Patriots prepare for the 2017 season

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Since July 31 early morning football practices have continued for the Independence Patriots as they get ready for the 2017 football season.

Head Coach Natoli talks with senior quarterback Wes Cook.

The Patriots start their day with a team warm up after which Coach Natoli has the players to break down into groups based on position. The coach for each group has the players working on drills to improve their basic position knowledge, speed and footwork.

Defensive backs doing the dreaded up and downs.

Later in the practice Coach Natoli worked with the quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs. They worked on passing accuracy, footwork and playbook knowledge.

The defensive and offensive linemen were on the far end of the practice field where the defense worked on blocking recognition while the offense worked on proper hitting techniques. Linemen on both sides of the ball worked on their hand fighting and blocking skills. The defensive backs and linebackers worked on recognizing routes and play calling. The secondary and linebackers worked on reading the quarterback and batting down the ball.

August 5 was the first official hit day, so the Patriots ended last Saturday’s practice with a light scrimmage which was held in front of parents and Patriot fans.

Head Coach Mike Natoli working with the quarterbacks.

Indy opens the season at home on August 18 against Dutch Fork the South Carolina state champions and former Indy head coach Tom Knotts. Coach Knotts led the Patriots for nine seasons, had a 132-6 record and won six state championships. Kick off time is set for 7:00 p.m.

Coach Natoli, Athletic Director Elijah Ashley and Principal David LeGrand encourage all students and Patriots’ fans to come out and fill the stands as the Patriots take on the South Carolina’s state champions. Again, kick off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Independence High School.

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