WARRENTON, Ga. - For the last two weeks, football players at Warren County High School have been out on the field absorbing what Head Coach Lee Hutto hopes will be beneficial to them next season.
A total of 30 players attended the after school sessions. That's four more players than what this past year's team ended up with. Three of the new players are former band members.
"I thought we had a really good two weeks of practice," said Coach Hutto, who helped guide the Screaming Devils to the Region 7-A Championship and led his team to the Class A State football playoffs for the last two seasons. "I thought we had one of the best spring workouts that we've had since I've been there."
Players worked out nine of the 10 days in shorts and helmets.
"We just worked on basic fundamentals of football during that time," said Coach Hutto. "Since we didn't do a lot of contact work, it allowed for productive time to work with our offensive and defensive linemen - all of whom are brand new."
The Screaming Devils lose 12 players to graduation, including two college-bound players, Tommy Seals, the four-year starting quarterback and Travis Burley.
Seals will be playing college football at Georgia Military in Milledgeville next season, while Burley, a star wide receiver, will be playing football at Kansas Community College.
Both of those players were team leaders, too.
During spring practice, Coach Hutto said he was able to determine that two returning players will be replacing Seals and Burley from a leadership capacity. They include Kentrell Latimore and Jonathan Lewis, both rising seniors.
Latimore could see action at several different positions. He may play some quarterback, halfback and fullback, said Coach Hutto.
"Kentrell will definitely be one of our big go-to guys," added the head mentor.
Lewis, who plays defensive linebacker and offensive tackle, also turned in a fine two weeks, like Latimore, according to Coach Hutto.
"Our team will rally around those two guys as our new leaders," he pointed out.
Coach Hutto said he was impressed by three other players, too, during the spring workouts. They included: Don Dracus Dozier, a rising sophomore; Mark Cosby and Cedric Bacon, both rising juniors.
"If we were playing tomorrow, Don Dracus would be our starting quarterback," said Coach Hutto. "He's an A/B student - a real smart kid in the classroom, as well as on the football field. He has a good arm and is a real tough kid."
Cosby, on the otherhand, is a first-year player. But already, Coach Hutto said he and his assistant coaches are high on him because of his size and desire to learn the game.
Expected to be a starting offensive lineman, Cosby stands 6-6 and weighs 350 pounds.
"He impressed us a lot during the spring workouts," said Coach Hutto. "He wants to learn to play football, and we want to teach him."
Bacon will likely play center and linebacker.
"Cedric really had a good spring for us," added Coach Hutto. "He seems real excited about the coming season and has gotten a lot quicker."
The Screaming Devils will hold summer workouts beginning May 26 until July 31 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.