08/03/13 — Lots of new faces greet Saints' coaching staff

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Lots of new faces greet Saints' coaching staff

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on August 3, 2013 11:04 PM


DUDLEY -- Returning varsity players are awarded white jerseys during preseason football practice at Southern Wayne High School.

Former JV and middle school players get the red jerseys.

Head coach David Lee was happy to see a sea of red during the Saints' second-day practice on Friday morning.

"We have about 65 guys out and a lot of those are young guys," Lee said. "We have about 40 who are wearing red jerseys, so we are trying to teach them the ropes as fast as possible."

The Saints' coaching staff started and ended practice with conditioning drills. In between, the position groups worked on fundamentals and the entire team walked through offense and defense.

Not surprisingly, the white jerseys were well ahead of the red ones.

"We have some good experience coming back this season," Lee said. "We just don't have a huge number of upperclassmen. The guys that are here are capable of leading this team and that starts at practice."

Finding young players that can fill important gaps will be the key for the coaches prior to the team's first scrimmage at East Duplin on Aug. 10. The Saints scrimmage Ayden-Grifton and Greene Central six days later.

"When we go to East Duplin there are going to be some quality teams there," Lee said. "Obviously, East Duplin is always strong and then they bring in Havelock and Jones County, so that is going to show us where we stack up a little bit."

Coming off a one-win season, Lee and his staff are excited about the potential on the field at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex.

"We need to get better with each practice," Lee said. "Today was way better than the first day, so hopefully that trend will continue and the guys will keep working hard. The results will come ... the work now will pay off later."