Live Oak coach Brett Beard used to be a proponent of two-a-day practice sessions during fall camp.
But Beard believes in the strength of his program’s offseason weight program, where he felt his Eagles made significant gains.
Moreover, with the advent of Hudl and the ability for players to watch and study practice footage from their respective homes, Beard feels that multiple practices have long become obsolete.
“We have that one good day,” Beard said. “We study, work out, meet and have practice. It’s efficient, it’s effective. If they come in with the right attitude and right energy, everything we need done is done in that window instead of having to put in two practices.”
Live Oak gets a slight head start on the rest of the parish, beginning its fall camp July 30. The Eagles will work out a total of eight times until the start of school Aug. 9.
The first three days – Tuesday through Thursday – consist of team meetings, followed by going over special teams, offensive and defensive meetings and an on-the-field work.
“After spring, we were excited because we felt we made some strides we needed to see, we competed,” Beard said. “We just need more reps. We’re just not yet with this group and they really embraced that this summer and dove right in. I couldn’t be more pleased with the effort and the attendance these guys gave us all summer.”
With his team able to practice in helmets and shorts for the first couple of weeks, Beard feels like the foundation of the physical work took place during the summer.
“It’s really more mental and conditioning,” he said. “If we can get to where we’re able to play fast and not have to think so much, just get lined up and we can just go play, that’s really where we want to get for the remainder of the summer and first two weeks with the helmets. It’s getting mentally sharp that when we put the pads on, we’re able to compete fast, push each other and just play our game.”
Live Oak will progress from practices in helmets and shorts to shells (helmets and shoulder pads) once school begins and eventually begin practice in full gear.
The Eagles host St. Amant in their fall scrimmage at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 22 and follow on Aug. 30 by hosting West Jefferson in jamboree action at 7 p.m.
Beard is confident in an offense that returns its top two running backs in Army commitment Kee Hawkins and Hagen Long, who will run behind an offensive line that has all five of their starters back.
Senior Rhett Rosevear, the team’s starter at wide receiver in 2018, takes over at quarterback and looks toward a developing group of targets at wide receiver and tight end that includes: Amar Pink, Blaise Preister, Garrett Davies, Byron Donohue and C.J. Davis.
“We’re comfortable with Rhett, who's replacing Sal (Palermo), which is huge for us,” Beard said. “We feel really good with him leading our offense.
With LSU defensive line commitment Jalen Lee anchoring the middle, the Eagles are looking to solidify the back seven of their defense.
In a move to shore both of those levels of the defensive unit, Beard said Branson McCoy was moved from safety to outside linebacker, while Collin Dickerson moved to safety.
Senior cornerback Darian Ricard returns for a second straight year and will be opposite senior Kade Lane.
“Ricard’s a mainstay at corner,” Beard said. “We need to get Kade more reps to get him more confident and comfortable.”