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The Panthers gather around Coach Nickles for instruction before 7 on 7 drills.

The Abbeville Panther varsity football team took to the practice fields this morning and worked for about two hours. The sun was out in full force and today began the first official day of summer practice.

It was 85 degrees at 11am, add in the humidity and the temps pushed over 90. Add in the surface temperature of the practice field behind Hite Stadium-Dennis Botts Field and this year’s edition of the Panthers were practicing in temperatures nearing 100 degrees. A scorching start to what is sure to be a long and hot summer in Abbeville, South Carolina.

The Panthers, after stretching and warming up gathered for individual drills in just helmets and shorts. The first segment of practice was dedicated to special teams. Games are definitely won and lost on special teams play and the coaches stressed that. Defensive coordinator Tad Dubose could be heard explaining technique and shouting instructions to the kickoff coverage team. Dylan Beauford and Ross Cobb displayed strong legs in

Dylan Beauford boots an end over end kick through the uprights at the first summer practice of the 2017 season.

Dylan Beauford boots an end over end kick through the uprights at the first summer practice of the 2017 season.

booming the kickoffs nearly onto Highland Terrace, the road adjacent to the practice field. The coaches then worked with the punt team and the field goal unit.

After the special teams segment, the team broke into a 7 on 7 drill, pitting the offense, led by quarterback Bryce Jackson, versus the linebackers and defensive backs. Those units practiced the remainder of the workout.

I was able to track down Coach Nickles after the practice to get some thoughts on the official day one of the 2017 season.

BG: Coach, day one of practice, and it looks like a lot of instruction out there.

Coach Nickles: “Yeah, today we started our summer workouts. We’re working on fundamentals and some instillation. A lot of 7 on 7 work. We’ll be going to BHP for a FCA 7 on 7 scrimmage on Thursday. Our offensive and defensive linemen will still be here working, but yeah we’re headed up there on Thursday. What we like to do this time of year is really work on our pass game. There’s only so much you can do in the run game, and we’re not in pads or anything, so a lot of 7 on 7 work this time of year. Pass protection, getting our calls down pat.”

BG: Did the players come out focused today?

Coach Nickles: “Yes, sure they did. They retained a lot, and ya know, when you have kids that’s been in the system for 3 or 4 years it really helps. But yes, they were focused and ready to work.”

The Panthers will travel to BHP on Thursday June 15th for the BHP FCA 7 on 7 scrimmage. It is the first scrimmage of the season. The team will leave the high school at 7:45am.

There are only 52 days until the WCTEL Kickoff Classic at Hite Stadium-Dennis Botts

Coach Eddie Ford instructs the Panthers defensive linemen during Tuesdays practice.

Coach Eddie Ford instructs the Panthers defensive linemen during Tuesdays practice.

Field on August 4th. Check back with AtownPanthers.com and @AtownAthletics on Twitter often, as we will be keeping a close eye on summer practice and getting you ready for another exciting season of Abbeville Panther Football.

God Bless and Go Panthers