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Mandatory dead period looms for high school football

That dreaded time for high school football in Tennessee is rapidly approaching as the TSSAA’s mandatory dead period is scheduled to take hold June 23.


The association defines “dead period” in their handbook as “no coaching, observing, or contact between coaches and players in sport involved. There is no practice, no open facilities, and no weight training or conditioning.”


Having 14 days away from training has both its positives and negatives according to area coaches and can affect how teams practice before and after the break.


“You don’t want to get them in shape to play in June because they’re going to take two weeks off,” Franklin coach Donnie Webb said. “Weight room wise, taking two weeks off is good. It’s the running and being able to be out in heat and compete that way is where it hurts.”


Entering his second year as head coach of the Rebels, Webb feels this is really the first official offseason his staff – as a whole – has been a part of.


Now in his second summer, he feels his squad is farther along this time around than they were a year prior. He credits a higher participation and added excitement in the weight room to the rising seniors.


“They, as a group, have been the highest of all the classes in participation and attendance,” he said. “A couple of them are returning players and are going to be good leaders.”


Webb will stay busy while the players are away, planning on upgrading Franklin’s field house before taking his annual family vacation.


Take a 21-mile drive west from the Hillsboro Road campus and you will find a Fairview Yellow Jacket team experiencing a new type of dead period.


Having just graduated a senior class that had played under coach Chris Hughes since middle school, the Yellow Jacket staff will be planning for dead period more so than in years past – especially for sophomore quarterback Hunter Zimmerman who will be replacing Jack Ramey.


“It’s going to take a little more planning and making things easier for Hunter than we did for Jack,” said Hughes. “Jack was working during dead period, going to camps and things. Hunter will do the same type of things and we’ll have stuff for him to do on his own.”


Hughes feels confident Zimmerman got everything down in spring practice and believes his squad will surprise people in 2013. Losing what he dubs “the big three” (Ramey, Deondre Moore, and Julian Franklin) from the 2012 team, a new batch of starters has the coach excited in the form of Zimmerman, Garrett Wall, and Mike Jordan.


Still, the dead period which runs from June 23 to July 6 looms.


“Some kids like the dead period,” Hughes said. “Other kids that are really into football and like to work hate it. And I have to keep people off campus because they’re not allowed on school facilities and grounds.”



Posted on: 6/18/2013


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