During a Thursday practice in the middle of June, some football coaches may decide to take it easy, walk their players through the plays and focus on getting comfortable in the systems.
That's fine. Just don't count new Central High coach Jamey DuBose among them.
Hardly a month removed from taking over the program after former coach Woodrow Lowe wasn't retained, DuBose pushed the pace at Garrett-Harrison Stadium on Thursday, running down the field with the players as they ran an up-tempo, no-huddle style offense back and forth from midfield to the end zone. Shouts of "let's go, let's go, let's go!" were repeated on a number of occasions.
That's DuBose football, and the players are having to pick it up on the fly.
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"You gotta go, man," DuBose said after practice, exhibiting the same enthusiasm in his speech as he did on the field. "You gotta take every day like it's a state championship week. That's what I do."
DuBose, who won two state championships while coaching Prattville in 2008 and 2011, pushes the pace in everything he does, which is convenient since he's only had an abbreviated period to get to know his players and implement his new system. He took over the job on May 27, after spring practice and during a period many of his players were taking their summer vacations.
In the four short weeks since then, the players have picked up his style and are beginning to run with it.
"We're not where I want to be, but we're getting there," DuBose said. "The kids are working hard. They're doing everything I ask of them. That's the tempo we go at. I'm a fast-tempo guy. They need to continue to pick that up. They're getting better and better.
"Any time you've got change, change is not
something you like but it's a part of life. You either accept it or fight it and if you fight it, you're not going anywhere. They've accepted it and are really putting the effort in."
As fast as the Red Devils were working in practice, DuBose said they're still a long way from the speed he'd like to run.
"We'll go a lot faster when we get everything cleaned up," he said.
That means a lot of shuffling of players in and out of the game to keep the team fresh, which also means he wants to continue to increase participation numbers. Right now, he said, the team has anywhere from 95-100 at a typical practice. He'd like to see that number continue to go up.
"We like to work a lot of people in," he said. "They have to be ready to go. Our varsity nights, we'll play a lot of kids. We rotate a lot on defense. We may have three defensive linemen that start, but play as many as seven or eight guys in the ballgame."
Though he's still trying to battle through the challenge of being a latecomer to the team, DuBose said that he's embracing the challenge. The team has already participated in two passing camps and will head to Dalton, Ga., for another on July 12-13. He's also planning a fourth to be held at Garrett-Harrison Stadium in July.