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Jamborees end spring work

Area schools will end their spring football practices today and Friday by lining up against another team in game-like situations.

Tonight, Dallas County head football coach Darryl Burns gets his first chance to look at his Hornets when they host Autaugaville at 7 p.m.

On Friday, Francis Marion will entertain Robert C. Hatch, Marengo and Southside in a four-quarter round-robin jamboree. The first quarter at 7 p.m. will feature Robert C. Hatch against Marengo.

Burns is in his first year at Dallas County, so tonight’s action will give him a clearer picture of his team’s possibilities next year.

“We’ve made progress every day but maybe one,” he said. “We want to give them a little bit, but enough to play a game. We’ve only been at it less than two weeks.”

Dallas County principal Don Ingram said he was glad Autaugaville was able to play the game.

“We got Coach Burns a little later in the spring season, so we were able to find a team close by that had an open date,” he said.

Burns said he sees the Hornets need to improve, but the work so far has been beneficial.

“We’ve got a lot of way to go,” he said, “but we’ve made progress and we’re tickled to death.”

Francis Marion head football coach Javaris Jackson said he would be looking at R.C. Hatch during the Friday jamboree because the two teams are in the same district.

“But I’m also looking at Marengo too,” he said. “We will play them in a fall jamboree, and I want us to do well going into the season.”

Francis Marion vs. Southside, Southside vs. Marengo, then Marengo vs. Robert C. Hatch will follow the Robert C. Hatch-Marengo matchup in the first quarter.

Jackson said he had about 32 players in spring workouts. “I told them if they don’t come out for spring practices, then don’t expect to play in the fall,” he said.

Southside head coach Lemuel Jones said he would see how his team feels about change.

“My approach to the jamboree is that I hope to find out how some of our players adapt to their positions,” Jones said. “I’ve got an offensive lineman, Deveion Dukes, that is going to be a receiver.”

Quarterback is also a question mark.

“We’ve got three quarterbacks,” Jones said. “I’m just waiting for one to step up and take the lead.”

Jones also want to look at younger players.

“It will be the first time Mario Morris will be starting at tailback,” he said. “And I want to look at James McNeal in the backfield; he will be a ninth-grader next year.”

Jones said his philosophy has been to fill the players with as much football as they handle.

“I am going to throw everything at (his players) in practice and hope that it won’t be anything new when we start back at the fall,” he said.