BULLDOGS MAKING STRIDES: Andalusia using spring practice to fill in the gaps

Published 12:05 am Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Andalusia Bulldogs knew that would need to replace several key starters from a year ago, and head coach Trent Taylor said they are using spring training to fill in those gaps.

“It’s no secret that we lost a considerable amount of talent to graduation,” Taylor said. “That’s not any new information for anyone.”

So far during spring training, Taylor said he has like what he has seen, but also said he knows they aren’t ready to be playing games at this point.

“We have some good days and some not so good days,” Taylor said. “I’ve been pleased with attitudes and the work ethic of the guys that we kind of expect to fill in some of these holes. They will be the first ones to tell you, though, that we aren’t ready to be playing a game on Friday night, but we don’t need to be.”

Taylor said that the kids are learning and improving.

“They are making strides,” Taylor said. “We are keeping things very simplistic so far and that’s by design. One thing that’s different between high school coaches and coaches at the next level is that we have to take the talents we have and mold the offense and defense to fit them. We are still learning what exactly that is going to be.”

Taylor said this spring is more important than some years because of the number of players that have to be replaced.

“I’m not a big advocate of spring practice and that’s why I don’t play in jamborees,” Taylor said. “This year is an exception. This kind of situation when you are replacing 23 seniors, spring practice is a very important. With the amount of time that we get in the summer, we are able to get a lot of things done.”

The offensive line is going to be one of the key positions that the Bulldogs will have to find replacements for, Taylor said.

“We have to replaces two offensive linemen,” Taylor said. “Really it’s three, but we have kid that is moving over from tight end.”

Running back is going to be another position that requires replacements.

“It’s always tough losing a guy like Jamal (Hourel), especially after the type of year he has as a junior and then to go down with an injury his senior season,” Taylor said. “Zack (Woods) did a tremendous job stepping up when Jamal got hurt, but he was a senior also. So far this spring, we have had four guys that have really stepped up to fill those roles.”

Taylor said the Bulldogs may look a little different to the fans this season.

“There is going to be some differences that people notice,” Taylor said. “The biggest thing will be that we are probably going to have a number of guys that will play both ways. That’s not something that we have had to do in the past.”