With heat soaring into the upper 80′s it felt like preseason workouts in August. It was actually spring workouts in May and the Norcross Blue Devils were putting in the work. Keith Maloof is entering is 20th season as Head Coach of the Blue Devils and keeps the same approach to spring football. ” I just try to find football players,” says Maloof. ” We graduated a lot as we usually do and a lot of young kids need to step it up. We have a really talented sophomore class with a good mix of our juniors and seniors.So, we could start out slow and gradually get better, we got to see what our young guys can do.”
Last year, GHSA allowed high school football teams to play a scrimmage against an opponent as part of spring workouts. Norcross passed on that opportunity this year. ” I like scrimmaging ourselves because I get to see more players,” says Maloof. “If you play another team, now you cut yourself in half as for evaluations over the summer.”
After going 11-1 in 2016, the Blue Devils finished the 2017 regular season 5-5, then lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Grayson. Norcross will face the Rams in a preseason scrimmage on August 10.
The Road to the Class AAAAAAA state championship is expected to go through Gwinnett County again in 2018. Keith Maloof wouldn’t have it any other way , and will face the defending state champions on week 3. “North Gwinnett,” exclaimed Maloof.”I’m really happy for them to bring it back to Gwinnett County after Colquitt took it 2 years in a row. It’s exciting for us to have North Gwinnett on our schedule so we can see how we match up with them, because they are the last ones to do it and they are the ones who are carrying the crown.”
Like most high school football teams this time of year, Norcross is gearing up for camps, drills and 7 on 7 tournaments during the long dog days of summer. It’s all a part of the process. “I’m looking forward to the season,” says Maloof “We always tell them last years group is gone, it’s your team now “.