Most high school football coaches use their jamboree games to get a feel for how their roster will shape up heading into the upcoming season.
For A.J. Lamar, however, he’ll have to go about a different route in order to find out which players will be making the plays for him when his team hits the gridiron in August.
“We didn’t get to have a game because of all the rain,” the West Point coach said. “We weren’t able to evaluate our players other than the eight practices we had. I think we are going to be fine, though.”
The Warriors are coming off a disappointing 3-7 campaign, where they failed to make the playoffs for a fourth-straight season.
You won’t find Lamar moping, though, as the fifth-year head man has been hard at work molding the 2013 Maroon and White squad that he hopes can build off an upset win over Fairview in the team’s final contest of 2012.
“Offensively, we are still going to be running the option,” Lamar said. “We have seven starters returning on that unit and four returning on defense. The guys we have back have a lot of playing experience under their belts.”
As for any players who stood out in the eight practices, Lamar mentioned defensive end Trent Campbell, offensive lineman Chandler Nelson and quarterback Bryant Farley.
Nelson is a 6’4”, 320-pound wrecking ball on the Warrior offensive line. The senior has already received numerous looks and offers from colleges across the country. Farley will be entering his third season as the starter under center, where he looks to continue off a fine sophomore campaign.
Lamar, however, had the most praise for Campbell.
“We are changing some things on defense and looking at some new guys,” he said. “Trent had a really good spring. He was really hard to block at times.”
With other Class 5A powerhouses such as Muscle Shoals, Russellville and Cullman, the coach knows his team will have its hands full this season.
“It’s going to be tough, but exciting as well,” he said. “Lots of guys on this team want change and want to put West Point back on the map.”
Look out for spring wrapups of the county’s other teams in upcoming editions of The Times.
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 136 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.