Most high school sports have now become a year-round conditioning program for the student athletes.
For the Clinton High football team, this has been a very busy spring and summer workout period. Third-year Arrow head football coach Judd Boswell feels the off-season has been very productive for CHS.
“We’ve had a very good summer,” said Boswell, whose team finished the season 3-8 in 2013 while fielding one of the youngest squads in school history.
“Last year, we were so young. At times we were playing 12 or 13 ninth- or 10th- graders. We played seven freshmen. That is almost unheard of in Class 6A football. But, we are building for the long run.”
CHS opens the fall practice on August 4, less than three weeks from now. The Arrows then have a short period of time to get ready to open the season at Pearl on August 22. The first home game will be August 29 against Ridgeland.
The off-season drills have been highlighted by weight lifting as a team and “7 on 7 drills” that include all the positions except the offensive and defensive linemen. Clinton competed this summer in 3 Big 7 on 7 tournaments.
“Our off-season goal was to get a lot stronger in the weight room, and we have gotten a lot stronger,” said Boswell.
“We won 4 and lost 2 in two of the 7 on 7 tournaments and finished 8-0 in the last tournament at Hinds. We got better every time we went out and competed.”
The offseason for CHS also saw a lot of changes in the Arrow football staff. That includes Ben Shelton moving to the position of offensive coordinator from serving as Sumner Hill ninth-grade head coach. Robin Lee came to CHS from Northwest Rankin and will coach the offensive line.
Also, Jake Bramlett will coach wide receivers and comes to Clinton from Petal High School. Blake Pennock, who was the offensive coordinator last season at Madison Central, will be Sumner Hill ninth-grade head coach and serve as an offensive assistant on varsity.
Eathan Eubanks, a Mississippi College graduate, will help with running backs. Preston Hebert, also a Mississippi College graduate, will help with defensive backs. Jonathan Perkins, head track coach for CHS, will once again coach running backs.
Bobby Bass returns as defensive coordinator. Devon Cooper will once again coach defensive backs. Cody Zumbro will coach tight ends this year, and Isaac Wiggins will coach defensive linemen.
“We have been short on staff for the past two years, and it’s great to be fully staffed,” said Boswell. “I think it will make a lot of difference this year.”