Britt leads the way

Zay Britt will play quarterback for the Lions in 2018.

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

MUNFORD -- Munford High School’s football team will play host to Pell City and Montevallo in a round-robin jamboree at Munford Stadium on Saturday.

The Lions will open the scrimmage against the Bulldogs at 5 p.m. and face the Panthers in the nightcap at 7:40.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Munford head coach Bill Smith said. “This is going to be a good test for us … Hopefully, our kids will have shown some improvement from the first of spring (practices) to the end of spring.”

Munford moved from Class 4A, Region 3 to 5A, Region 5 during realignment and now shares a region with Center Point, Central Clay County, Moody, Mortimer Jordan, Springville, St. Clair County and Sylacauga.

“Our 5A region is one of the toughest 5A regions in the state, and it covers a lot of territory when you consider it goes from Central Clay County all the way to Mortimer Jordan,” Smith said. “I think it’s, from top to bottom, as good a region as (any) out there … It’ll be a formidable region, for sure.”

Smith said spring has gone well for the Lions as they look to replace a departing group of seniors that included quarterback Tanner Reeves, running back Carson Smith, linebackers Marshall Clark and Draven Campbell, and offensive linemen Jeffrey Threatt, Brody Bussie and Luke Gaither.

“We lost some really good seniors (who were) really good leaders and great young men,” Bill Smith said. “We’ve got some kids who’ve stepped up right now and we’ve got some guys going both ways. Hopefully, we’ll add some depth in the summer to where we don’t have many guys going both ways.

“Justin Sistrunk and Ethan Swinford are (No.) 1 and (No.) 2 right now at our running back position. Zay Britt and Jay Tuck are (No.) 1 and (No.) 2 at the quarterback position. We feel like we have good, young receivers right now.”

He added Payton Graben will return at center, while Datavious Curry, Kobee Threatt, Carson McGuire and Trevon McClendon will be among a field of players in the mix for playing time in the other spots on the line.

“Offensive line could be a really bright spot for us, but right now, there’s a lot of unanswered questions,” Bill Smith said.

Bill Smith said Pernell Mitchell and Lance Smith will man the interior linebacker spots for the Lions, while Rodney Groce and Sistrunk will play outside, with Peyton Gaither providing depth for the unit.

Safeties Cam Lemons and Kyle Ross serve as leaders within the secondary.

“I feel like our linebacking corp is really solid,” Bill Smith said. “Our safeties … they are really the heart and soul of our team.”

Ross said he hopes the team can use the spring game to build on last season’s 9-2 mark.

“We lost a good bit of our team and some big leadership, but I feel like this year, we’ve still got enough,” he said. “We feel like we’re better as a team. We can pull through into 5A, and I feel like we’re going to make it.”

Saturday against Montevallo and Pell City, Bill Smith said he has plenty he’s looking for from his team.

“I want us to look like we’ve worked in the offseason,” he said. “I want us to look disciplined. I want to see us play fast and aggressive. I want to see us play will ball security. I want to see us play with great enthusiasm.

“I hope it’s great weather and I pray that we stay injury-free. That’s really my goal is to be able to get some great film where we can evaluate our kids and they can learn from it. I think we have a chance to be a solid 5A team.”