Greenville spring roster boasts many new faces
Published 5:04 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2016
With spring in full effect, football fever hasn’t been soon behind at Greenville High School as the Tigers held their first day of spring training Monday.
With 52 Tigers returning to the field, it was quickly business as usual behind the GHS field house. But perhaps more surprisingly is that there just as many new faces, if not more.
“All total, we’ve got 105 players. I think we have 52 returning players from last year, so we’ve got a good bit of new ones out there,” said Greenville head football coach Josh McLendon.
“I think anytime you have success like we had last year, plus a big senior class like we had last year, you’re going to have some new kids and a lot of incoming freshmen that are coming out. It’s a good group, and we’re looking forward to getting into a little bit more as the weeks go on.”
Among the din of cheers, applause and hits were McLendon’s echoing words—alignment, assignment and effort—and the fundamentals were appropriately a big priority on day one of the Tigers’ planned 10-day series of spring training.
“We’re always going to focus on those base fundamentals—making sure we know how to line up, how to tackle, how to hold a football and the little things that are just so important,” McLendon said.
“We focus on that, and then we can get into the grand scheme of things later on.”
Speaking of the grand scheme, there are several questions to be answered for the Tigers, who will experience a rather large exodus of senior talent from both offense, defense and special teams.
Perhaps most notable of all is the vacancies left behind at the running back position courtesy of seniors Dequarius Peterson and Skilar Moorer.
The competition for the No. 1 running back spot showed on day one, with a number of familiar and not-so-familiar faces contending for the spotlight.
But according to McLendon, no one’s spot is safe on next year’s roster.
“There are a lot of spots up for grabs right now; it’s not just theirs,” McLendon said.
“It’s across the board. We’re looking forward to seeing what these guys can do. A lot of them have their opportunity to prove themselves, and that’s what we’re looking forward to—that competition, and seeing which guys want to stand out and actually do what they’re supposed to do.”
And competition was in no small supply Monday afternoon, as black and white jerseys divided the Tigers’ roster into scout offenses and defenses.
The opposing sides battled not only for attention in a sea of competitors, but also to improve one another. According to McLendon, fostering that competitive spirit is vital for improving during the brief spring training season.
“That’s why we put the helmet and the shoulder pads on. It’s about competing with the person across from you, and it’s just about constantly trying to get better,” McLendon said. “That’s what we want to encourage the guys out there to do, and if they do that, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
The Tigers’ spring training session will culminate in a McKenzie-hosted spring jamboree between Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie.
The event is currently set for May 6 at 6 p.m.