Greenville poised for ‘18 season
Heat and humidity are back in force, signaling the start of summer and the end of another school year.
For football players and coaches across Butler County, however, the heat announces that the build-up to the fall and the 2018 football season has begun in earnest.
The Greenville High School Tigers started spring training on April 30 and will have eight total practices, ending on May 16.
GHS head coach Josh McLendon said coaching personnel has at this point remained the same as 2017, making for a strong foundation to begin preparation for the quickly-approaching season.
“I feel like continuity is important and our staff works well together,” McLendon said, “and the kids respect them and play hard for them.”
At least 90 students have signed on for football during the spring, and McLendon said a particular focus is making sure each player receives the instruction they need.
“It takes a lot to coach all of these kids and we want to make sure each one gets coached up the right way,” McLendon said. “So, I think it’s important you have as many coaches as you can, especially the correct number for the amount of positions that you have… to focus on the individual needs of each position.”
The Tigers are using the spring practice time to focus on the fundamentals of the game and drill the ‘basics’ of tackling, blocking, throwing and catching.
“We felt like we were ready to get back to learning the game, just the basics: alignment, assignment and effort, three things I talk about a lot,” McLendon said.
“For now, it’s about making sure these guys are lined up right, they know what to do. Once they do that, they can give 100% effort.”
The Tigers fell to a last-minute field goal against Beauregard in the first round of playoffs last season, cutting the hopes of a strong Greenville team shorter than expected.
McLendon, however, is not dwelling in the past.
“We lost some really good Seniors, we had some that contributed a lot. Anytime that you lose a good group of seniors in high school [football], it’s going to take its toll. But you have to have that next-man-up mentality, that those guys behind them are ready to go and know it’s their time now,” McLendon said.
For now, McLendon says the team is taking it “one day at a time.”
“The big thing is, you want to become stronger and fast… we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves and worry about what the season will bring, we have time for that. For now, we’re going to focus on spring football and get what we can out of it, once the summer gets here we’ll focus on that, and when the fall gets here we’ll focus on the fall.”
The Tigers will finish spring training at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Troy, taking on Choctawatchee High School out of Florida.
The game, part of the Troy Cable Spring Football Classic, will be kheld on May 18 at 3 p.m.
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