New Brockton senior Colton Marsh snags an interception during fall camp.

The New Brockton Gamecocks completed the first week of fall camp last week and head football coach Zack Holmes was excited about what he saw.

Holmes said that the level of competition amongst the team has him excited about the season.

“It’s going good. The kids have been really good and really competing with each other,” Holmes said. “One thing that I think has happened by coaching and teaching the kids is that when we go against each other in our drills they’re a lot more competitive than they were last year. We’re able to go out there and get after each other pretty good.”

Holmes said he’s also been pleased with his team’s mentality during fall camp.

“I think we have our legs under us and everyone is in pretty good shape, which I think has a lot to do with everyone being here in the summer,” Holmes said. “Everyone is healthy and the growth our kids are showing mentally with not complaining and with having a task oriented mentality and fighting through things has been great. Instead of griping or complaining about challenges, they take it on and look forward to it.”

For the first time since last November, the Gamecocks will finally get to put on some pads and hit this week, which Holmes said is long overdue.

“I’m so glad we get to finally put on the pads. Everyone has gotten to the point of getting tired of just running around in helmets,” Holmes said. “Plus, they didn’t get a dose of (hitting) in the spring, so it’s been a long time.

“I’ve told them that we really haven’t played football yet. Running around in helmets isn’t football.

“When you put that gear on and it’s 103 (degrees) out here you kind of find out where you are. We have to be able to maintain our competitive edge as that happens and make sure we keep that same competitive nature and don’t let adversity change that.”

Holmes said he’s also paying close attention to special teams during fall camp. The Gamecocks no longer boast all-state punter Russell Weeks in the lineup, or field goal kicker Brandon McCoy.

Currently, senior soccer player Jacob Bustamante is handling field goal duties, while junior quarterback Brayson Carr is punting.

“Jacob is doing a great job with the kicking part but he’s just never done it in a football game,” Holmes said. Replacing Russell at punter is going to be big. I think some of our specialists are learning that this is something you have to work at. You don’t just come out here and punt the football well. You have to work at it.”

Holmes pointed to seniors Clay Reynolds and Avery Weed as pleasant surprises during fall camp thus far, as they have become more vocal as leaders.

“Avery Weed is doing an outstanding job in helping lead with our competitive edge and that has been a little bit of a surprise,” Holmes said. “He’s always been more of a lead by example guy in the past but he’s being a lot more vocal. Clay is also being a lot more vocal, too. Their competitive drive has really gone up, which is awesome to see.”

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