It wasn’t a new experience for Dialleo Burks.
From his days as a player at LaGrange High, and then as a coach at LaGrange College, Troup and LaGrange High, he’s been on the field at Callaway Stadium dozens of times.
Saturday was different, though.
Burks wasn’t a player, and he wasn’t an assistant coach.
This time when he went to the stadium he was the head coach of the LaGrange High football team, which was holding its spring game.
A nice crowd turned out to witness the occasion, with the Blue and White teams fighting to a 14-14 tie.
“Just seeing these guys out here in these pads, it’s a real good feeling,” Burks said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “And we had a lot of former (Grangers) out here.”
The players were divided up into two teams, and it was played mostly like a regular game, with the exception of special teams, which wasn’t live.
There were plenty of highlights, including a 70-yard touchdown catch by LaPerion Perry, as well as some areas Burks will be looking for improvement.
“We accomplished what we wanted,” Burks said. “We’re happy. We’ll look at (the film), and we’ll dissect it.”
Saturday’s game put the wraps on LaGrange’s spring-practice period, which covered 10 days.
Coming in as a new head coach, Burks let the players know that what they’ve done in past years won’t make any difference.
“One thing I did was, I didn’t want them to have anything with LaGrange on it,” Burks said. “I wanted them to have to earn everything that they got. It was almost like that old school, coming back and trying to make the team type deal.”
Burks, who was a part of a state-championship team at LaGrange in 1991, said the two weeks served as a great way to introduce the players to his way of doing things.
“We weren’t worried about schemes, we weren’t worried about trying to win a ballgame,” Burks said. “We were trying to get the essence of what we do, of how we play the game. That was pretty much it, and we were very pleased.”
Burks added that a key mission for he and the other coaches is to make sure the players are in positions where they are comfortable.
“I think one thing we’ve been kind of losing people is, some of them have been out of position. It kind of takes the love out of the game for them,” Burks said. “We wanted to see how it would work, get them where they’re comfortable. Of course we’ve got to have guys at every spot like that. It worked out pretty well.”