Tuesday morning provided an environment conducive for the 7-on-7 scrimmages at K.C. Hanna Stadium and on the soccer field below on end zone. It was cool, overcast and, occasionally, the lightest of drizzles provided refreshment for sweaty football players.

Laurens, Clinton, Emerald, Wade Hampton, Boiling Springs, Union County and Carolina took part. A similar set of round-robin scrimmages is also scheduled for 10 a.m. next Tuesday, July 16, also at LDHS.

Playing pitch and catch is the only option until August, when high schools are allowed to put on the pads and hold full-contact scrimmages to get ready for the season.

“You’ve got a lot of their air-raid and spread teams, and this helps them big-time,” said LDHS head coach Chris Liner. “It also helps us, even offensively, because, when we go into the first day of practice, everything’s in so we don’t have to teach during that first week of practice. Usually you have a 10-day ‘install’ in fall camp, and now you can completely focus on your run game.

“All of our stuff is in, and we actually plan on throwing the ball more this year than last year. It’s more useful for us defensively, but it also helps offensively because we have everything installed for fall camp.”

Working on pass coverage is the primary benefit for run-oriented teams like Laurens and Clinton, though the attack devised by first-year head coach Corey Fountain has not yet fully emerged as the new staff evaluates its strengths and weaknesses.

Much of the instruction was on an individual basis as assistant coaches for the two county teams – and all the others, for that matter – made corrections and offered pointers to players coming off the field.

As the Raiders walked back to their locker rooms, and the Red Devils boarded a bus for the short trip back to Clinton, coaches and players alike seemed satisfied that progress had been made.