By Maurice Patton
Columbia Academy’s first day of full-contact football practice was a rough one – but it had little to do with the Bulldogs’ on-field efforts.
Much of the team arrived at the Monday workout after attending funeral services for Amy Ham, who died Wednesday at the age of 51.
Tanner Ham, a senior guard for the Columbia Academy basketball team, is the son of Amy and Tim Ham.
“We were preoccupied – kids, coaches,” CA coach Charlie Lansdell said after practice concluded Monday. “Our minds and our hearts were with (the Ham family), and in all honesty, that’s where they should have been. They are a part of our family.
“Tanner didn’t play football, but he’s always been a huge supporter of his friends that do play. And all our athletes are close.”
In anticipation of the Aug. 21 season opener at Marshall County, though, Lansdell knows his team has a lot of ground to cover — quickly.
“Since we’re playing in three weeks, we’ve got to polish up a lot in a short amount of time,” he said. “We’re going to spend every minute we can trying to become the best we can be on Aug. 21. We want to take advantage of every minute we can.”
Tigers tackle, too: After a conditioning and lifting session, Mt. Pleasant worked through some one-on-one contact drills Monday as well.
“It went fairly well,” coach Bronson Bradley said. “We figured the guys would be a little sluggish with it being the first day in pads, but we put a lot of pressure on them. We’ve got to hit the ground running that first Friday night (Aug. 21, at Summertown), with no scrimmages and no jamborees, so we’re trying to stretch them out a little bit on purpose. We’ve got to get into that mode.
“For the first day, it went about as well as it could.”
Columbia Central is expected to hold its first full-gear practice Tuesday, with Spring Hill scheduled to do so Thursday.
Maurice Patton is the editor for Southern Middle Tennessee Sports. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @mopatton_sports.