Dallas County High School running back Martashion Surles, center, breaks a tackle during an intrasquad scrimmage at a practice earlier this month. The Hornets completed spring practices with a game at Central High School in Coosa County. -- Robert Hudson

Southside, Dallas County finish spring with practice games

Published 9:49pm Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A pair of county schools traveled on Friday to compete in spring games and complete spring practices.

The Dallas County High School Hornets and the Southside High School Panthers both traveled outside the county for spring games.

The Hornets traveled to Coosa County on May 18 to play Central High School.

Chris Littleton, interim head football coach for Dallas County High School, said he saw positives on both sides of the ball, but there’s still room for improvement going into the summer.

“In the scrimmage, we moved the ball well,” Littleton said. “We need to get a little better with ball security; we had a couple of turnovers. Defensively, we had a couple of kids that made some big plays, we created a couple of turnovers, but I think we’ve just got to get better at tackling. Offensively, we’ve just got to keep learning the offense. Most of our drive killers offensively were just mental miscues from the kids just learning the new offense.”

Littleton said he thinks the Hornets had a good spring overall, which is important because it gives them momentum going into the summer and beyond.

“It just sets the tone for us to move forward into the summer. (It’s important) To get the kids ready, to get them committed to come out to summer workouts and getting ready to go into the fall,” Littleton said. “We’ve got a long summer ahead of us, we’ve got a lot of work to fit in, and having a good spring helps us to keep the kids encouraged and keeps them motivated to come out and work hard this summer. Whereas, if we would not have had a good spring, you could see some of the kids’ minds drift toward other things, but as it is, everyone seems real positive and they’re excited and ready to go in, hit the weights, do the conditioning and work to get stronger.”

The Panthers traveled to Central High School in Tuscaloosa on May 18, and while Southside head football coach Bertrum Crum said things didn’t go the way the Panthers planned, he still saw some bright spots.

“Things didn’t go quite the way we had planned them, but overall, I was pleased with what we learned about ourselves as a team,” Crum said. “Things that I saw that were positive, I saw a sense of not quitting in our guys — they seemed to play to the end, despite the score. We were down, but they continued to play,” Crum said. “Then I saw a lot of new guys at different positions that I didn’t think could play those positions, so I’m very optimistic about the upcoming season.”

Crum said the Panthers will focus heavily on improving strength and conditioning with summer workouts.

“Central was a much bigger school, and you could tell they had been working out,” Crum said. “And our guys saw that, saw the difference between them and us was that they worked out, that they were stronger and that they were in better condition, so basically what we’re going to focus on this offseason is learning our assignments and getting in the best shape we can be in physically and mentally.”

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