• 91°

Rebels hope to build off last season’s success

The Zion Chapel Rebels finished the 2019 season in the postseason and on Monday they began preparations for what they hope is a return to trip to the postseason.

The Rebels, like other teams across the state officially began fall practice on Monday and will have just a few weeks to prepare for the 2020 season.

“It feels good to be back,” head coach Randy Bryant said. “We are in an acclimation period and in shorts and helmets, but we’re looking foreword to putting pads on next week. We are really excited.”

This week has been a continuation of summer workouts for Bryant and the Rebels. The Rebels have broken up their practices into different sessions that include group periods and team periods. During practice this week the Rebels have worn helmets.

The Rebels advanced to the postseason and had a winning record for the first time since 2011 last season. With the start of the season inching closer, the players are getting more and more excited to see if they can begin their journey to a second-straight postseason berth.

“I think there is a different excitement level,” Bryant said. “They are closer to getting to be able to play. The excitement level increases week by week.”

Under the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the Rebels will continue to take things one day at a time, while at the same time hoping the season will get started on schedule.

“We can’t predict the future,” Bryant said. “We worry and wonder because you see stories around the state about schools shutting down sports for the year. We see those things and it makes us wonder, but we tell the kids every day that we need to handle us. Let’s do our part.”

The Rebels are working on fundamentals this week where they will work on the basics, but with it being year four in Bryant’s system, the coach doesn’t believe they will have start from scratch.

“This is year four for our program,” Bryant said. “The basics of what we do are in place. Kids know how we are going to do things so we don’t have to go back to the beginning.”

The Rebels will host Florala in a jamboree on August 21. They will officially open the season a week later when they host Kinston.