Canes take different approach to summer
Following a summer with a lot of uncertainty, the Cartersville football program faced far fewer question marks this offseason. Due in part to a better understanding of the team’s personnel and the regime change that came with former head coach Joey King leaving for the collegiate ranks, the Canes had different priorities this go around.
“This summer, we spent a lot of time building upon what we already do,” first-year head coach Conor Foster said. “Last summer was a little bit different, because we were still trying to figure out who were going to be our guys. We wanted to see how they would respond to the fire, so we went to a lot more camps to see how they would respond. For the most part, we’ve got a team of guys we’ve seen respond, so this summer has been about focusing in on being the best that we can be and improving what we do.
“Being a new head coach and having two new offensive coordinators, we’ve spent a lot of time making sure we’re all on the same page — from the top down. We spent a lot of time on special teams and a lot of time paying attention to the details of what we do on both sides of the football.”
For those reasons, Cartersville opted against competing in events such as the Corky Kell Classic 7-on-7 tournament. Instead, the Canes preferred small playdates with other local teams that took on more of a true practice feel. For instance, Cartersville hosted Dalton on a recent afternoon, during which the teams worked on game situations like running a red-zone offense or a two-minute drill.
“We still got a lot of work in,” Foster said, “but hopefully, our work was a little bit more productive.”
Even if some aspects of Cartersville’s June and July schedules changed, there was still plenty of familiar features.
“We had a busy summer,” Foster said. “Guys are involved in a lot of individual camps in June. Offensive line went to Mike Hodges’ camp down in south Georgia. Go down to the middle of nowhere, turn left and you’ve got a bunch of big boys from all over the state working. It’s really good for their work, conditioning and mental toughness. But also I feel like it brings them closer together, and that part of it, I really love. …
“We felt like we were really able to get some good work in. I’m very pleased with our summer.”