This is the fourth in a series examining high school football teams in the Bi-City area during spring practice.
Central's spring practice lasts from May 1-16 (nine practices) with a spring game against Hoover at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 17 at Garrett-Harrison Stadium.
Team name: Central Red Devils
2013 record: 7-4, 5-2
How finished in region: 4th in Region 3, Class 6A
Playoff result: Lost in first round 43-13 to Spain Park
Key losses: RB Deon Hall, G Jeremiah Payne, OT Cameron Fraser, LB Cedric Chambers, DL Derek King
Key returnees: ATH Traveon Samuel, QB Jamal Howard, TE Khaled Berklin, FS Christian Campbell, DB Chris James
My take: This spring is all about competition.
Those are the words of Central coach Woodrow Lowe, who said he is leaving every position up for grabs as the team enters its spring practice period.
It’s not that the players who held some of those positions last year weren’t strong and aren’t expected to be strong again. It’s more about inspiring players to elevate their level of play after a 7-4 season and an early exit in the state playoffs.
Asked for a few key returnees, Lowe couldn’t limit it to just a handful. To be honest, there were so many players he expected to contribute that I couldn’t keep up with all of them.
There are the regulars: Samuel, Howard, Berklin, Campbell and James, among others. But there are also young players, freshmen and sophomores included. And while Howard enters spring with a firm hold as the incumbent on the quarterback job, Lowe said backup Ethan Baber has plenty of ability and will contribute as well.
So, yes, there is quite a bit to watch at Central’s spring practice. And it all leads up to a May 17 spring game against Class 6A champion Hoover.
Not a bad way to close out practice.
But, like Lowe said, he’s looking for competition, and the Red Devils will certainly get it. And that could be key to breaking through in a region that sent two of its teams to the state semifinals.
Follow along every day for a look at football teams around the Bi-City area. Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports.
April 29: Brookstone
April 30: Calvary Christian
May 1: Carver
Next: Chattahoochee County