SPRING football has ended for Jefferson, but then again, nothing has really ended.
The Dragons await a steady summer schedule as they prepare for the move up to Class AAA this fall.
“They (the players) kind of view the start of spring practice as the start of football season,” said coach Ben Hall, who enters his second season. “They know that when we start at the end of the school year, that it carries through the summer.”
In addition to hitting the weight room, Jefferson will see plenty of action in the summer 7-on-7 circuit with multiple scrimmages each week.
The Dragons will host a pair of 16-team, 7-on-7 tournaments, June 5 and 19. This is the fourth year Jefferson has invited area schools to Memorial Stadium for these passing scrimmages. These tournaments have grown so popular that the Dragons were forced to turn teams away.
“Not many people host them, so it’s an opportunity for us to host something here on our campus as a fundraiser and at the same time we get quality reps against some of the best teams in the state,” Hall said.
Jefferson will make another trip to the University of Alabama’s 7-on-7 tournament in July and wrap up its 7-on-7 schedule at a tournament at Lassiter in July.
“After that 7-on-7 in July, then it’s football season,” Hall said. “7-on-7 is good in a lot of ways, but you don’t want to hang your hat on 7-on-7 success, and our kids understand that.”
With two-a-day and three-a-day camps now a thing of yesteryear, Jefferson — Class AA champs in 2012 and a state quarterfinalist last year — must put in the work now to get prepped for a season that will start in 13 weeks.
“We’re preparing for an early start to the season,” Hall said. “We play Aug. 22.”
As for where his team stands right now, the coach is enthused by what he saw during spring practice.
“Overall, we’re very pleased,” Hall said. “Defense looked great. They were flying to the ball and we have a lot of senior leadership on that side of the ball. Offense, it’s just like every year, it’s going to take a while for the offense to come into their own, but we expect that.”