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Much stronger Trojans start spring football drills

Don’t be afraid to be great! That will be the mantra of the Lamar County Trojans as 90 prospects sweat it out on the practice field in spring drills over the next two weeks. Spring practice culminates May 15 with the first public scrimmage at the new Trojan Field. The LCMS Trojans will scrimmage at 7 p.m.. Varsity action will follow. ’The new stadium has definitely created interest. Guys come up to me every day talking about playing there. You will be hard pressed to find anyone with a better facility. This is something the community can be proud of for many, many years. Our kids beg us everyday to go get on that new field. I don’t know who is more excited, the kids or the coaches,’ second year head coach Jason Strickland said. In preparation for the spring and the grueling Region 5AA schedule come fall, Strickland and his staff have been working the players extremely hard in the weight room. ’The kids have really bought into our weight program. The strides these guys have made in strength is incredible. We will feel much more comfortable as far as strength going into games this season. We know we have to be a more physical team,’ Strickland said. The Trojan staff grades strength on the power clean – an Olympic lift that is a great indicator of athleticism and total body strength. The coaches emphasize players power cleaning 225 pounds. ‘Thus far we have 16-17 guys who have hit that mark and another four or five will make it in the next couple of weeks. Most of these guys need another year in the weight room but they are getting a lot closer,’ Strickland said. Thus far the leader in the power clean is freshman Deonte Barnes at 285 pounds. The goals for spring practice are basic. On defense the emphasis is on tackling and urgency in making the tackle. On offense, subtle changes are planned for efficiency. ‘We think the changes we are making really suit our personnel,’ Strickland added. Gains in the weight room, offensive line and playing experience are expected to be strengths going into the fall. Brian Ross and Lekevious Lyons anchor the O-line. ‘We think that be a major strength along with our playing experience. We have a lot of guys returning who have played a lot of downs,’ Strickland said. The staff is also putting a lot on the shoulders of junior running back Nick Fambro. Rodnique Brown, the leading returning tackler, is expected to anchor the defense. The biggest weakness Strickland sees is a team that needs to experience life in the victory column. ‘We still have to learn how to win. I think the guys will be much more confident in themselves this year but we have to get over that hump,’ he said. Key upcoming football events include a parents meeting at 7 p.m. May 7,a month-long membership drive for the Gridiron Club and the sale of whole slabs of barbecued ribs. Tickets go on sale this week. Ribs will be delivered June 13. ’I don’t mean to beg, but please, please, please buy a slab. They will be great,’ Strickland concluded.

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