MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon College football team wasn’t
in full pads on Saturday, but just being in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts
for the first time seemed to make a difference.
After a rough first two days in helmets and shorts, the
Hawks were more energetic for their third practice.
Head coach Mike Turk’s challenge to his players is to keep
the intensity up.
“We got the pads on today and there was a little more
enthusiasm,” Turk said. “You expect that. The hard part about training camp is
to stop the rollercoaster. You don’t want to be up here one day, down here the
next day and then back up here. The key is to steadily build and keep building
on what you did the day before. We’ll see how we respond on Sunday, but I’m
pleased with the effort we had today.”
The Hawks will return to W. James Samford Stadium on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. for
their fourth preseason practice. Practice is open to the public.
This will be the Hawks’ first afternoon practice.
“I’m sure it will be hotter, so it will be interesting to
see how we handle that,” Turk said. “We changed our practice format a little
today to adapt to the heat and I think it helped us. We made it all the way through
practice with a good tempo today.
“We treated practice like turning a
switch. During team drills, we’d turn the switch on and let the returners work
like crazy for 15 minutes or so. Then we’d turn the switch off, let the
returners rest and let the young guys go for 10 or 15 minutes. That seemed to
keep us fresh and helped us get more quality reps. I was pleased with how well
they handled it.”
Turk said he saw progress on both sides of the ball. The
running back position is one area he was particularly impressed with.
“We have a lot of returning running backs that were
contributors last year,” Turk said. “There has been a lot of good carryover
there, as far as recognition on pass protection and assignments. We haven’t had
a lot of mistakes at that position.”
Turk singled out junior Trevor Manuel, senior Parker Roberts
and senior Paul Mielke as the early leaders at running back.
“Those are our three top guys right now,” Turk said. “They
all have a little different style and things they do best, but they all know
what to do.
“Then we have Garrett Fletcher and Cullen Milner, who were
both JV players last year and they seem to be coming along. Just looking at
depth and experience, that position should be one of the most solid ones we
have on the team.”