The Hatley Tigers had another successful spring football showing, winning their game at Jacksonville State 38-14 on May 11.
Third-year coach Ken Adams was pleased with his team’s spring.
“We’re still learning and we’re still at the teaching stage,” he said. “Our baseball team made it all the way to the second round of the playoffs, so we still had some guys involved in baseball, which is a really good thing. The end of the school with the way it is, you try to get some work done and you get set up to be successful in the spring game, but it’s also about leading into the summer with 7 on 7 and weight lifting. I think this spring was a little bit better than the last spring because the guys understand more.”
Two of the returning starters the Tigers have coming back on offense are incoming senior Nick Washington at running back and sophomore Markhel Hunt, who will continue to play more quarterback.
“Markhel ran the offense really well in the spring game and did a great job,” Adams said. “We’re excited about having Nick back after he had such a good junior season. We didn’t care too much about running it much this spring, but he still got his carries and played well.”
Adams said one of the priorities in the summer will be building depth.
“We have a lot of things to clean up and work on to get ready for Hamilton in Week 1, but I’m excited about the kids,” he said. “We have to build depth. Not only do we have to find 11 starters on offense, but we have to find that 12th guy and so on. We have lost a lot of good players the last two years, and we have a really good senior class this next year. We have to develop the guys underneath, and we want to find consistency.”
Defensive coordinator Scott Booth was also pleased with the effort on the defensive side of the ball.
“We made some mistakes, but those can be corrected, and I was very pleased with how we hustled and ran to the football,” Booth said. “We were aggressive, and our defensive backs were good on coverage. I feel really positive about our defense.”
Some of the seniors leading the way on defense in the spring game win were linebackers Dylan Denton and Heyden Parker and free safety Micah Turner.
“Micah had an interception, and our two linebackers both had great games,” Booth said. “We had some young guys out there too at outside linebacker who did well. You can’t teach the kind of effort they showed, and I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Booth said both touchdowns came against his backup defense.
“They scored no points against our first rotation, and even those scores, we had a chance to make a play,” he said. “Our young guys who were inexperienced learned a lot. We tried to play as many people as possible and get them a good game experience.”
Booth said he likes playing the spring game in a college football stadium.
“It’s great being in that type of environment. Young guys get nervous in a big game or when the lights come on because it’s different than being at practice,” Booth said. “Any type of experience like that is a plus, and overall it was a positive one for us. Considering our practices and the time we had, I felt really good about the time we had in the game. We just need to have a good summer in the weight room.”