Saints begin spring camp

Published 11:13 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The atmosphere at Selma High’s football practice field on Wednesday could’ve brought back memories for any athlete that strapped on shoulder pads and buckled a chin strap at some point in his life.

The smell of freshly cut grass was thick in the air, coaches taught technique and the sound of helmets and bodies colliding was unmistakable as the Saints began spring football practice.

“A lot of progress can be made in 10 days,” said Selma coach Foster Davis. “We’re going to let this be the starting point.”

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On Wednesday, the coaches focused on teaching. The drills were non-contact, though an occasional tackle was made. The players will have several chances to prove their worth and potential over the next two weeks, but Davis wants to make sure the fundamentals are in place first.

“We just did a lot of teaching,” said Davis. “It wasn’t a day where we had to try to see who could do what. We’ve got a ways to go, just got a lot of hard work ahead.”

With approximately four months before the Saints open fall camp, the team’s goals are modest. Selma wants to make the playoffs, a feat the Saints have not accomplished since 2005. Selma also wants to finish the season with a winning record — a goal not achieved since the 1994 team finished 7-3.

The Saints came close the last two seasons with back-to-back 5-5 records, but could not find that elusive sixth win.

Though he acknowledges that his team has a lot of work ahead of it to meet those goals, Davis believes his team is in a better position now than when he took over the job in August, 2008. Several players vigorously participated in the offseason conditioning program and conducted unsupervised workouts the week before spring practice began. More important, Davis senses a heightened enthusiasm from his players.

“I can tell that there’s more trust by the increased numbers,” said Davis. “This group seems to be a lot more eager.”