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Spring workouts come to end

By Michael Butler

The culmination of spring drills is often a scrimmage to give players a real-game opportunity and fans a chance to watch. Though in the original plans, it will not happen for first-year head coach L.A. O'Neal and his Tallassee football team.

Due to a forecast of rain and thunderstorms, the game with Wetumpka scheduled for May 17 has been scratched.

Despite not having a matchup at J.E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium on Friday night, the Tigers still got some good work in.

"We practice a little different than the old days when you're hitting everyday," said O'Neal. "We alternate days when we have full contact. Safety is our biggest issue. We bought the Guardian caps to reduce head injuries. We tackle up top. We don't hit down low unless we're on a dummy to reduce leg injuries. We've been blessed not to have any major incidents."

Tallassee went through two weeks of workouts with 62 players.

"We've had a lot of interest," said O'Neal. "We were already in the middle of spring ball, so we told the kids to wait until summertime to come out. We're looking to add to the roster with 68-70 kids."

This summer, workouts will continue Tuesdays through Thursdays.

"We're able to get everything done from 7:30 to 10. We don't want to burn the kids out. We know a lot of people vacation in the summer. We get about 70 percent of the offense and defense in, so when we hit the fall season we only have a little bit more to implement."

O'Neal, the 2023 Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 4A Coach of the Year, led Booker T. Washington to a 9-5 record and the semifinal round of the state playoffs last year. He is taking over a THS team that went 1-9 last season.

*2024 Schedule