Eagles air it out

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Fort Dale Academy football team closed out the first week of spring practice Friday in helmets and shorts before the Eagles put on pads Monday for the first contact of the season.

Fort Dale head coach James &#8220Speed” Sampley said he has seen improvement during this week of practice, but he understands getting back into the groove takes time.

&#8220(Practice) is going better as the week goes on,” Sampley said. &#8220We're just trying to be consistent and it's more of an assignment deal for us while we're in shorts.”

Offensively, the Eagles are looking for a quarterback and it seems Davis Watts has taken the leading in the race.

Overall, Sampley has been pleased with the play of his quarterbacks.

&#8220Our quarterbacks have gotten to where they are throwing better,” Sampley said. &#8220Davis Watts has looked the best and Adam Vickery has thrown the ball well, at times, and we can also win with him.”

&#8220We've just got to play the best player at quarterback,” he added.

Because of the Eagles' offensive scheme, the quarterback must be able to run and throw, although Fort Dale has and will rely heavily on the run.

Running backs Blake Mullins and Barry Boan return to the Eagle backfield, although a late-season shoulder injury to Boan will keep him out of contact drills until the first game of the season against Edgewood.

Sampley is hoping players like Jeffrey stead will step up so that he can split time with Mullins and Boan in the offensive backfield due to them playing a lot on defense.

With several key players graduating in a few weeks, Sampley said the current juniors must step up and take a leadership role as they turn into seniors in the fall.

&#8220It's their turn,” Sampley said. &#8220Our seniors did a great job last year and came to work everyday and I'm sure this group will do the same.”

&#8220This bunch wants to play football,” he added.

The Eagles will return to action Monday as they put on pads for the first time, although they will still be in shorts.