TRM football Tigers conclude spring training

Published 8:06am Wednesday, February 20, 2013

After eight days of practice, the T.R. Miller Tiger football team ended their 2013 spring training with their annual Red and White game Friday afternoon on their practice field behind Brewton Municipal Stadium.
The game roster saw 73 players—players that will be ninth graders through seniors this coming season— with 37 on the red team and 36 on the white.
The roster for the Tigers showed 23 freshmen, 15 sophomores, 22 juniors, and 13 seniors.
“I actually thought it was a good spring practice,” T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said. “First off we had great attendance. I certainly thought we did a great job of handling the mixture of weather that we had. We really didn’t miss any time at all. I thought the players certainly did a good job with that and we certainly made some progress in some areas and we had some individuals make some progress in some areas.”
Riggs said in the course of the eight days and the ninth day being the game, he got all the things done that he wanted to get done. While doing that, he offered thanks to his coaches as well as his players.
“I appreciate all that my coaches do and did during this time,” he said. “All the coaches are involved with spring sports that are just now about to get started. Some of them were finishing up their winter sports and they were doing spring training right in the middle of it. They did a nice job of concentrating on what they were doing this time and we were able to get some things done. Overall, it was a pretty good spring training.”
While it was still his Tigers playing against themselves, Riggs said he saw some good things from his team in the game after practicing all week against each other.
“My goal in the game is to play everyone first,” Riggs said. “That is one reason why I play against each other rather than playing somebody. The second thing we are always trying to do is to look at some specific players and see if they have made some progress. We also look to see if they are good enough to play for us on Friday nights next fall. That is one thing I am trying to find out in the game. Another thing is I try to teach a little bit during the game. I ask the players what they are thinking and how they can handle good and bad situations. We know physical things about our players, but we want to learn about them mentally and emotionally. We are about where I thought we should be with that. The game brings that out more than practice does.”
One key position that will see a change for the Tigers next fall is the quarterback position. Recent starter Kevin Davis will be graduating and Kieon Smith looks to be taking over the signal-calling job for the Tigers in 2013.
“I think we are on the right road and we certainly have a ways to go,” Riggs said. “You are not only talking about who is going to be your starting quarterback, but you are talking about building your quarterbacks for the future, which is really important. I thought all of our guys made progress. Kieon certainly made progress and did some good things in the game. He did some good things in practice also. We have a little more of an idea in the ways we want to use him.”
Another quarterback that Riggs noted was Jones Manning.
“Jones certainly made some progress this spring,” Riggs said. “He has some toughness to him and he is really smart. His mechanics are getting better and he is getting a lot stronger and bigger. Our two younger guys are Chardian Johnson and Caleb Winton. We only had Chardian for four days due to basketball. You can see a little difference in him and I really thought he did some good things in the game for only four days of practice. Caleb is a freshman and I was really pleased with him. Right now, they all look like they are in line where they need to be.”
While some progress was made in some areas, Riggs noted the play of the linebackers.
“Our linebackers were better than they were,” Riggs said. “We made some headway in stopping the run, which I was pleased with. I think our defensive line did well. That was one of our weaknesses going in, but still we don’t have anyone that has stepped up to be a dominant player but we got some depth there and the players there have got better. The offensive line is always a work in progress. We had some players out there, but some others got some reps and showed they are ready to play.”
The Tigers will stay in the weight room and do their off-season conditioning and will continue to work until fall practice.

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