Leake Rebels have busy summer as Pickens returns for 12th season
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:00 AM
There is a good mix of the old and the new at Leake Academy this summer.
Long-time Rebel coach Brian Pickens returns for his 12th season along with defensive coordinator Josh Ray.
But instead of kicking back this summer, Pickens and his staff have been busy this summer. As soon as school was out, Pickens and his staff starting moving into a new field house and weight room.
"It's been a busy summer so far," Pickens said. "We are pretty much moved in but we still have a lot of work to do. But it's a really nice facility and I can see where it's going to make a big difference in our football program."
Pickens hopes the biggest difference comes in the new weight room, which features five state-of-the-art Power Racks.
"When I first got here, we might have 20 kids in there lifting at one time," Pickens said. "There were times this year where we had 50 kids in that weight room. These new Power Racks allow us to work out more kids at one time and get more things done. It allows us to be more efficient in what we are doing and hopefully that will show up on the football field."
The new field house also features a new high school locker room. In turn, the old high school locker room was renovated and will now serve the junior high and could hold up to 60 players. The field house also features a new training room, showers and bathrooms, coaches office and a large conference room.
"We've just got a lot more room now," Pickens said. "We've got room to put people. We've actually got room to store some things."
But the field house is not the only new thing Pickens is having to deal with. He's also have to deal with a lot of starters after graduating 15 seniors from last year's district championship team.
"I thought we had a good spring and saw a lot of young kids do some good things," Pickens said. "We've got a good core of kids coming back with experience, especially on the line. But we graduated a lot of skill people and will have a lot of new faces there on both sides of the football. But that's something you deal with every year. You're always going to be filling holes and looking for kids to step up. That's just part of it."
The Rebels also welcome a new assistant coach. Cory Burns, who played on Pickens' first team at Leake, comes from Winston Academy where he as an assistant football coach and also coached the boys basketball and baseball teams.
The Rebels open the season at home when they host Class AAA Copiah on Aug. 22.
2014 Leake Academy football schedule
Aug. 22 Copiah
Aug. 29 at Washington
Sept. 5 at Manchester
Sept. 12 Simpson
Sept. 19 Tri-County
Sept. 26 Canton
Oct. 3 at Winston
Oct. 10 at Hartfield
Oct. 17 at Winston
Oct. 24 Oak Hill