The most important thing to happen for the East Webster Wolverines during spring practice was they were actually able to have a spring practice.
After the tornado of April 27 last year, East Webster was not able to get all of its work in because of damage to the Cumberland campus.
The Wolverines did what they could from their Wood Junior College site, but there was definitely a difference.
East Webster football coach Doug Wilson could tell the difference this spring when the team was able to take advantage of a full schedule of spring drills. He said strides were made, especially in the weight room.
The Wolverines lost 11 seniors from last year's team that finished 5-7 overall and 2-3 in Class 2A, Region 2, District 4 so Wilson has been looking for the next crop of leaders.
Of last year's senior class, Wilson said there were four or five players who were pretty big in size.
"We had some tall lineman that made us look bigger," Wilson said. "We don't have a lot of height on this team and not very big, but we've got a lot of kids that had to play young last year. They have got a little bit of experience on them, and Friday night experience, so we've got more returning that got playing time.
"Most of them are probably going to be 10th and 11th graders again. We've got eight that will be seniors this year and most of those boys played last year so that will help too."
Wilson said a search has begun at East Webster for a new quarterback as the decision was made to use Codie Mckee, last year's starter, in a different role. There will also be some adjustments along the offensive front.
Because of those changes, the Wolverines will have a different look on offense.
Linebacker Thomas Brooks returns to lead the East Webster defense. He was credited with 111 tackles last season.
"He had a real good spring and he was among the top tacklers in every game last year," Wilson said. "He was among the top two or three guys. He will start at middle linebacker and may have to start some on offense too."
Wilson looks to involve two new seniors who are playing for the first time and is anxious to see what Mckee can do on both sides of the football.
"We're expecting a lot out of him," Wilson said.
Senior Charles Moseley will be one returning lineman for the Wolverines and Colby Williamson, the son of assistant coach Kenny Williamson, will be the starting center.
"He's been starting since 9th grade," Wilson said of Williamson. "Those guys will hopefully lead the other guys."
East Webster participated in a end of the year jamboree hosted by Eupora. They Wolverines scrimmaged against the host school and Bruce.
"We probably played two of the best teams in Class 2A, in the north anyway, so we got tested pretty good," Wilson said. "We've still got a lot of work ahead of us, but at least we can concentrate mostly this summer on 7-of-7, weights and not so much on moving."
East Webster plays in the preseason scrimmage hosted by West Oktibbeha on August 10, then opens the season at Vardaman on August 17.
(Editor's Note: This story is the third in a series recapping spring practice for various high schools in the area. Other teams will be hightlighted in the next week.)