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It's back to work for Tigers

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
The calendar says the T.R. Miller Tigers football team will begin its season in August, first with practice on August 3 and then the actual opener at Escambia County on August 27.
For all intent, the season has begun now with the club's summer workout program.
"We're having the players come in two days a week, Mondays and Thursdays, at 6:30 a.m. We'll usually keep them for a couple of hours. We'll keep going two days a week until the last week of July and then we'll go every day. Then practice starts the following week," T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs said. "About half that time will be spent in the weightroom and the other half will be spent outside."
The weightroom portion of the Tigers training program actually began in the early part of the spring.
"For those players who weren't involved in spring sports, they pretty much followed our normal program. For those who were involved in spring sports, they had their own season lifting program for their respective sports," Riggs said.
T.R. Miller's weightlifting program consists of three main areas, bench, squat and power clean.
"The bench lifts help develop upper body strength, especially in the chest and arms. The squats develop leg strength and the power clean lifts are for the total body," Riggs said.
The outdoor portion of T.R. Miller's summer program contains various activities.
"We have some agility drills we put the players through and we also have some running drills. There are times we put the kids on the track and have them do sprints and we'll have them do some back pedalling drills," Riggs said. "We'll also have them do some seven-on-seven intrasquad competitions. Over the years it seems more and more teams are throwing more over the summer and we've increased that part of our workload as well."
The T.R. Miller coach said there are two main reasons for starting at 6:30 a.m.
"For one thing, it helps us beat the heat. It's usually not too hot yet at that time of the day. The other thing is it enables the players time to get to their summer jobs or if they participate in another sporting activity such as baseball," Riggs said.
T.R. Miller's summer program is averaging about 60 players per session. That figure does not include incoming freshmen players, who will begin their summer program later this month.
"We usually wait until the
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Babe Ruth (baseball) season is over before we bring in those kids. This first summer in our program is a learning and adjustment time for them. I don't know what kind of numbers we'll have this year yet, but we'll usually get about 15 to 25 freshmen. Once they get here we'll usually have the freshmen do their lifting with the sophomores. A lot of them will be our 'B' team and it's a chance for them to start working together," Riggs said.