It’s called “Competition Thursday.”
From station to station, the Lincoln football team moves in different groups through its summer workouts.
Tire lifts, medicine ball tosses, sled runs, shuttle drills, tug-of-war, weight lifting.
Speed, quickness, agility, power. It all gets covered.
And only one winner, through sheer determination.
“Competition Thursday is very competitive and it helps bring out the monster in you,” Lincoln defensive back Raekwon Archer said. “It helps you compete, because on the field you have to compete for your position, you have to compete for the ball. Whatever you do in life, you have to compete for it. You can’t ever slack off.”
Lincoln doesn’t have that national recruit like a year ago, when John Burt commanded attention as a four-star wide receiver. Burt finally settled on the University of Texas after every major college visited Tallahassee and Lincoln High to secure his services.
This will be a much quieter year by comparison, yet the Trojans have talent, even if it hasn’t yet manifested yet in production.
Six-foot-4 rising junior wide receiver Malik Garye has been offered by Missouri, Akron and UAB, among others. But he has only eight receptions for 96 yards and one touchdown for his career.
Trojans rising senior running back Ricky Henrilus spent his sophomore season at receiver before moving to the backfield last year. Henrilus rushed for 774 yards and nine touchdowns, which put him in the mid-range of Tallahassee area running backs’ production for 2014.
Henrilus has offers from South Florida, FAU and Southern Miss and Georgia Southern, but a giant 1,000-yard season would enhance his status.
“The biggest thing I’m most proud about with about this group is their attitude and how hard they work,” Trojans head coach Yusuf Shakir said. “They’re all positive. Nobody goes half speed. I don’t know how good we’ll be this year, but I’m so excited for the season. These kids want to be pushed and pushed to that next level.”
The list of Lincoln players ready to bust out and live up to their talent goes on and on. Shakir knows this, which is why he’s optimistic that his senior-heavy group will be a force in the fall.
Archer and fellow senior cornerback Larry Stevens provide a combo on the defensive perimeter capable of shutting down wide receivers.
“It really helps us a lot,” Shakir said. “Larry is a three-year starter and Raekwon will be a two-year starter. Raekwon is long and talented, and both of them have great ball skills, which is essential to being a top-flight corner. They’re quick and they’re physical. They will hit you and they don’t shy away from tackling. That’s what colleges like about them is what they put on film.”\
Stevens, a 3-star recruit by 247sports, has mid-major offers, while Archer has slowly been receiving more interest. Judging by their attitude, you’d think they were 5-star prospects with All-American status.
Competition Thursday goes a long way towards building that confidence.
“Every play you have the mentality that the guy you’re covering isn’t going to catch a ball on you,” Archer said. “You have to make sure he knows he won’t catch one on you. Sometimes that means talking trash— ‘You’re not going to catch a ball. You’re on Raekwon Archer Island, baby.'”
Yeah, it’s bravado. But it’s bravado with a point. Archer doesn’t care what recruiting services are or aren’t saying.
His play on the field will take care of that.
“I’ve been talking to Georgia Tech, they’ve been watching film, and the first four games are going to decide if they’re going to offer me or not,” Archer said. “I’ve just got to stay on my game and stay focused on what I’m doing.”
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