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VIDEO: Football camp gives Comets early boost

 Halifax County High School linebacker Tre’ Morgan, lineman Jairus Marable and an estimated 150 other football players have been putting in a lot of time and hard work on the practice field this week.

Participating in the NFL/National Guard High School Player Development Camp this week at Halifax County High School, Morgan, Marable, their Comets teammates and players from Bluestone High School and Halifax County Middle School have had a chance to get ahead of the game early this summer.

“It’s demanding, but it’s free too,” said Morgan, who is participating in the camp for the second straight year.

“You can come out here, get a good workout in and help prepare yourself for the season.”

One of the key things about the camp, Morgan says, is that players can ask questions, receive one-on-one help from the coaches and improve their skills and techniques without the pressure that comes when pre-season practice officially starts in August.

“The camp has helped me learn more tackling techniques and covering receivers the most,” Morgan pointed out.

“They (the coaches) help us with anything we’re having problems with. You can ask questions and the coaches will help you walk through it.

“It’s definitely good to be able to get the extra instruction,” added Morgan.

“When it comes down to time to start the season, you’re too busy to do anything. If you don’t get it now, you’ll be out of luck and you won’t play.” 

Marable, like Morgan, is participating in the NFL/National Guard High School Player Development Camp for the second year in a row.

“Coming out here to camp early like this gives me a chance to “get it” and learn what I need to do,” Marable said.

“That way, come August, I will already know what I’m doing, and I should be crisp and ready to play.”

Marable said another benefit of the camp is that it brings all of the Comets football players together.

“This gives us a chance to work together as a team, and it lets us know how to work as a team early,” he pointed out.

“Come August, we will all be together and ready do what we need to do to handle business.”

The camp is demanding, with two-and-a-half hour sessions each day for four days, making for a total of 10 hours of instruction and practice time. Camp sessions consist of conditioning, drills to improve skills and techniques and seven-on-seven competitions.

“It’s tough, but we all have it in our heads that we’re going to work hard regardless,” Marable said.

“We come out here and do what we’ve got to do to get better.”

Halifax County High School Head Football Coach Mike Roark says the NFL/National Guard High School Player Development Camp is a huge positive for the Comets football program and others as well.

“It’s great to have all of these guys here with us,” Roark pointed out.

“It’s great to have the coaches and kids from Bluestone High School here with us. Halifax County Middle School coach Frank Shealy is out here with a number of his kids. We’ve got kids from seventh-grade all the way through seniors out here coming to camp.

“Also, we will have our youth football camp at the end of July with six-year-olds through ninth-graders,” Roark added.

“If you’re going to play football, you can no longer just show up in August and expect to play. There is a lot more to it than that these days.” 

Roark pointed out that this camp offers a great opportunity to work with the players.

“This is a different time of year,” explained Roark.

“You’re not as intense with everybody. Coaches can ask if they can have an extra 10 minutes or whatever to do this drill or that drill. It’s much more laid back. 

“It’s all about getting some work done,” he continued.

“You’re getting in four days of camp with two and a half hours a day. That’s 10 hours worth of practice. What that does is put us 10 hours ahead.”

Getting ahead of the game is very important, Roark said.

“It’s like one of the coaches reminded me today – it’s June, we’ve got a lot of sophomores, and we’re getting our offense in,” Roark remarked.

“We’ve still got seven weeks until practice officially starts in August. We’ve got two parts of our passing game in and we’ve got our basic running stuff in now, which means that is three days we don’t have to waste in August. We’re good to go.”