Golden Tigers host spring jamboree

By Bart Moss

For the FCT

The Russellville Golden Tigers closed out their first spring practice under new head coach Mark Heaton Friday night.

The Golden Tigers hosted a spring football game against Pleasant Grove, a 5A school from the Birmingham area.

The varsity team played the bulk of the first three quarters where Pleasant Grove defeated Russellville 30-13.

“I thought our kids played hard,” Heaton said.

“Pleasant Grove is a very good and athletic team. I think they will be one of the teams to beat in 5A north next year.”

In spite of the defeat, Heaton saw a lot of good things from Friday night’s game.

“We had some guys make some big plays and we didn’t turn the ball over a lot,” he said.

On the negative side, Heaton saw a lot of room for improvement.

“We had a ton of execution errors, which will get better with reps this summer,” he said.

With the Golden Tigers installing a new, up-tempo offense similar to what Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers run, there were frequent missed assignments and mistakes. However, there were signs of the potential the new offense can offer.

“We had too many three and outs and negative plays,” Heaton said.

“They were simple errors in motion and cadence. I believe that is just a byproduct of us being young in key spots and the limited preparation time. We will get better.”

Summer workouts will be critical to building the foundation for Heaton’s young Golden Tiger football team.

“Our main focus this summer will be building a team attitude,” Heaton said.

“We will work four days a week this summer and try and master our defensive coverages and offensive passing game while continuing to sharpen our run game, run defense and special teams.”

The Golden Tigers will kick off their football season this fall with a jamboree game at Colbert County on Aug. 22.

Their first regular reason game will be at home against Deshler on Aug. 29.

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