ALPINE -- Winterboro head football coach Alan Beckett had the tough task of trying to find replacements for close to half of his starters from last season’s team that earned a trip to the second round of the AHSAA Class 1A playoffs.
The Bulldogs only managed to have six days of practice, but Beckett was able to get several of his questions answered in the Bulldogs’ 37-0 win over Gaylesville on May 14.
“I was looking to see who was going to commit and who is going to be there,” Beckett said. “I think the bigs were a known. I was trying to see who was going to solidify the quarterback position, which Isaiah (Holland) definitely did. Jake Travis took some snaps and Jonathan Headen did too. We tried to move the ball around.
“The Z, Y, H, F, and quarterback all had touches and (so did) the backups behind them. We just wanted to see them in live action and we hit a point where we took starters out because it is 37-0. It was a really good scrimmage for us.”
Winterboro returns several key players up front in Cade Sanders, Jay Garrett, and Darius Middlebrooks, but the Bulldogs lost several skill players from last season’s team, including quarterback Shaun Vincent. Holland won the quarterback battle during the spring as he beat out two other players. Beckett was pleased with the way his rising senior quarterback, as well as other playmakers, performed this spring.
“We had to find out about our skill players,” Beckett said. “Cam Pointer came out for the first time ever and had a big game. He had two touchdowns and it was good to see him. Holland was our quarterback. He did a lot of red zone stuff for us last season and he did a good job in the spring game. You can’t tell by who you are playing by you can tell by him orchestrating a huddle and the flow of the game.”
The Bulldogs once again have the versatility to play different styles on the offensive side of the ball. Winterboro has an athletic group of playmakers as well as a big, bruising backs group which has Beckett excited about their role.
“Brody Hamm and Marquez Curry were our heavier set of backs and they did good,” he said. “Marquez missed last year and he came back and did good. Brody Hamm scored two touchdowns (in the spring game). Both of them ran hard-nosed, found their holes and executed their plays. Pointer and Chance Dandridge are skill guys. Travis is a skill guy. It seems like we can go with a faster group and a group that can pound more because we are a little bit bigger up front.”
Ending spring camp with a win was vital for the Bulldogs building positive momentum going into summer workouts in late June.
“In some places, it is important to win spring games,” Beckett said. “Some places win so much the kids know it is not about the end result of the game, it is about the end result in fall. We need success because success leads to success. We are not surprised by success. It was a time here where we lost so much before ... We kind of expected to win, have success and do the right thing.”