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Bulldogs doing summer work

At King’s Fork and with nearly any other high school football program, the summer months leading up to the official preseason and infamous August two-a-days is practically another football season all by itself leading right into the real season.

The official start of practice is less than a week away. On Monday, the Bulldogs and most other Eastern Region squads get under way, not that they haven’t been already. The last two weekends, the Bulldogs have traveled north for more action and more preparation.

Two Saturdays ago, King’s Fork finished in the quarterfinals out of 28 schools at a 7-on-7 passing tournament at Towson University in Baltimore.

King’s Fork went 5-1 to reach the quarterfinal round, where the Bulldogs were nipped by four points by Washington, D.C.’s Dunbar High.

King’s Fork was the only Eastern Region school at Towson, where a just-graduated Bulldog standout, Derek Wright, is a true freshman for the Tigers.

The Bulldogs beat the only other Virginia school and the defending champion of the tournament, Woodbridge, during the morning rounds.

Last Saturday, in what’s quickly become a traditional part of summer for the Bulldogs and head coach Joe Jones, KF traveled with its 7-on-7 team and many of its linemen to Johnstown, Pa. and Richland High School.

Richland is Jones’s alma mater. The Bulldogs were the only school from outside of football-rich Pennsylvania at the camp, where it was almost as hot as it was back home.

KF’s 7-on-7 team lost its first three games but won three straight games in the tournament portion of the camp before losing in the final in double-overtime.

“We started playing better as it went along, kind of like last year in a lot of ways,” Jones said.

“A kid made a great catch in the end zone on the last play (in the second overtime),” Jones said.

The event at Richland also boasts a “lineman challenge.” The Bulldogs won the challenge last summer and despite missing three or four possible starters, said Jones, KF finished second this time around.

“We lost the final event, the tug-of-war,” Jones said.

As long as the Richland High camp remains slated for late July or so, Jones sees it as the perfect link between summer workouts and August two-a-days.

“Hopefully, for awhile, this will continue to be our summer finale. With it being a two-day trip, it’s a good way to mark the end of summer for us,” Jones said.

Even considering trips to Maryland and Pennsylvania, the truer foundation for the upcoming season, so the Bulldogs hope, is more in the three-day-a-week workout sessions at the school and twice-a-week passing games at Old Dominion.

“It’s been very good. Everyone’s done really well and we’ve had good turnouts at the workouts all summer,” Jones said.

“All of the guys are pulling together and getting better at their specific positions,” Jones said. “We’re anxious to get the pads on and get cracking.”