragging sleds and run with parachutes. They also plan to play other sports like basketball and volleyball for conditioning.
One of many goals for East is to have the 2013 Wolverines be quicker inside the box.
“This is new,” East said of his strength and speed approach. “We did some (conditioning) last year, but this year, we’re moving fully into it. We were quick last year, and I think our team speed will be even stronger this year.”
Heading into the new season, Walker will have to replace Evan Kasian, who led Cobb County last season with 2,080 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns.
The good news, however? Not only do the Wolverines return 10 rising seniors who started a year ago, they have a crop of running backs coming up from the JV team capable of replacing Kasian.
That includes returning fullback Bradley Moore, who saw time behind Kasian last year, and the duo of both Gaines Lahue and T.J. Wood, who both have backfield speed. Justin Gail, also set to play linebacker, is also in the mix.
Cameron Bloebaum is returning at quarterback and could throw the ball more this season with experienced receivers returning around him. He passed for 502 yards and five touchdowns a year ago.
James Pittinger, who quarterbacked Walker’s JV team in 2012, will push Bloebaum for the starting position.
“We ran more last year, but we want to be more multiple in future,” East said. “We needed to work on passing game, and we did, and we have high expectations for our passing game. We have some younger kids steeping up.”
Bloebaum could have more targets to work with this season.
One of those younger players East referred to was Glenn Strother, a JV receiver last season. Matt Wheeler who can play cornerback and receiver.