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Spring sets stage for fall

This has to be the most interesting spring football practice period I’ve covered here at The Clanton Advertiser.

Where to start discussing it?

How about Maplesville, which looks primed for another deep playoff run. That’s become a habit under coach Brent Hubbert.

With all but one player back from last year’s team—which lost to Loachapoka, 18-12, in the second playoff round—these Red Devils have a chance to bring the school its second football state championship.

Other local teams have the opportunity to join Maplesville as elite programs in their respective classifications.

Chilton County continues to make progress under third-year coach Brian Carter. 95 Tigers are playing football this season, demonstrating the positive momentum Carter has created.

Don’t look for that momentum to end anytime soon, with a new, impressive field house planned for Tiger Stadium.

All eyes this spring are on the battle for the starting quarterback position, which was vacated by Taylor Hughes. The competition is even more intriguing because the two candidates for the job, Cameron Cummings and Forrest Knight, are both sophomores and will have time to grow into the job.

After a down year in terms of numbers, Jemison looks to be back to full strength. 40 players were on last season’s roster, forcing coach Brad Abbott and staff to play most everyone on both sides of the ball.

But the arrival of 20 rising freshmen at spring practice, coupled with losing only five seniors, has provided some needed depth.

Running back Javae Swindle last season was the Advertiser’s football player of the year, and Swindle could be set for an even bigger season this time around because the Jemison offense is transitioning from a shotgun spread attack to the more traditional “I” formation, which is more conducive to running the ball.

On the topic of running the football, Isabella looks to do much of that as coach Scott Booth brings back his box offense.

That offense looked pretty sharp running and throwing the ball, and the fans on hand for the scrimmage are probably looking forward to the season.

I know I am.