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Pike County has mix of vets, newcomers for spring practice

Published 10:31pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pike County’s Fred Holland is entering just his second full season as a head coach, but is veteran of putting together a plan.

Holland played for the Bulldogs in the 1980’s and served as an assistant on the football staff for the better part of two decades.

After finishing 3-7 in 2012, Holland and the Bulldogs are set on improving every day, and restoring Pike County football to prominence.

“They guys are definitely excited,” said Holland. “Today is our first day in full pads, they are working hard. They are still getting used to one another, but are coming along well and doing what needs to be done.”

Holland returns a lot of players that have been in his system since he took over the team midway through the 2011 season.

Players such as tight end Stevie Smiley, lineman Tony Vaznian and receiver Deshon Cowling all return.

In addition to the veterans, Holland said that the team has quite a few newcomers and will use the spring to get them some reps and experience.

“We have a lot of young guys, and want to bring them along slow and let them get their feet under them,” said Holland. “We are doing a lot of teaching during the spring in order to hit the ground running in the summer and in to the fall.”

Pike County will take part in a four team jamboree game on Thursday May 16 at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy.

The Bulldogs will face off with the 2011 2A state champions, Elba, while Goshen and Ariton will also participate.

Holland likes to have the opportunity for his players to play at Veterans Memorial Stadium, and for the chance to renew the rivalry with Elba.

“It gives some of our guys a chance to play at Troy, because some of the younger guys never have,” said Holland. “It also helps restore that game with Elba. We used to be pretty big rivals, and it would be great to get that game going again. We are excited, and I’m sure Coach Rigby (Elba head coach) is as well.”

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