Day Fifteen Practice Blog

Day 15 - The scout team offense gave the first team defense a jolt when Brett Lilly found Jamal Hall for a 60 yard touchdown off of a play-action fake. Neville Bryce consistently found the second level for several runs of six to eight yards with the first team offense.

During 7 on 7s, Michael Crumbaker started with three straight completions and would have had a fourth if not for a dropped ball in space by Cory Pertz. Richard Bush made a slick grab on the sidelines and got both feet down.

The offense had to do up/downs for not getting out of the huddle quickly enough. Matthew Gaines looked sharp. He found Derek Church for a 20 yard completion down the left sideline. Jeron Sikes was a popular Gaines target, hauling in a 40 yard deep ball as well as a sprint out to the left side.

Michael Gist made a jarring hit to break up a pass as the first team defense worked against the scout team. Later in that series Salonik Amos got a hand on a pass in space.

Coach Hamilton wasn't happy with the team's intensity. "You better come out (Friday) wired and ready to work. I don't like the concentration of this football team," he told the players. Hamilton expressed discontent with the excessive conversations on the sidelines and a general lack of focus. Many on the team seemed to have more concern about the dark clouds in the distance than what was happening on the field. "We're worried about the weather? Just play football. We haven't arrived anywhere," Hamilton continued.

The squad went throw a lot of running at the end of the period. By position group the players did a series of suicides. Starting by running to the five and coming back to the goal line, and continuing to the 10, 15, and 20 yard lines. They did each set a total of three times. Camp continues with the Blue/White scrimmage tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. at Rosman High School.

Day 14 - The team worked out in helmets and no shoulder pads this morning. The period was lighter in an effort to get their legs back under them.

The afternoon period was delayed and ultimately cut short by rain and thunderstorms. Neville Bryce ran 20 yards on the first play. More work from the first team offense followed and then special teams worked on directional punting. A rain shower that lasted 20-30 minutes forced the team to take cover in the three buses at the edge of the practice fields.

The sun came out at 4:25 and the Tornados went through their team stretches before resuming the period. While the players were jovial during the delay, this care-free attitude continued prior to kickoff return work so the entire team had to do 10 up/downs.

With the first team offense working against the scout team Richard Bush took a reverse 70 yards for a touchdown on the first play. The run was negated by a block in the back. Bryce had a 25 yard catch and run down the right side. Bush ran hard between the tackles, first for 12 yards and then for three yards and a touchdown. In a later series, Michael Crumbaker hooked up with Justin Fleming for a 20 yard completion.

The first team defense held the scout team offense on its series before the next wave of weather arrived at 5:20.

In a quick post-practice talk, Coach Hamilton went over the halftime schedule the team will use during the season. Practice continues tomorrow at 3:35.

Day 13 - Directional punting and PATs took up the first 10 minutes or so of today's practice. Chase Henry was 5/7 on his tries with one miss coming off the left upright. Justin Matis connected on 3 of his 7 attempts. The coaches want a PAT to take no longer than 1.3 seconds to get off.

The offense worked on reverses with the coaches emphasizing getting enough depth for the ball carrier to have room to work. Shaton Pratt, Jeron Sikes, and Eric Watts all got reps. The offense also focused on audibles and knowing why to change to a certain play.

During drills the secondary worked on defending the curl/flat route combination.

Matthew Gaines showed solid footwork in his drop on a throw to Lawrence Martin. Michael Crumbaker threw a strong deep ball to Cory Pertz. Derek Church ran well after the catch on a sprint out from Clay Hughes.

During team pass the first team defense shined early with a Stanley Jones interception and a Michael Gist pass break up. At the close of that period Brett Lilly found Watts for a touchdown over the top of Rashad Dirton. Watts had another TD from Hughes working with the scout team against the first team D.

The scout team struggled early to give the defense a good look and the entire offense did more than a few up/downs as a result.

Bad snaps and false starts interrupted the rhythm of the period.

Andrew Barrentine was a force against the run. Coach Doss lauded Drew Stanley for solid defense against the option.
Lilly found Pertz for a touchdown against Austin Williams as the first team defense worked on 2nd and 8 situations. Dirton redeemed himself with an interception and Stephan Hicks read the run well.

Practice concluded with the team running three sets of 4 53 yard gassers. "We're getting in pretty good shape. I'm pleased with that," Coach Hamilton told the players. Hamilton said that he checked the weather in Jacksonville last night at 11:30 p.m. and it was 87 degrees. "It (the weather) won't affect you because you've worked your tails off," Hamilton said.

Hamilton applauded Coach Gaines for paying attention to details in coverages and maintains that the staff "will coach you to be perfect."

BC was given a night off from position meetings. Camp continues tomorrow with an 18 period practice starting at 10:00 a.m. with the players wearing helmets but no shoulder pads. The two-a-day session resumes at 3:45.

Day 12 - The place kickers struggled in the morning period on intermediate to long field goals. The team worked in shells this morning. Austin Williams and Donald Hudson broke up passes during scales. Phillip Curcio got a hand on the ball on one play and later intercepted a tipped pass in a play action situation. Hudson also came up with a pick. Jeron Sikes made an acrobatic catch in the end zone, taking the ball off of Rashad Dirton's shoulder for a touchdown.

Michael Crumbaker was smooth throwing the ball on sprint outs in both directions this afternoon. Lawrence Martin came in motion to take a handoff for a long run down the middle of the field. Salonik Amos intercepted a pass and had a long return negated by a block below the waist. Coach Brumett commented on Dirton's explosiveness and tackling ability.

Richard Ray was animated in voicing his displeasure about possible cut blocking up front. He took out his frustration by throwing John Compton around after a short run. Ray also put steady pressure on the quarterback.

Coach Hamilton wanted more energy from his team. "We must improve this week more than any other time. By Friday night you have a chance to be better than you ever have been if you work and get locked in," Hamilton said.

The Tornados continue camp tomorrow at 3:35 p.m.

Day 11 - The Tornados had a lighter than normal practice Sunday following a two-a-day Saturday that included a 150-play scrimmage at Rosman High School. They wore shells rather than full pads. The mood was jovial as Coach Beverly cracked jokes with his offensive lineman and it was all too easy to hear Richard Ray and Stanley Jones perform their a-cappella versions of today's Top 40 songs between position drills.

Justin Matis knocked in an extra point off the crossbar that was tipped at the line. Chase Henry hit the left upright on a 30 yard field goal try and wasn't as fortunate. The kick coverage team stayed in their lanes and got to the ball quickly during special teams work.

Lawrence Martin adjusted to a sideline throw and got both feet down early in the session. Cortney Burns hauled in a deep ball in the right corner of the end zone.

Coach Hamilton focused on formation substitutions. He wants a greater sense of urgency from the offense when coming from the sideline as well as breaking the huddle and getting to the line of scrimmage. A quick tempo could help further put the opposing defense on it's heels. "We're gonna play a step ahead of everyone we play...It's all about hats on hats and numbers on numbers. That's the problem with defending option football. We (the offense) can get a hat on everyone," Hamilton said.

For conditioning the team ran around the perimeter of both practice fields. Brandon Rawls was out of practice today with dehydration but should return tomorrow.

Hamilton focused on the importance of the upcoming week. "The next five days will determine what kind of team we'll be on August 29," he said. The coach noted that two weeks before the opener is usually a tough time because "you're bruised, you're tired, but there's no game to prepare for." Hamilton pointed out the importance of the scout team. In the coming practices the Tornados will begin installing their game plan for Edward Waters.

Monday's two-a-day begins at 9:00 a.m. The afternoon period starts at 3:35 p.m.

Day 10 - The Tornados held a scrimmage at Rosman High School Saturday afternoon. Neville Bryce broke a 99 yard run reminiscent of Tony Dorsett's scamper on Monday Night Football a few decades ago. He also dragged the pile on more than one occasion later in the workout.

Chase Henry continues to exhibit a strong leg. He made a kick from more than 40 yards out and had plenty of distance on some of his misses. Landon Candler blocked a punt during special teams work. Lawrence Martin is a big play waiting to happen. He returned one kickoff 90 yards for a score and had a 60 yard run back on another rep. Justin Fleming also found pay dirt on special teams. Fleming showed his body control by catching a ball down the middle that was thrown slightly behind him as well.

Xavier Johnson runs tough between the tackles. He also turned the corner on a reverse near the goal line. Clay Hughes continues to improve. A fade on 4th down to Eric Watts for a touchdown was the highlight of the day against a defense that was dominant against runs up the middle.

Zach Taylor and Justin Jefferson are forces on the defensive front. Coach Hamilton expressed approval of today's work. "I'm real proud of this team. I know their legs feel great after the scrimmage," Hamilton joked during the Pigskin Pigout. Coach Kelleher says the squad ran 150 plays during the scrimmage. Practice resumes tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.

Day 9 - Slots Coach Brock Pursley had his players work on their hand-eye coordination by running routes and catching tennis balls. Richard Bush looked strong today, running hard on a pitch play during Outside Drill. The Sophomore also caught an arching Michael Crumbaker pass in stride down the left sideline. Brett Lilly connected with Reshaun Perks on a pass down the middle of the field. Lilly also found Bush on a shovel pass that caught the defense off guard near the close of practice.

Coach Hamilton emphasized conditioning today. The team ran a series of 40 and 50 yard dashes. The workout also included a 15 yard crawl, a five yard run followed by an up/down and another 10 yard sprint. "We are not gonna settle with playing well and staying close. No more moral victories," Hamilton told the players. Playing at a fast tempo has been the theme of fall camp.Hamilton said that in a typical game there are 75 plays which last around six seconds each. He wants maximum effort each time.

Michael Gist and Rashad Dirton broke up passes during half-line.  Prince Simunyu made a thumping sack on Crumbaker on the first play of 3rd and 8 situations. Neville Bryce showed elusiveness and cut back ability in the open field. Justin Fleming unleashed a block on an unsuspecting Austin Williams that may have been just a fraction after the whistle. Williams got up fine but heard some cackles from his defensive teammates on the sideline. Defensive Line Coach Josh Miller called Nick Zafiris' name for the freshman's solid effort up front. Coach Kelleher also singled out Jeremiah Davis for good play on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage.

The Tornados have their third two-a-day session tomorrow. Hamilton plans to focus on the kicking game for a good part of the 9:00 a.m. period. The team will then travel to Rosman High School for a closed scrimmage at 2:45 p.m. Hamilton said that over 200 friends and family members of players will attend Saturday's Pigskin Pigout, set for 6:30 p.m. at the Porter Center Amphitheater.

Day 8 - The rains came once again and stuck around for the afternoon session. A thunderstorm forced the team to stop practicing at 5:15.

The coaches focused on special teams in the morning period following yesterday's errors in that area. Later in scrimmage Michael Gist intercepted a pass. Clay Hughes turned a nice fake on an option into a long run down the left side. Richard Ray lived in the offensive backfield, stopping the run three times. John Compton found the end zone on a pitch play. A bruising block by Jeron Sikes helped spring Xavier Johnson's run to the edge.

Early in the afternoon period the Tornados worked on onside kicks. Compton, part of the "hands team" recovered a three hopper. The onside kick recovery team got a few reps. Two kicks went out of bounds and Salonik Amos recovered the third.

At the beginning of afternoon scrimmage Coach Hamilton wanted more energy from his squad. "We're out here to get better. We're not just putting in time," he told the players. Hughes carried over his solid work from the morning, hitting Chris Jordan on the numbers down the middle of the field.

The back seven set the tone after that. Aaron Duncan made a form tackle in the open field against Lawrence Martin. Gist made another pick on a sailing ball, taking this one to the house. Donald Hudson intercepted consecutive passes, and almost hauled in a one-handed effort for a third. Shortly after that the skies opened.

Weather permitting, BC resumes fall practice tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.

Day 7 - The Tornados did scrimmage today but there was a slight change in the itinerary. Steady rain throughout the morning and early afternoon ended plans to work out at Rosman High School and moved things to the practice fields. A full crew of officials was on hand to monitor the action.

Both kickers showed strong legs, with Chase Henry nailing field goals from between 30 and 45 yards. The Kickoff return team had many long runs. Michael Gist blocked a punt at the end of special teams work.

John Compton dragged the pile on a third down run. He was a workhorse on a drive that started at midfield, running 4 times and scoring to cap things off. Daryle Mitchell showed good speed to the corner. Matthew Gaines made quick decisions and threw a solid deep ball but was hurt by drops from the receivers.

First team offense went against the ones on defense with the D forcing two three and outs in a hurry up situation.

During goal line work Michael Crumbaker connected with Curtis Lorenz for a touchdown on a play action play. Xavier Johnson ran it into the end zone twice from short yardage.

Injuries were the theme of the day. Boyd Mulwee suffered a broken ankle. Derek Church and Michael Gist banged up their shoulders. Church sat out the rest of practice. Richard Ray also got dinged near the end of practice.

Coach Hamilton stressed clean play to the team following the session. "We're not as disciplined, focused, or structured as we need to be...we're not going to be a team that beats ourselves," Hamilton said. The defense jumped offsides once, the offense had a 15 yard dead ball penalty, and receivers were called for holds on downfield blocks. Hamilton noted that BC was the least penalized team in the South Atlantic Conference last year. He attributed some of the miscues to fatigue but stressed that the team had to play well through that.

The quote of the day had to be when Hamilton said, "It's tough to make the club in the tub."

The training staff, led by Joshua Smallwood, is doing a great job of getting the Tornados healthy and ready to practice. The work continues tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. with the second two-a-day session.

Day 6 - The Tornados began their first two-a-day session in shells just before 9:00 a.m. this morning.

Slot receiver Richard Bush showed his arm strength on a halfback pass by throwing a tight spiral a few yards long of the receiver. The team worked on vertical scales in 7 on 7s. QB Michael Crumbaker had four straight completions to start the scrimmage and showed zip and accuracy throwing on the run in both directions.

The afternoon practice started just after 4:00 p.m. and was delayed about 15 minutes by thunder and lightning in the area. A 10 minute cloud burst at 4:45 cooled things off momentarily during what was otherwise another hot day. DB Austin Williams made a strong hit on FB Derek Church during scrimmage. The offense focused on red zone and goal line situations and Crumbaker and Bush scored on consecutive plays.

Coach Hamilton was happy with his team's effort midway through the afternoon practice. "We can get better as a football team. The speed was pretty good today. We got 15 reps in 15 minutes. That's how you run a half-line," Hamilton told the team following the period in which offense went against defense going across the width of the field.

DL Richard Ray was a factor against the run. DL John Hardee also clogged the middle in the red zone. Brandon Rawls blew up a pitch play from his linebacker spot. CB Austin Williams and Safety Donald Hudson combined to stop an option near the goal line.

To conclude the afternoon practice the team scrimmaged with a two-minute drill scenario. The defense was strong early, including LB Landon Candler's pick six. Church had a long run after the catch that drew cheers from his teammates and coaches on offense. Coach Brumett wanted his defense to execute the blitz calls quicker. ILB Coach Marshall Doss had some intense advice for his players about their reaction time in the scrimmage.

After practice Hamilton told the team they need to maintain their effort and tempo. "Every team in the country wants to win. The difference is, who's willing to sacrifice?"

BC resumes practice tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. with the first full scrimmage of fall camp.

Day 5 - The Tornados endured another hot day of fall camp and worked out in full pads Monday.

"It's an adjustment to put these pads and helmets on," Coach Paul Hamilton told the team following a lengthy full squad jog around the field that ended practice.

"I think we're starting to understand that we have to protect each other," Hamilton added. The staff continues to emphasize a quick tempo while avoiding recklessness and injuries.

Coach Brumett lamented that his defense missed some calls during the scrimmage while Coach Gaines suggested that his secondary tackle better or he would lose his lunch.

RB Neville Bryce once again showed his potential on a long run to the right side on the second play of scrimmage when the offense was working on first down situations.

QB Matthew Gaines threw accurately on the run and the offensive line was solid in pass protection for most of the day. QB Michael Crumbaker showed toughness running between the tackles.

The defense remains active. Safeties Michael Gist and Donald Hudson each had near interceptions. CB Salonik Amos broke up a pass in single coverage and CB Donte Ravenal made a bold open field tackle (while giving up almost 50 lbs) on Slot WR John Compton. I heard LB CJ Wilson's name mentioned a lot as well.

BC resumes fall practice tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. The first two-a-day session continues at 3:45 p.m. The first scrimmage is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 12 at Rosman High School. The scrimmage will be closed to the public.

Day 4 - Day Four of Brevard College Football's Fall Practice brought more cooperation from mother nature.

"Today was pretty good. It was hot. It was tough. Guys were sore. We need to play in the heat," Head Coach Paul Hamilton told his squad after the session.

Once again the BC defense started fast, intercepting two passes in three plays. DB Rashad Dirton made a clean catch of a high throw while DB Michael Duff secured a tipped pass.

Coach Hamilton stressed that his players avoid excessive jawing after the play and that they finish strong. LB Landon Candler and DB Salonik Amos converged to make a huge hit on an option run to the field side. The defense was so energetic that coaches had to remind them not to throttle the guys in the red jerseys.

The Tornado offense found its rhythm in the running game as Offensive Line Coach James Beverly's group sealed the defensive ends on a few option plays. FB Neville Bryce runs strong and through the whistle. QB Matthew Gaines got loose on a long run down the right side that ended practice and hyped up the offense.

You can tell that the Tornados are entering the second week of camp because more players are having to miss some action. The hitting has picked up and the ice packs are becoming more visible. The players wore helmets and shoulder pads today. They will practice at full contact beginning this week. Fall camp continues Monday at 3:35 p.m. The first two-a-day session follows on Tuesday. 

Day 3 - The third day of Fall practice had a distinctly physical feel as the Brevard College Football team continues its preparation for the season opener against Edward Waters College, set for exactly three weeks from today.

"We want to play hard and fast, but we want to stay healthy. We want to take our entire team down to Jacksonville," Head Coach Paul Hamilton told his squad prior to 11 on 11s.

The Tornado defense brought great intensity in forcing several fumbles early in the scrimmage and had excellent pursuit against the option and some short pass plays. DB Dwayne White was signaled out for his effort on more than one occasion. DB Rashad Dirton also showed a nose for the football.

Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers Coach Scott Brumett focused on blitz reviews and communication with his players. Defensive Backs Coach Teddy Gaines brought his usual energy and enthusiasm while drilling the secondary on zone coverages and run pursuit.

Offensively TE Curtis Lorenz showed that he can run down the long pass and RB Richard Bush used a nice burst to the corner on option plays.

BC practiced in shoulder pads and helmets today and will move to full contact on Monday. A brief early rain shower provided relief on what was the hottest and most humid day of practice to date. The Tornados resume practice tomorrow at 3:45 p.m.

Day 2 - The Tornados enjoyed another nice weather day of fall practice although there was a threat of rain early thanks to P/WR Eric Watts. The Old Dominion transfer boomed several kicks early in the session and is part of a strong special teams group.

"I'm really proud of all of our kickers and punters. Our special teams looks a lot better this year than it did the first three years," said Special Teams Coach/Director of Football Operations Michael Bayne.

Watts reportedly had a 70-yard punt for the Monarchs last year and should also see action on offense. Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach Jerry Mynatt was instrumental in Watts coming to Brevard College.

7-on-7s saw several big plays from the BC offense.

"The thing I'm most pleased with offensively is that we have some playmakers at the skill positions. I'm pleased that our offensive lineman that have been with us for a while are playing with confidence and understanding what they're doing," said Head Coach Paul Hamilton.

QB Brett Lilly threw the deep ball well and also showed accuracy throwing on the run. Hamilton also expressed excitement about transfer FB Neville Bryce and his potential impact in the running game.

The Tornados will emphasize an upbeat tempo as Fall practice continues tomorrow at 3:35 p.m., preceded by the team media day at 10:30 a.m.

Day 1 - The Brevard College football team began fall camp today under sunny skies with a mix of youth and experience.

"It's always great to be back with the team and out on the field. Our kids came back with enthusiasm. I'm pleased with the retention that we had from our older players and very impressed with the skill of some of our younger players," said head Coach Paul Hamilton.

Former Slot Receiver Donald Hudson switched to safety in the spring and showed great instincts with an interception near the sideline during 7-on-7s. Defensive Coordinator Scott Brumett and DBs coach Teddy Gaines emphasized communication with their units.

Offensively quarterback Michael Crumbaker was among a group of Tornados signal callers who showed accuracy on downfield throws. Slot Receiver Richard Bush made a nice adjustment on a sideline route near the end of Day One and is part of a deep group of pass catchers for Slots Coach Brock Pursley.

The Tornados resume practice at 3:35 Friday. Sessions are open to the public. Media Day is scheduled for Saturday August 8 at 10:30 a.m.

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