By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Greenville’s Lions moved at a fast pace for their first practice of the 2013 football season on Monday.
More than 90 Lions hit the weight room first and then practiced outside on the grass from about 7:45 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Head coach Marvin Sedberry and his staff pushed the pace to make up for the week of practice that they gave up last week to have spring training back in May. Sedberry also wanted the Lions to simulate game pace. Sedberry said he read somewhere that it was a “good idea” to practice at the same speed expected in a game.
The Lions quickly moved between stations as they practiced with their position coaches and ran through some plays, before winding up practice with wind sprints. Sedberry then had the Lions jog off the practice field before heading to the locker room.
“Our biggest thing is just getting them in shape,” Sedberry said before practice started. “I really think we’re ahead of where we were a year ago as far as offense and defense.”
Sedberry said the spring work paid off on Monday.
“They remember a lot from spring,” he said. “I thought all in all it was pretty good.”
Spencer Gilbert II, Matt Riskey and Trevon Heard took turns running the offense at quarterback. Gilbert is up from the freshman team. He ran for 66 yards on 12 carries during the Red-White game and was 2-of-13 passing for 30 yards. Gilbert also caught three passes for 85 yards in the spring game. Heard was 6-of-14 passing for 62 yards in the spring game and ran for 14 yards on 13 carries.
D’erren Wilson, who caught three passes for 63 yards in the spring game, made some big catches in Monday’s first practice. Wilson caught three passes for 24 yards last season.
The Lions’ second-leading rusher from last season is back, Tyler Matthews (88-404, 1 TD) as wel as Chance Hamilton, who ran for 33 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
End John Franklin, a first-team all-district selection, is expected to lead the defense this season.
Greenville’s first scrimmage is on Aug. 22 at home against Quinlan Ford.