Spring football begins for Wildcats
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

April 23, 2005 - With spring sports still going strong as May fast approaches, Sulphur Springs will add another activity to the calendar - spring football.

The Wildcats have been going through football drills in shorts the last week during the athletic period, and they will start in pads next Monday for a month-long session culminating in the spring intrasquad game on May 21.

The UIL allows Class 4A and 5A schools to participate in 18 days of spring practice in exchange for starting one week later in August. SSHS head coach Brad Turner has found it helpful in years past.

"We like doing it," Turner said. "It gives you a chance to try some kids out in different positions and do some things in practice that you wouldn't or couldn't do in August.

"We have some flexibility to do some things in May that you don't have when you're preparing for an opponent in August."

It's also a time when college scouts come calling. Last year, the practice field was littered with Division I recruiters, brought in by the prospect of luring Keenan Clayton to their campus. This season, senior offensive lineman Jose Vargas appears to be the Cats' leading D-I prospect.

The practices always have to be worked out track - there are three football players who are qualified for regional (Jermaine Wright, Jeff Pitts, Logan Turner).

This year, there is an added twist. With the SSHS baseball team on the verge of clinching a playoff berth and playing past the end of the regular season, Turner is having to arrange the schedule so that the two-sport Wildcats will be included as much as possible.

One of the baseball players is his son, Logan Turner, who is also the starting quarterback. Other two-sport players on varsity include Jake Broumley, Chance Massey, and wide receivers Josh Riley, Tyler Rhoades, Bailey Potts and Colby Mills.

To help with the scheduling, the Wildcats will put on pads during the athletic period at 11 a.m., and then work out late in the afternoons. The UIL gives the Wildcats 30 days in which they can work out 18 times.

"We're re-introducing schemes and getting them back in the swing of things," Turner said. "We'll put pads on Monday, and we'll practice after school. Our quarterback and right now all four starting receivers are all baseball players. So, we've got to readjust how we work out.

"We'll do some padded stuff during the period, then after school we'll have to readjust because they do their baseball workout. This is the first year we've had to do that - and that's good because our baseball team has a chance for a district championship and playoffs. We'll do the best we can without those guys and work around their schedule."

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