Spring football often provides a time for the next player at certain positions to emerge.
At Starkville Academy, football coach Jeff Terrill believes there's a good nucleus returning from a team that played for the Class AAA, Division II State Championship last year, but he's also looking for some newcomers to help fill some voids.
The Volunteers begin spring practice today and Terrill looks forward to a time of building depth across the board.
"We do think we have to rebuild the offensive and defensive line with the loss of Angus (Catchot) and some other good players, but we're really excited about some of the guys we have coming out," Terrill said. "A real goal for the spring will be to develop that and establish an offensive and defensive line. The other real concerns would be running backs and linebackers."
Although Starkville Academy returns quarterback Drew Pellum from last year's successful year, Terrill would like to identify a backup in the spring.
As of now, he doesn't see one from 10th through 12 grades.
"We've got an outstanding 9th grade quarterback in Houston Clark and he had a great jamboree when we took the junior high over to East Webster last Thursday," Terrill said. "He threw three or four touchdown passes, but we want him to play junior high football and get reps in games. That's just an issue, but we do believe in our big guys we'll be able to create some depth and be pretty good there and more worried about skilled positions. We'll have to rely on some newcomers and see who will step up there."
The Vols will have 20 practices in 30 calendar days so the athletes who play baseball may get some time at the end to get in some work.
Terrill expects to follow a similar routine as Mississippi State with two or three practices per week.
"We're a little lucky because the academy spring rule is a little different," Terrill said of the practice format. "We're going to go ahead and start. We are fortunate that we'll have the majority of our linebackers, defensive linemen and offensive linemen so we'll get a lot of the technique work in with the big guys. We won't practice every day. We'll save enough practices so when baseball is through, we can get our work done."
A scrimmage is tentatively scheduled between Starkville Academy and Washington School at J.E. Logan Field on Saturday, May 12. The date and noon starting time could change depending on what happens with baseball season.