Tigers a step ahead this spring

Published 8:53 pm Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brian Carter’s first spring practice period at Chilton County High was spent driving back and forth between Clanton and Spain Park to coach players he didn’t know with the help of an incomplete coaching staff.

One year later, Carter and his team finds themselves in a much more stable situation, with 95 players and 12 assistant coaches on the field for a typical practice. More importantly, everyone is familiar with each other.

“It’s a huge difference,” he said.

Carter’s second spring will conclude with the Tigers hosting county teams Isabella, Jemison and Maplesville on Saturday for a jamboree game.

Jemison and Maplesville will begin the event at 6 p.m. by playing a regulation half with a mix of varsity and junior varsity players. Then, the CCHS and Isabella varsity squads will play for a half before the JV players take the field for another quarter.

Special teams play will not be live.

Carter said he is pleased with the number of new faces. The team ended last season with 65 players.

“We have more competition at every position now,” Carter said. “You can’t take a day off because the guy behind you will get better and take your job.”

Carter said the spring is a chance for a team to develop new leadership.

“Your seniors are about to graduate, and those were most of your leaders,��� he said. “I’m looking for effort. If they don’t know the plays or their assignments, we can teach that. But we can’t teach effort and heart.”

And it helps that the Tigers have a game against a county foe at the end of the week to use as motivation.

“Everybody loves to play under the lights,” Carter said. “And it gives us as coaches a measuring stick to see how far we have to go.”