Spring a ‘measuring tool’ for DHSPublished 11:00am Thursday, May 15, 2014
When you lose the amount of experienced starters and playmakers that Dadeville has from its 2013 season, finding replacements won’t be easy to do.
As far as DHS football coach Richard White is concerned, it’s time for the new faces to step up.
“They’ll have to (replace our guys),” White said. “They’ll be forced into it, and they’re going to have to go for it. That’s what happens when you lose two-year and three-year starters.”
Such has been the theme of spring practice for the Tigers, as they are getting their first look at the team tasked with building on last season’s run to the quarterfinals. White said signs indicate reason to be excited.
“It’s going alright,” White said of the team’s spring activity. “I’ve seen some encouraging things. We’re using the spring as a measuring tool to see what we have and what we need to work on.”
Most of the Tigers’ areas of concern are finding people to produce at positions vacated by multi-year starters. One area in particular is the linebacker position, where D.J. Morgan and All-State performer Tamarcus Russell no longer roam.
“We’ll probably have some 10th graders at the inside linebacker spot,” White said. “They’ve looked decent in practice, but until you get into game action, you never really know what you have.”
Also a position battle to watch is at quarterback, which has traditionally been a strength for the Tigers in recent years.
Shawn Jennings and Cal Jones are vying for the unenviable task of replacing All-State dual-threat C.J. Tolbert. Regardless of who wins the job, White said, both players can expect to see significant time on the field for Dadeville in 2014.
“They’re both doing pretty good,” White said. “But we still have to iron out some rough spots. Cal is coming off the torn ACL, so he hasn’t been able to do anything until now. Shawn played a little quarterback for us, and he’s gotten better. If they continue to progress they’ll be great players for us, and whoever doesn’t win the job will serve as backup and play at a skill position, which should be a big help for us.”
Dadeville will get a good look at where the team is tonight when the Tigers host Sylacauga in a spring jamboree game. In addition to getting some film to learn from, White said he wanted to see players emerge on the front line.
“We lost some offensive linemen that started for a couple years, so we have to plug kids in and move them around to see how they do,” White said. “I’m anxious to see how we do and get some game film to see what we need to shore up.”
The jamboree between DHS and SHS starts at 6 p.m. in Tiger Stadium.
The varsity team will play the first half, with the B-team playing the second half.