FDA focusing on details
With football season quickly approaching, there is no rest for the weary over at Fort Dale Academy.
Head Coach James “Speed” Sampley heads into his 14th year at Fort Dale with the same mentality he’s had from the beginning — losing is not an option.
“There’s no excuse for losing here,” Sampley said. “We have enough people and we have enough talent year in and year out to win. We’re supposed to win, and we know that.”
Most of the challenges presented this summer involve taking care of the little things that often have huge consequences, such as staying on assignment.
To that end, fine-tuning his offense is highest on Sampley’s list of priorities.
“We’re really emphasizing doing a good job of ball security, but also doing your job,” Sampley said. “If you are the running back on a play-action pass, make sure you do a good job faking it. If you are a quarterback on a run play and you’re supposed to carry out a fake, do your job. If you’re a left guard and we’re running zone, finish your block and play until the whistle. Just do your job, and we’ll be fine.”
One of the biggest contributing factors to a team’s success is experience, and the Eagles faced their share of adversity in last year’s season. But that adversity has given Fort Dale a mental fortitude that was impossible to have one year ago, and Sampley plans to take advantage of that.
“We don’t have hardly anyone who’s going to play on offense in a skill position that doesn’t already have experience,” Sampley said. “They’ve been through a season, and they know what it takes to keep it going from play to play, from game to game and from week to week.”
Unfortunately, the offense encountered a minor setback on the offensive line.
Projected starting left guard Will Davis partially tore his ACL in a camp at the University of Alabama.
“We will have to evaluate him to see if he can play,” Sampley said. “His knee didn’t hurt him at camp when he tore it at Alabama and it hasn’t hurt him yet, but it swells when he runs on it.”
Quarterback Chip Taylor has also gained some valuable experience in the past year, and he looks to make his return as the central figure of the Eagles’ offense.
“He has looked better all summer long and he’s gotten a little bigger in the weight room,” Sampley said. “I expect him to have a great year.”
With an improved emphasis on the getting the little things right, the Fort Dale Eagles look to soar to new heights this fall season.