- Last Updated on 08:58 AM 06/20/12
- BY Joe Chandler
This is a week of special instruction for prospective Halifax County High School football players.
Halifax County High School Head Football Coach Michael Roark is leading a program that is new to Comets football, the NFL High School Player Development Camp.
The camp is is sponsored by the NFL and the National Guard and is being held each afternoon through Thursday. Only four of these camps are being held in Virginia this year, and Roark is leading three of them.
The instruction plan used during this week’s camp was designed by coaches at Vanderbilt University.
“We’re taking the plan and are modifying it to fit our needs,” Roark pointed out.
“We’ve got about 150 kids involved and it’s a plus for our program.”
Monday’s drills centered around offensive skills, and Tuesday’s drills were focused on defense. Roark said that with this week’s camp, players will don helmets and shoulder pads for at least one of the camp sessions.
While this week’s NFL High School Player Development Camp offers additional learning opportunities for players, it has also helped the Halifax County High School football program in other ways.
The camp program provides practice jerseys for the players, jerseys that can be used used throughout the season. A supply of Gatorade and drink cups, protective mouth guards and daily planner books containing academic education guides that players can use to keep track of both football and academic class assignments have also been supplied through the program.
“These things have saved the high school about $1,500,” Roark noted.
HCHS to host benefit football game
In a departure from previous seasons, the Halifax County High School varsity and junior varsity football teams will not be participating in this year’s football scrimmages at E.C. Glass High School or in the annual GW football jamboree.
Roark said Monday that instead of participating in the scrimmages at E.C. Glass High School the Comets will scrimmage Liberty Christian Academy Friday morning Aug. 10.
In lieu of participating in the GW football jamboree, the Comets will host Buckingham County in a Virginia High School League benefit game on Friday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. at Tuck Dillard Stadium.
The Comets junior varsity team will scrimmage Buckingham County on the HCHS practice field at 5 p.m. that day.
Halifax County High School will play its first official game of the season when it meets Jefferson Forest High School here on Friday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m.
Nutrition part of the program
It may not appear to be very important, but students participating in the Halifax County High School football program are not leaving drills, weightlifting and conditioning sessions hungry.
Through donations raised by the Football Booster Club and donations from Food Lion Supermarket, students participating in the football program are receiving peanut butter and/or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Roark said ladies of First Baptist Church make the sandwiches and the sandwiches are picked up, refrigerated and are made available to players that ask for them.
“I think that is one of the better things that we do,” Roark said.
“Peanut butter has good nutritional value. When the players finish at the end of the day and they eat a sandwich and get food into them, they are not as tired for the following day’s workouts. We make Gatorade available to them as well.
“The big thing is we’re not seeing sandwiches being thrown on the ground or being thrown away,” he added.
“This shows us that this is something that the need and want.”
Youth Football Camp set July 23
Roark said a youth football camp has been set for July 23. The camp is open to all school-age youth through eighth grade. Additional details will be forthcoming at a later date.
Seven-On-Seven Passing League Notes
The Halifax County High School varsity football team has participated in a handful of seven-on-seven passing league competitions and has done well.
“We’ve done pretty well,” Roark remarked.
“We’ve scored on everybody we’ve played and nobody has scored more than two touchdowns on us.”
Roark said the best team the Comets have faced so far is Heritage High School of Lynchburg.
“We knew it would be that way,” he noted.