Young squad looks to build on last year’s success
By By Todd Thompson, Hartselle Enquirer
There were plenty of uncertainties surrounding Hartselle’s football team this spring as the Tigers seek to repeat the success of last year’s team that finished 12-1 after a loss to Russellville in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
Gone are a long list of talented players who have now graduated and seven players missed most of spring practice when Hartselle’s baseball team won the state championship.
But Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey felt the Tigers got plenty of work accomplished through the 10 alllowed spring practices.
The Tigers have a solid group of returnees from last year’s team including quarterback Will Lang, who was a backup to Luke Bole last season.
Several players will be counted on to step up and fill some roles this fall offensively to replace the lost production.
James Seiglock, who has spent the last two years on defense, will get plenty of time on the offensive side of the ball as a running back.
Hartselle will also need to replace several talented receivers this season and the Tigers will be looking at some younger players in the position.
Hartselle must replace a talented group of linemen who graduated this spring, but there is plenty of talent up front for the Tigers. Chad Hampton is a returning starter and Cody Allen played a lot when the Tigers used a line rotation. Andrew Butler also has some experience up front.
Will Swann leads the list of candidates to replace four-year starting center Russell Powell.
Swann showed signs of being a starter during the playoffs last season when he performed well on the scout team.
Defensively, the Tigers lose almost all of their linebackers with starting experience, but the switch from offense to defense by Blaze Lawrimore should help.
Several other players have plenty of starting experience, including Austin Borden, Jackson Reeves and Robby Reese.
Reeves will be moving from the cornerback spot this fall to one of the safety positions.
Hayden Dye and Jake Wallace will be expected to step up and fill some of the vacancies in the secondary. Logan Cain is one of the lone returning linebackers, and despite practicing just twice with the Tigers after the baseball season, provided a calming influence on the younger players according to Godsey.
Hartselle has a large group of freshmen coming into the program this fall.
Hartselle came out of the spring drills with 96 players.
I like the way that they have come together,” Godsey said. “We’ve got guys that want to be here.”