The 2014 Port Allen High football team won’t have to venture 150 miles this year to start their training season, but that doesn’t mean the players escaped the intensity of the summer workout.
The PAHS coaching staff opted to hold its annual “Pel Hell” boot camp on the school campus.
The Pelicans for the last six seasons kick off the training drills with a trip to Kings Arrow Ranch in Lumberton, Miss. For the two years before that, PAHS ventured to a camp near Clinton.
The training at Port Allen High School will stretch from Monday through Friday, Blanchard said.
The decision came down to a matter of priorities, Blanchard said.
“We’re buying new uniforms for the players,” he said. “That’s actually more expensive than the camp, but it’s something we’ve needed.”
Blanchard plans to resume the tradition next year, but he said a home-based “boot camp” benefits the program.
“Actually, we’ll be able to do a lot more than we were able to do at boot camp,” he said. “It will be more flexible.
“It doesn’t mean it will be any easier for the players,” Blanchard said. “We have a lot planned.”
It will mark the first time in eight years that the Pelicans did not head out of town for training.
Blanchard believes the change of venue and break of routine may help the team.
“You have to have something different every now and then to throw a few kinks into it for them,’ he said.
The “boot camp” will kick off the annual summer drills, which will lead into the 2014 season.
The Pelicans kick off the slate Aug. 28 when they host Albany in the Placid Refining Jamboree.
PAHS begins its regular season Sept. 6 at Avoylles.