Hall of Fame coach Dafford Smith went through another spring with St. Bernard’s football program, and he said the Saints are dealing with an issue that comes up more often than not during the early part of the football year.

There were not many athletes who came out to participate in the spring drills.

“We had about 12 high school athletes who were out there regularly, and we brought in about six or seven younger guys to get them some time out on the field with us,” Smith said. “That’s something we have to go through every couple of years at St. Bernard because of the nature of the school and the program when they don’t start until ninth grade here.”

However, Smith said the roster size should increase later in the summer when students begin to enroll and report for classes in August.

“We usually have just a few in the spring, and then we’ll get more to come out in the fall when everybody who is going to be in school gets here to start classes,” Smith said. “We just usually spend the summer wanting to know what we have and don’t have.”

Smith said what the Saints usually get out of the spring is a good nucleus of players around which Smith and the coaching staff can build in August.

“The guys we had out there were not that many, but they all did a good job at what they were asked to do,” Smith said. “We practiced 14 days and played in a spring game that we were outnumbered in, and they went and did what they needed to do to get better.”

The Saints played their spring jamboree game Friday at Meek, but the numbers game got to them, causing them to be outscored 30-0.

However, Smith said he saw the players get better and saw some positives on which the Saints can build in the coming months.

“It can be hard for the players to try to keep going at times, but they keep doing it,” Smith said. “If we can get more players to work as hard as the ones we already have do, St. Bernard would have a very good Class 1A football team, and that can happen if we get the right numbers to come out.”

The Saints open the season with a trip to Appalachian on Aug. 31.

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