Dallas County High School quarterback Wyatt Sanders, right, hands the ball off to running back Shadrick Turner during practice on Monday. -- Robert Hudson

Local AHSAA squads hold first practices of 2012 season

Published 12:59am Tuesday, August 7, 2012

After a wait that may have seemed like an eternity, Alabama High School Athletic Association football teams made their return to the gridiron on Monday.

Monday marked the first day of practices for local AHSAA football teams, as Ellwood Christian Academy, Dallas County, Keith, Selma and Southside high schools took to the field for the first time this season.

Keith High School head football coach Harry Crum said he was pleased with the turnout on day one.

“We had 20 plus guys out here today, which is a really good number for us here at Keith to start the season off,” Crum said. “I know some kids are still in their vacation mode, but that’s not going to stop us because we’re going to prepare with what we have. We’re going to prepare as if these are going to be the guys that are going to be representing us this season. The skill position guys, they’re looking pretty decent, coach [Tarrance] Turner’s working the line pretty good and it seems they’re doing a good job. The guys are not at in regular-season form yet, but they’re looking pretty good.”

Chris Littleton, head football coach of Dallas County High School, said the first practice was all about solidifying the fundamentals, and the players responded well.

“I feel like it went pretty well. We spent some time working on some fundamentals. I thought we had a pretty good day defensively working on some pursuit and working on some fundamentals,” Littleton said. “Then, offensively, we were working on some technique, footwork, fundamental things, and were able to start reinstalling some of the base of the offense from the spring. Kids showed up with a great attitude, responded well to coaching. They got a little tired at the end, it got a little hot, but overall I thought it was a pretty productive, positive day.”

Selma High head football coach Leroy Miles was not able to attend practices on Monday due to the passing of his father, but got positive reports from assistant coaches, one of which he was pleased with was the fact that 65 players were present and participating on the first day.

As for the Ellwood Christian Academy squad, head coach Mike Stokes said the first day went well, and the coaches are trying to set the tone for players for the rest of the year.

“It was a pretty good day for us,” Stokes said. “We’re trying to hammer out how we’re going to do things. We’re going to do things right and hard and we’re going to be disciplined. That’s what we’re trying to instill right now. We just went over basic formation and basic defense today.”

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