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Photo by Brent Langley

Tigers wrap spring, chaplain works final game

By Michael Butler

The Tallassee Tigers have completed spring drills. The THS football team played a scrimmage vs. Lafayette on Friday that ended in a 20-20 stalemate.

You can't make too much out of spring games. Both teams played everybody on their rosters. Overall, Tallassee head coach Mike Battles is pleased with what he witnessed during the past few weeks.

"This is probably the youngest team," Battles said of the 2018 squad. "We still have 63 players which is a great number. I'm happy about this. It's not a negative thing. We have several kids that have come out and not necessarily played football in many years. They've had a great spring.

"This spring has been different because we've done a lot of teaching, not necessarily X's and O's. I mean, how to get in a three-point stance."

Battles noted the size of the eighth grade class with 16 players in contrast to just seven last year.

"It's been fun to see how far they've come. I just tole all them at the end of practice, 'Think where you were nine practices ago and see where you are now. There's still a long way to go, but we've made a lot of headway."

Battles has been working Dylan Turner and Dalton Lanier at quarterback. Lanier tossed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Kalvin Levett and ran in another of ten yards.

The Tigers will be filling the field general's position vacated by graduating senior Casey Baynes.

"You're replacing a guy that accounted for about 70 touchdowns and 6,000 yards over the last two years," Battles noted. "So much of the focus of the football team is based on the quarterback. That's the name of the game."

Photo by Tara Battles

Battles presented team chaplain Dric Williford with a team jersey signed by the team. Williford has been team chaplain for four years and will be moving this summer.

"I love being the chaplain for the football team," said Williford. "I get to use all those wonderful gifts that God has given me to encourage boys and called them to be men of God.

"The team gathered up and knew it was my last game with them. They handed me a jersey that was signed by all of them and told me not to cry. Then they hugged me and told me they loved me. Nothing like big old high school boys hugging you and telling you they love you."

The Tigers will have a short break before summer workouts. The team will open the season on Aug. 24 vs. Catholic at J. E. "Hot" O'Brien Stadium.