By David Knox
TRUSSVILLE — Josh Floyd sent out a new pack of Huskies as Hewitt-Trussville took to the field for its first spring drills on Monday,
Pinson Valley’s Pat Nix begins his era today when the Indians hit the field while Clay-Chalkville will open spring drills on Monday, May 1.
Weekend rains made Monday’s mid-70s seem almost fall-like, but the week promised a warming trend as the competition heats up on the football field.
Hewitt is coming off a breakout 11-1 season, a trip to the quarterfinals, an unprecedented unbeaten regular season and all kinds of scoring records. The Huskies will be reloading at quarterback, receiver and running back, but have a big piece of the offensive line in Alabama commitment Pierce Quick, who will be a junior this fall. Elliott McElwain looks to be the go-to guy on the ground and, despite losing Connor Adair, there is a host of QB talent to consider.
“I thought we showed flashes of some really good things. I was pleased with the intensity of practice. We need to learn how to finish a practice off, give great effort the entire time. That’s the thing about spring training, is to get better fundamentally and be more consistent,” head coach Josh Floyd said.
Hewitt will conclude its spring practice with a game against Rhea County of Tennessee at Jacksonville State’s Burgess-Snow Field on Saturday, May 13.
Pinson Valley will be blending the old and the new – the Indians have a lot of parts back from a 7-4 team that went two rounds deep in the playoffs, but Nix has the most celebrated young quarterback in the area in his son Bo, a junior.
Clay suffered an expected letdown after back-to-back 6A finals trips, going 6-5 against a tough schedule. Then Jerry Hood resigned as coach and Drew Gilmer now has the reins. The veteran assistant has a talented group of athletes, but he needs to put them in places to make plays and this spring is part of that process. New offensive coordinator Jon Clements, formerly at Pinson Valley, will begin to make tweaks to the Cougar offense after the departure over the past few seasons of some once-in-a-lifetime kind of talent at receiver and quarterback.
Gilmer pushed Clay’s practice schedule back in part to accommodate his late start and also the late start of their spring game opponent, Gadsden City. Bart Sessions is the new head man there, and the game is now set for May 19. Clay will go out May 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 and 15, 17, 18. There will be a 2 p.m. scrimmage May 12 for students before the Cougars travel to face the Titans to close practice.