Spain Park, Briarwood take lessons from spring into summer
By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Editor
While the scoreboard may have indicated a one-sided affair, both the Briarwood and Spain Park football teams took a great deal away from their spring workouts, culminating in an exhibition matchup.
The Jaguars and Lions squared off May 15 at the Jaguars’ home field, and while Spain Park came away with a 35-0 win, Briarwood head coach Fred Yancey said he felt his team gained a lot from the game.
“(The game) just gives kids a chance to play, and (us) a chance to evaluate positions,” he said.
Yancey said he felt the game was more of an assessment of how the spring workouts went than a must-win contest.
“We were hustling pretty good,” he said. “In the first quarter we showed (speed) on defense. I felt like the kids gave great effort. They got better (and) put us one step closer to the fall.”
Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney said his squad’s spring was defined by familiarity. Raney is headed into his second season at the helm of the Jaguars, but his first full spring with the team.
“Comparing last year to this year, I wasn’t comfortable,” he said. “(I’m) a lot more comfortable this spring.”
Raney said the way his players handled the spring workouts and practices really stood out to him.
“I thought our kids had a tremendous spring,” he said. “I think we’re learning how to compete, the familiarity with me and what I expect.”
He also said he was impressive with the way his team played in the spring matchup with Briarwood.
“I thought our defense played fast,” he said. “I thought we ran the ball well. Throughout spring, I was expecting us to play well.”
Raney said not having quarterback Mason Duke — who was out pitching for the Jags’ state championship baseball team — allowed the coaching staff to see several younger players in game situations.
The Lions will kick off the season Aug. 22, hosting the Austin Black Bears, while Briarwood travels to Chelsea to take on the Hornets Aug. 29.
Shelby resident Coby Carden and teammate Chris Rutland took the Alabama Bass Trail’s Southern Division Lay Lake Tournament overall championship... read more