Franklinton has begun spring football and will hold a Purple and Gold game on Friday at Demon Stadium.
The Demons practiced four times last week and will practice throughout this week leading up to the game. LHSAA high school football teams are allotted 10 practices beginning May 7.
“Our kids’ attitudes are very good and the intensity is great,” Franklinton coach Shane Smith said. “The progress that the kids have made in the offseason has been tremendous and it is showing on the field. Most of these guys are returning with a lot of experience, so we are definitely a lot further ahead of the game than we were last year .”
“When you had three weeks, you could spread your days out and allowed you to keep your players more fresh by maybe giving them a day off but everybody has got the same rules so we are just making the most out of it.”
The Demons are coming off a 5-6 season a year ago and claimed a share of the District 7-4A title with a 3-1 record one season after winning the Class 4A state championship.
“We lacked a lot of experience and it took a lot of time to find out, who we needed to move where,” Smith said. “We made a lot of changes and it was just a continuous grind to try and find that right mix and style of play.”
Austin Armand returns at quarterback for the Demons after earning second-team honors a year ago.
“He understands the entire offense and is a leader out there right now.” Smith said. “I think the biggest things is his consistency, knowledge, experience and leadership.”
Ron Robinson, James Magee and Renaz Wilson are battling it out at running back and Donovan Alonzo and Daryl Fortenberry return at receiver with the addition of Kevin Simmons.
“They are battling and fighting to see who gets the bulk of the carries and who will play slot receiver,” Smith said. “It has been fun watching them because they are getting after it.”
The offensive line includes Brandon McMasters, Linton Brumfield, Nick Mizell, Devin Lewis and Adrian Magee.
Franklinton returns most of its starters in the secondary in Charmarl Magee, Pierre Wilson and Kendrick Brumfield and also has experience in the linebacking corps with Enrique Garret, Christian Thomas, Jamiereo Wilson and Re’lek Wilson.
Quinton Cooper, Shunti Conerly and Jonathan Crain all return to the defensive line with experience.
“We didn’t even now where these kids needed to be last year even though we had worked them at certain positions the year prior,” Smith said. “Our needs were different as a team and that is what made that learning curve so steep. I think all of those things will pay dividends this year. They know what to do and you can see it in their eyes that they are playing with a lot more confidence.”