As summer workouts came to a close, the New Brockton Gamecocks football team hosted a pair of OTAs last week with Ashford and Elba.

Ashford came to town on July 23 and Elba came on July 25 for back-to-back OTAs.

“I felt good about both of them,” New Brockton coach Zack Holmes said of the OTAs. “I felt like we got better from Tuesday to Thursday and I felt like our kids really got after it.”

Holmes also said he was proud of the way his team practiced the “right way” in both OTAs during the week.

“The one thing I think really did well is we did a good job of staying up (not hitting the ground) and practicing the way you’re supposed to practice,” Holmes said. “Elba and Ashford did a good job of that, too. That’s usually hard for kids to do (at OTAs) but our kids did a great job of it. Plus, we’re all healthy going into fall camp, which is a big deal.”

With fall camp beginning on Aug. 5 Holmes pointed to a few issues he wants his Gamecocks to improve on early in camp.

“I think our pad level is an issue that we need to work on,” Holmes said. “In the summer it’s a problem because you can’t use the sled and all of that stuff. So, our pad level has to get lower.”

Holmes also said that his team’s focus would be something that they must improve on heading into the beginning of the season.

“I’ve been saying this all summer but our sustained focus level has got to get better,” Holmes emphasized. “We have to be able to focus for the duration of a football game. Our ability to sustain our focus and control our thoughts is really what we have to do.”

New Brockton held its final weight room session of the summer on Monday, July 29, and Holmes had a simple message about focus for his team.

“I just talked to them about this last workout we’re doing right now,” Holmes continued. “It’s really going to challenge them. They have to control their mind and their thoughts and learn how to push themselves when their mind wants to give up. We’re really working on maintain our focus.”

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