CALHOUN - The heat was on the LaFayette Ramblers the past two days, and the number on the thermometer was only half the story.
While temperatures into the 90s heated the air and baked the ground early on both Tuesday and Wednesday morning at the Calhoun High School passing camp, there was also the pressure of knowing that the start of the high school football season is just six short weeks away.
New head coach Chad Fisher said his team was progressing nicely and has shown improvement since the end of spring practice back in May.
"We've had to fight through some adversity, especially these two days because this heat has really been something," Fisher said. "But we've improved a tremendous amount. We're trying to develop some depth while teaching the offense and defense, and the kids are learning the game and giving us good effort."
LaFayette, along with Woodland (Bartow), Model, Adairsville, Pepperell and Fannin County were joined by the host Jackets for two days of 7-on-7 competition. Games lasted 40 minutes with teams alternating between offense and defense every 10 minutes. No scores were kept.
Rising seniors Alize Woodall and Lance Estus, both fighting for the starting job, threw for the Ramblers during the seven games. Woodall, a converted receiver, was 34-of-81 with two touchdowns and eight interceptions during his time under center while Estus, who is returning to the football field after over two years away from the game, went 44-of-80 with four scores and four interceptions.
"Overall, Alize and Lance are both learning the game and the position," Fisher explained. "They are starting to settle down and let the game come to them in terms of looking downfield and throwing the ball. They have both improved a lot since the spring and now it comes down to just getting more reps."
Adam Ellisor was the only receiver to catch two touchdowns, but he was one of 11 different receivers to catch at least one TD pass for the Ramblers. Clayton Underwood, Josh Neal, Dustin Jackson, Curt Jones, Clayton Lane, Cody Dilbeck, Cameron Marsh, Kolbe Mosley, Hunter Clark and Caleb Warren all snagged one scoring pass each.
"Our receivers are starting to catch the ball better too," Fisher said. "The more we catch it, the better we will be. We've got some guys that think can be weapons for us."
Rising sophomore signal-caller Conner Green also saw his share of time under center and performed well, completing 41-of-60 passes with six TDs and no interceptions.
Defensively, Mosley, Jones, and Tracy Miller had two interceptions each with Jones' coming on back-to-back plays against Adairsville on Tuesday. Clark, Neal, and Justus Cleverley each had one pick apiece.
"The defense is getting there," Fisher continued. "I thought our secondary has looked pretty good in all our games so far this summer. We're switching to a new system and with any new system, there's a transition period that goes with it. But they are picking it up well and learning how to play fast."
The Ramblers will participate in a one-day passing camp at Heritage on Wednesday, July 24. They will scrimmage at home against Gordon Lee on August 23 in preparation for the season-opener Sept. 6 at Trion.