Gatewood football continues summer workouts

The Gator defense takes down a ball carrier from Deerfield-Windsor during a playoff game last season in which Gatewood was victorious, 31-7. Gatewood has been hard at work over the summer preparing for the 2018 season, hoping to replicate the success of the past two seasons and even take it a step further by securing the coveted state championship title.

PHOTO: Contributed

By Brandon Bush

brandon@msgr.com

 

Gatewood football’s summer workout program carries on this week.

After taking a break from July 2-6 for Independence Day, the Gators are back in the weight room preparing for the 2018 season. As the fall draws ever closer, the Gators will soon take the field to try and continue the success they’ve been seeing in recent years.

“Summer conditioning is going well,” Gatewood coach Jeff Ratliff said. “The team has been working extremely hard getting ready for the start of practice.  What we are putting in right now will pay dividends down the road during the season.”

The workouts picked back up on Monday, and Gatewood is implementing additional group workouts after each morning session lasting from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. During these group sessions, the Gators will be installing their offensive and defensive schemes as well as preparing for their two 7-on-7 games. Those matchups are scheduled for Thursday, July 12, against ACE Academy and Briarwood, and Thursday, July 19, against Georgia Military College Prep.

The Gators will begin actual practice on Monday, July 23, and will kick off summer camp the following week.

Last season was the second consecutive year in which the Gators have been among the final four teams in the GISA state playoffs. They were one game away from going to their second consecutive state championship contest. Despite falling to rival John Milledge Academy during their state championship appearance during the 2016 season, the Gators got some consolation by smashing the Trojans on the road, 34-17, in their most recent meeting.

The Gators will have to be ready to face their sworn enemies right out of the gate this season as the Trojans journey to the Swamp for Gatewood’s first game of the season, scheduled for August 24. The Gators will face Trinity Christian-Dublin the following week before going on their first road trip of the year to square off with another hated rival: Brentwood.

Ratliff has been pleased with his team so far this summer, but also recognized that it can still work harder.

“I am so excited about what we are accomplishing this summer,” Ratliff said.  “As I said, we have had a good June, but we want to have an even better July.”

Although Gatewood has been highly successful in recent seasons, it has yet to secure the elusive state championship. However, if the Gators keep working hard over the summer and commit to giving the team its all, then this could be the year they raise their first banner since 1990.

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