As the temperature begins to heat up and the trees begin to bloom, that means one thing — spring football. It’s the first chance for family and fans to get a look at teams before the following school year. Pineville is one of the more intriguing stories as spring practices comes to an end.
On Friday, the Mountain Lions held their annual maroon and white game. While the maroon team won the matchup 35-21, the game was more important than a friendly competition between teammates. It was a chance for coach Bart Elam to see his players in action.
“Every spring is different. With us losing some really good kids, we just wanted to know who we were able to rely,” said Elam about spring practice. “We’ve had some good surprises. We’ve had some quick kids, we’ve had some kids come in that weren’t here before and we’ve had some kids that were here step up and become better.”
“(Spring practice) was really a success. If you watched us, we ran about three of four different plays — general toss sweeps and leads and things like that. We just want to see who is aggressive, who can make tackles and who can hit holes. For that reason, spring football has been a really good success for us.”
One thing that was visibly different on the field was the new face taking snaps behind center. Cumberland Gap transfer Garland Ellis played quarterback for both teams. The soon-to-be junior completed several passes downfield during the game — giving those in attendance a snapshot of what life without Tucker Woolum might look like.
“He’s a good kid. He has played the position quite a long time. We’re happy to have him,” said Elam about Ellis. “We’ve got Lawrence Simpson back, Matt Golden back, and you add a new kid in the ranks in Cody Scott. We’ve got a couple of good linemen back, so we’re excited.”
“I know where it’s going to go in the summer. Everybody’s going to say Pineville lost everything. We don’t get into that. We’re going to make our team the best they can be, and it starts in the spring. We’re happy about how it went.”
Reach Anthony Cloud at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN