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May 26, 2013

PREP FOOTBALL: Scott looks to continue momentum in 3rd year

Coming off one of the biggest turnarounds in school history, Alan Scott definitely didn’t want to see his Vinemont football squad lose any of the momentum it had gained last year.

With a solid core of returning starters, the third-year Eagle coach was hoping his players would be as eager as ever to build on last season’s foundation when they took to the field for spring practice.

So far, so good.

“I thought we had a really solid spring,” Scott said. “The kids are familiar with the system, and they are really starting to understand what we’re trying to do. We were able to be physical and stayed relatively injury free.”

The Red and White shocked the Cullman County football landscape last fall, going 8-3 on the season and making the playoffs for only the third time in the past 11 years. It was quite a turnaround for a squad that was just 5-13 combined in its 2010 and ’11 campaigns.

To extend their season to November once more, the Eagles will have to replace two of their top departing seniors in running back Ty Jones and quarterback Duncan Hopper.

Jones was a man on a mission in 2012, garnering All-State first-team honors and Cullman County records in rushing yards (2,214) and total touchdowns (33), while time and time again putting the team on his back. Hopper was a steady signal-caller for Scott, rarely putting Vinemont in unenviable positions with bad decision-making.

Despite the two huge losses, Scott is optimistic he has the guys who can step in and produce this coming season.

“T.J. Steele is going to be our quarterback,” he said. “He’s just a sophomore, but we are confident in him. As for replacing Ty, we’ve got a group that includes Bo Wright, John Michael Dye and several other guys. We are slowly finding the pieces of the puzzle. The spring was good for that.”

Vinemont fell to Cold Springs 38-35 in its jamboree game. However, Scott’s squad led after the varsity half 28-16. His team didn’t turn the ball over, and he was able to get a look at a lot of the younger boys coming up through the ranks.

“We’re hoping to fill some roles, so it was good to see them all play,” he said. “Going into our first practices, it was important for us that we didn’t take a step back. We wanted to build on it and find out if we wanted to play physical football. I’m very pleased with how the kids responded.”

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