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Franklin teams tackle spring drills

The usefulness of high school spring football elicits a lot of opinions, but for new coaches especially, it can be invaluable to getting off to a good start and getting to know players.

New Vina football head coach Ben Guin ended his team’s spring with a scrimmage against Class 5A Lawrence County’s B-varsity team.

“I thought we did well,” said Guin. “We started out with a lot of hiccups on offense, but we made some adjustments and settled in. I thought our defense played a good game.

“Overall, for the length of time we had, and the fact we had new coaches and plays, I thought it was a positive springboard to next season.”

Two teams have had shortened springs because of deep runs in the high school baseball playoffs – Red Bay and Phil Campbell.

Red Bay’s spring game was cancelled, but head coach Michael Jackson has 17 returning starters, making spring less of necessity and more for fine tuning.

“I was very pleased with the effort and progression of the players since last fall,” said Jackson. “Practice was smooth with the amount of experience we have coming back. We have more juniors and seniors than we have had in the past five years; they have done an outstanding job in the weight room, and I think we will put one of the strongest teams on the field that we’ve had.”

Phil Campbell traveled to Jacksonville State University to play Lynn in a spring game. With one week of practice, head coach Kevin Barnwell said he wanted to focus on one thing: being physical at the point of contact.

“We tried, as best we could in a short week, to work on being physical,” said Barnwell. “Our goal was not to throw a pass and establish a run game in spring. One reason was for our offense, obviously, but also for our defense. We have to get better at stopping the run.”

Tharptown head coach Kevin Lacey said he wanted to gauge interest in football from younger student-athletes.

“We had some new guys come out that haven’t played before that I think will help us,” said Lacey. “We had some guys who are physical and like to hit come out, and that’s what we need. We lost a lot of skill position players, and we are going to have to find a way to fill those holes.”