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Area football teams take part in spring practice
by Greg Oshust
May 28, 2013 03:58 PM | 1971 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Perry McIntyre<br>
Running back Grant Haley will be among the key players returning this fall for Lovett, which recently finished its spring practice.
Special / Perry McIntyre
Running back Grant Haley will be among the key players returning this fall for Lovett, which recently finished its spring practice.
Lovett is looking forward to making another run for a state football championship in 2013 after advancing to the quarterfinals of the Class AA playoffs last season.

The Lions hope their ’13 season goes a lot better than did their spring football practice period.

Lovett practiced from April 29 to May 10, but was able to practice only six days during that period as heavy rains made its practice field unusable.

“The weather did not cooperate very much,” Lovett coach Mike Muschamp said. “It was, in 26 years of coaching, the worst spring that I’ve been around — simply because the weather was so bad. We’re usually able to get out and get 10 days of work in with our younger kids — fundamental drills, lots of basic stuff that will help us as we go into summer, and we simply didn’t get to do that this spring.”

With all the disruptions due to the weather, Muschamp said his Lions were not able to get all the work they planned to do.

“We got our equipment secured,” Muschamp said. “Outside of that, there wasn’t a whole lot accomplished. We saw some kids step up on defense a little bit — I was pleased with what I saw there.”

Lovett will try to get back on track during the summer, with weight training being its main focus.

The Lions will host Mount Paran Christian in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 9 before opening their regular season at home against Woodward Aug. 23.

Westminster adjusted its spring practice plans due to the school’s run of success in spring sports — with nine state titles to its credit going into its Class AA state baseball championship series with Lovett last Saturday.

With about 30 of their players participating in spring sports, the Wildcats focused mainly on conditioning during their practice session — which lasted from May 6 to 16.

“We did nothing but conditioning and various drills — no pads, no helmets,” Westminster assistant coach Joe Sturniolo said. “We did not run a traditional spring practice. As a coaching staff, we got together and talked about it. We knew we were going to be so thin in some positions — that holding a traditional spring practice really wasn’t going to do us that much good — so we did conditioning and some position-specific drills.

“They did a real good job. We were very happy with what we had.”

Westminster will participate in George B. Maloof 7-on-7 passing tournament at St. Pius X June 14 and the Georgia Invitational 7-on-7 tournament at Lassiter High School July 19 and 20.

The Wildcats host Temple in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 16 before hosting Blessed Trinity in their regular-season opener Aug. 23.

North Atlanta conducted its spring practice May 6 through 18, with about 50 players participating.

For coach Doug Britten, teaching fundamentals was among the main items on the agenda.

“We took some time to teach blocking and tackling,” Britten said. “Really, spring is, for us, a kind of a recruiting tool to get some kids out that, maybe, aren’t sure they want to play — but, hey, it’s 10 days and that will help you find out if you’re interested. It also gives us a basic starting point for the summer to install our offense and defense.”

Britten was encouraged by the progress that his young, underclassmen-dominated squad made.

“We’re still in a little bit of a rebuilding process,” Britten said. “Of those 50 kids, about 27 of them were ninth-graders/rising 10th-graders, so that’s a good thing for us to get those kids involved. We have another large ninth-grade class — we have a ninth-grade program again next season — so I have about 40 rising ninth-graders for our ninth-grade program. It’s going in the right direction.”

North Atlanta will participate in the Hickory Flat Shootout 7-on-7 tournament at J.J. Biello Park in Woodstock June 22 and the UT-Chattanooga passing tournament July 13.

The Warriors host Stone Mountain in their season opener Aug. 30.

Pace conducted the first spring practice in the football program's six-year history, with about 40 players turning out for new coach Chris Slade the first week in May.

"It was just an extension of the [2012] season," Slade said. "Just, basically, reiterating some of the things that we needed to improve and needed to do well last year. So, it was definitely a big review -- no pads, just helmets.

"My main thing was just to get out there and have the kids run around and just get a feel for what spring ball was like. Just get the enthusiasm going with the players and have them get a feel for one another."

Pace begins its summer conditioning program Monday and will participate in a 7-on-7 tournament in Dalton July 13 and 14. The Knights host Wesleyan in a preseason scrimmage Aug. 16, before opening the season at Whitefield Aug. 30.

Calls to coaches at Holy Innocents’, Mount Vernon, North Springs and Riverwood seeking comment on spring practice were not returned at press time.

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