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Eagles open up spring practice

Spring football practice began for the Fort Dale Academy Eagles Monday as the team practiced in helmets and shorts for more than two hours in preparation for the 2007 season.

&#8220When you're in shorts, you mainly just trying to learn,” Fort Dale head coach James &#8220Speed” Sampley said.

During the next two weeks, Sampley said he hopes to work on the fundamentals as the Eagles look to replace several key graduating seniors.

&#8220Offensively, what I would like is for us to get down our timing,” Sampley said. &#8220I want the offensive line to understand the pass protections and schemes.”

&#8220We're trying to be able to run a no-huddle offense and that just takes time,” he added.

Although much time was spent on offense during the first day, Sampley said the Eagles will spend a lot of time on defense and the kicking game through this week and the next.

A change that has taken place already in the kicking game is the addition of Sean McKeague.

McKeague, who will be a sophomore in the fall, is a soccer-style kicker who will primarily focus on kicking duties. McKeague spent much of Monday's practice splitting the uprights.

Another change that has taken place is guy calling the shots under center.

Senior Ty Newton, who started at quarterback last season, will graduate later this month and juniors Adam Vickery, Davis Watts and freshman Dustin Till will battle it out during the spring and summer for the starting job.

&#8220I don't know who'll be our quarterback, right now,” Sampley said. &#8220Whoever comes out of spring and summer in the lead will be our guy.”

The Eagles will continue practice throughout the next two weeks, working in some 7-on-7 situations when possible.