BY BRANDON SPECK
New Albany has a lot on its to-do list. The Bulldogs can finally start checking things off.
Eight months of waiting for the high school football season is over. Mississippi High School Activities Association members can start football practice today.
Week 1 starts with basics for the Bulldogs, working on fundamentals in helmets and shorts through Wednesday.
“We really try to focus on fundamentals and playing your position correctly and getting our base offense and defense in,” New Albany coach Ron Price said.
High on the to-do list is putting a new pair of cleats behind a new quarterback. Boston Newsome carried the football more than 300 times against 4A opponents last season. And Price trusted his quarterback Spencer Day as much as any coach trusted any quarterback anywhere.
Both have graduated.
Junior Devin Wilson gets the first shot at running back. Fellow junior Bryce Collins gets the first nod at quarterback.
“They’ve waited their turn and we feel like now it’s their time,” Price said. “Hopefully they’re going to continue to help us be successful and work as hard as the guys before them.”
The MHSAA has mandated less practice time this season before the Bulldogs open with a jamboree at Kossuth on Aug. 16. Price is fine with the schedule – a quicker turnaround to hitting someone besides teammates. His Bulldogs will go early and late this week to try and make up time.
“We’re going to do the best we can. You’ve got to use your time wisely, really prepare and take advantage of every opportunity. We’re going to try to go two-a-days each day,” he said. “We start school Monday, so we’re going to do special teams as fast as we can in the morning and come back each afternoon and focus on offense and defense.
“We’re going to try to keep that schedule each day. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we can get some stuff done.”
The schedule is laid out for 7 a.m. work, then three hours of work beginning at 4 p.m. after school. Shoulder pads go on Thursday and Friday.
“We’ll really stress form tackling those two days,” Price said. “By Friday, we want all of our kids to have a clear understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish, have our primary schemes in.”