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Bubba Davis has entered his 43rd preseason as a high school football coach.
As an assistant on Jeff Terrill's staff at Starkville Academy this fall, Davis is getting the opportunity to share his knowledge of the game.
The Volunteers opened practice Monday and have gone through four practices in two days.
Just as the 42 previous years, Davis was anxious to get started.
"Like always, I didn't sleep good on Sunday night because we were starting," Davis said. "I still get excited and look forward to being there. It just seems like this time of year it's what you are supposed to be doing."
Terrill is glad to have the veteran, who has had stops in West Point, Columbus, Petal and Walker County (Ala.).
Not only does the presence of Davis help the players, but also Terrill and the other coaches.
"His experience doubles the size of the staff because not only does he coach players, but he coaches coaches," Terrill said. "When he speaks, (the players) listen. He's not one that raises his voice very often. (Coaches) are listening to his wisdom too. You can't put a measuring stick to it."
Terrill said having Davis around helps him focus on the areas of the team that need his specific attention.
"I can cut in half what I did last year," Terrill said.
What hasn't been cut down at Starkville Academy is the size of the team.
Terrill said 38 players reported for the first day of practice of 12 more players than they had report last season.
"We're really excited about the start," Terrill said. "The players reported in pretty good shape and had a real good summer. They are highly spirited and working hard and I'm very pleased."
According to Terrill, the Vols seem to be bigger, stronger, faster and have better skill.
Offensively, the biggest thing for SA is developing a quarterback to take over after the departure of Kyle Henson. There's always a concern for Terrill about depth, but particularly this year on defense.
"We like the starting 11, but I still think the biggest key for us in taking the next step is developing a factor of the young men showing leadership and getting to a mature level to win," Terrill said. "We just don't want to be competitive, but we want to win which we think we can."
It encourages Davis to see the Vols participation and desire to improve.
"It's exciting to see the kids coming and they all get there," Davis said. "While they are there, they pay attention and try to do what you ask them to do. It makes coaching a whole lot more enjoyable when you can get into a situation where the kids do that."
Starkville Academy continues practice and has a scrimmage scheduled for Aug. 5 at home against Lamar School. The Vols participate in the Jackson Academy jamboree on Aug. 11.