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Eagle’s roster will have new faces, some old

When the lights illuminate the gridiron for the first time this fall, Fort Dale football fans will recognize only a few starters from last year.

Coach James “Speed” Sampley said three offensive players and three defensive players would be coming back in the fall.

Chance Williams, Stephen Till, and Hunter Armstrong will be returning on offense. At defense, Stephen Till, Manny Norrell and Sawyer Reeves will be returning to their positions.

“As usual with a small school, we will have some kids playing both ways, so we are going to be doing a lot of conditioning to make sure they will be able to keep up,” Sampley said.

The Eagles got a chance to scrimmage against Morgan Academy, Sampley said, which gave them a chance to see where everyone stood.

“We had 43 players and it didn’t matter if you started last year or not, they all got the same amount of play,” Sampley said. “We still got a lot of kids trying to find their position.”

The Eagles only got in a few days of practice before the scrimmage, which showed in their performance, Sampley said. However, he was more concerned with getting everyone on tape and seeing what the coaching staff had to work with.

“We will have a pretty dang good football team,” Sampley said. “We might not have as much overall depth or be as athletic as last year, but I still think we can do good.”

Sampley hopes to have a better idea of who will be playing where by the end of the spring training, but preparation will continue into the fall.

Having little depth in some positions like quarterback is scary, Sampley said, but it’s something he has to deal with.

“Like every football team in America, we got to stay healthy,” Sampley said. “If we do that, we will be fine.”