Grangers in midst of spring practice
By Kevin Eckleberry
LAGRANGE – It’s a new-look LaGrange High football team, and the changes aren’t just on the field.
While the head coach remains the same for the Grangers, Dialleo Burks will have a handful of new assistants helping him out this season.
Many of those coaches will be with Burks not just after school for practice, but during the day as well, which is another major change.
“What’s difference is we’ve got guys that are actually going to be in the building,” Burks said. “We’ve got six guys that are going to be in the building, so that’s totally different from what we’ve had before.”
Those coaches have gotten a chance to know the players over the past two weeks during spring practice.
The Grangers began their two-week spring practice period on May 1, and they’ll wrap things up with a scrimmage at Manchester on Friday.
“We wanted the coaches to get to know them, and for them to get to know the coaches,” said Burks, who is in his fourth season as the Grangers’ head coach. “That has been very good. We’ve had a real good time doing that.”
There will also be plenty of changes on the field.
The Grangers had more than 10 players sign college-football scholarships, so Burks will need to find their replacements.
Even with those seniors, the Grangers endured a difficult 2016 season.
LaGrange went 2-8 a year ago, and it went winless against its Region 5-AAAA opponents.
While what a new season has in store obviously has yet to be determined, Burks likes what he’s seen so far, particularly when it comes to the positive attitude the players are displaying.
“Even though the numbers are down from what we used to have, the group that we have is solid,” Burks said. “They’re focused. They’re going to have some mishaps, and they’re going to be boys. But we’ve got a good core group.”
Burks said the players on both sides of the ball have had their moments during spring practice.
“Everything’s been going good,” Burks said. “One side of the ball hasn’t been more dominant than the other. The offense has spurts, and the defense has spurts where they look totally awesome. It’s all about how can we bring them both together and match up with each other.”
Burks said the effort has been there each day.
“The guys are getting after it,” Burks said. “They’re playing hard. They’re flowing to the ball. They’re focused. It’s going to be interesting to see. Guys are growing up.”
LaGrange will finish spring practice with Friday’s scrimmage at Manchester.
“It’s a good test for us to get back on that horse, and prepare ourselves mentally for the summer,” Burks said.
At the conclusion of spring practice, the Grangers will begin their summer schedule that’ll include daily workouts at the school, seven-on-seven passing competitions, and position camps.
Preseason practice will get under way the last week in July, and LaGrange opens its season on Aug. 18 against Callaway.