Brindlee Mountain head coach Keith Garner said he was pleased with the progress his team made during 2 weeks of spring practice.
He called off the scrimmage the team had planned to end practice and the team instead ate pizza and watched film of recent practices.
“I got a picture of what we wanted to see, and considering our numbers, I didn’t want to chance an injury,” Garner said. “I thought it would be better to use that day to watch video and review what we did.
The Lions are 1-19 over the last 2 seasons, but Garner is upbeat. Their closest game last year was a 19-7 loss at Asbury in the season opener.
Lack of depth continues to be a major issue for the Lions, who finished last season with about 20 players.
Though he saw enough this spring to again be optimistic, Garner concedes numbers again will be an issue. Garner annually has gotten a lot of student-athletes to come out for football, but invariably not enough stick around.
“It’s the same old story,” he said. “We had 42 to sign up, but only 32 actually came out. We finished with 25.”
Garner is hopeful a “handful of kids” will come out over the summer, including some who have had conflicts.
“We should be OK,” he said. “Our goal is to dress 35 and we should be in the 30 range.”
What Garner had on the field this spring was pleasing to his eyes.
“This is a great group of guys,” he said. “They got after it really hard. It’s a learning experience but these are good kids with good attitudes.”
Garner has already noted that several basketball players came out for football this spring, and he’s been highly pleased with them.
“You’ve got to be able to run and catch the ball and make plays in the open field,” he said. “We’ve got some kids out now who can do that.”
Will Compton, a baseball and basketball player, is out for football for the first time and may end up being the quarterback. He’s a southpaw.
Garner also likes rising junior Christian Adams, a tight end/inside slot receiver who made a lot of good plays during spring.
“He’s a tall, rangy kid who can jump and run,” Garner said.
Another player new to football is rising junior Kaleb Henderson, who has played basketball and soccer.
“I watched him playing in the gym all year long, and I knew if he’d come out, he’d make an impact and he did, on both sides of the ball,” Garner said.
Perhaps the biggest standout, though, is a rare returning player, rising junior Bryce Royster, who plays the line on both sides of the ball.
Garner was a bit stunned as he watched Royster this spring.
“He really turned heads,” he said. “He has improved tremendously. He’s come leaps and bounds the last 12 months.”