Baxter’s Blitz

Baxter’s Blitz: An audible for high school spring practice

scvarsity@ sc.rr.comMarch 13, 2013 

Jim Baxter


SPRING FOOTBALL practice has become a hot topic with high school athletic administrators and coaches.

It is within the rules to practice from May 1 through 21 and go full pads after a three-day acclimation period in shorts and helmets only. Also allowed is an intrasquad scrimmage, or “spring game.”

Football is one of the few sports where kids do not have the opportunity to play all year. Other major sports, such as baseball and basketball, have AAU, select teams and travel teams in the offseason.

Spring football practice rules, however, may be close to changing. One of the popular ideas two months ago was to allow the athletic directors of each school to determine the “when” part of offseason practicing for each sports program.

Leaving it up to the individual schools is not a bad idea.

One of the things that also has been unofficially discussed islifting restrictions or limitations on spring practice.

That would be a nightmare. If allowed, it would make specialization a near necessity and a bigger issue than it is. Can you imagine if the football program was allowed to have their kids practicing at some level all year around?

While I don’t think it possible or smart to put those players in pads all year, I do think that being able to require them to practice would make bring more pressure to choosing a sport.

Let’s hope when the Executive Committee of the SCHSL meets in April, the sub-committee for activities does not bring this “no-limitation” idea to a vote. What football needs is 14 days in the spring. They need to be able to have contact, though I agree they need those three days in helmets-only first.

One more thing I’d like to see is to allow the spring football scrimmages to be against rival schools. Then, schools could charge admission and create more funding for the athletic program.


Deebo Samuel, WR, Chapman (2014): At 6-0, 175, Samuels entered the rankings in the Top 20 for his class, but you won’t see him on any other rankings lists yet. Vanderbilt this week became the first Division I team to offer.

Trib Reese, QB, North Augusta (2015): This 6-3, 180-pound sophomore threw for 1,600 yards this past season with 19 touchdowns. He’s a two-sport star (baseball) but has a solid skill set as a quarterback to get to college level.

Vyncint Smith, WR, Westwood (2014): Smith was an impact player for the Hawks in their first year of football with 48 receptions for 586 yards and four touchdowns. He’s got a good frame at 6-3, 175-pounds and has good hands.

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