ECMS spring football training in full gear

Published 4:36 am Wednesday, February 23, 2005

By Staff
Tim Cottrell
The Escambia County Middle School Eagles football team and coach Dale Jones are learning a thing or two about hard work.
"We started out with 55 players, but right now we're down to about 38," Jones said Thursday afternoon. "We've been working a lot on tackling."
Jones also noted that he himself had been carrying a heavy load.
"I could use a little help," Jones said. "I'm the only full time coach. Jimmy Dean (an Alabama State Trooper) and David McGhee have been helping me out because their kids are playing, but I rely on parent assistants."
Jones, who has coached the Eagles for nine seasons, said he felt this team would be successful as usual.
"We usually win five to eight games a year, out of eight," Jones said. "We didn't have a very good year last year and we have fewer starters back this year than normal, but I think if we can tackle well we'll be all right."
Jones did not exaggerate when he said his team focused on tackling.
"We don't put in much during the spring," Jones said. "Basically we work on fundamentals and especially tackling. We do about 15 different tackling drills and most of the time tackle until I don't think they can tackle anymore. We can put in other stuff later, but if they can't tackle we can't do anything."
Jones was also excited about new facilities the Eagles were soon to obtain.
"We'll be getting a new weight room and locker room facility soon," Jones said. "We've not really had anywhere for them to dress and they've had to dress in the gym dressing room, which isn't big enough for them."
Jones said his team would wrap up spring drills next week.
"We normally do 12 or 13 days of practice," Jones said. "We could go up to 15, but we've done nine already and we'll probably wrap things up Thursday and turn in equipment Friday. I could use a few more players, but we'll go with what we've got."

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