CHAPMANVILLE - The three week June practice period is what you make of it.
The Chapmanville Regional High School football team entered the practice period with a few question marks, especially in its skilled positions, following the graduations of many of its top running backs and wide receivers.
Last month, however, the Tigers used the three-week period as a testing ground to fill many of those holes.
For the most part, Chapmanville was able to do just that.
"We felt like we had a good summer," Chapmanville coach Rob Dial said. "It's a jump-start to August and hopefully all of the good work that they put in these last three weeks will pay off once the season begins."
The Tigers had a busy three weeks, competing in 7-on-7s at Marshall, WVU, Concord and West Virginia State and also having a home 7-on-7 which attracted nine teams. CRHS also took part in a two-day camp at West Virginia State where the Tigers were coached by the WVSU staff.
"We were very busy for three weeks," Dial said. "We saw significant improvement from our players during those three weeks. When we go into the June practice period, number one, we try to develop our players the best that we can in preparation for the fall. Number two, we also use that as an evaluation tool to see who does what skill the best. This really allows us to get a jump-start as far as putting certain players into certain positions in our offensive and defensive schemes. We were able to see a lot. We were able to get a lot of work in practices at home, the camps and the 7-on-7 events that we went to."
Dial said he saw steady improvement over those three weeks.
"We were a completely different team when we went to Morgantown then who we were when we went to Marshall," he said. "Our players really started to grasp our new offensive and defensive schemes this summer. That's reflective in some of the coaching changes that we've made. We averaged around 35 to 40 players for every practice. When we traveled we had two 7-on-7 teams and we also had our linemen who traveled."
The Tigers, coming off a break even 5-5 season from a year ago, are slated to open practices for the regular season on Aug. 5.
The regular season opener is set for Thursday, Aug. 29, against Sissonville at Charleston's Laidley Field.
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at email@example.com.