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Pearl River football aims for productive spring

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — The Pearl River Wildcats are in the midst of spring drills. It’s a nice change to 12 months ago, where the NJCAA cancelled all athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The absence of sports — and the missed opportunity for newly hired Coach Seth Smith to see his players in action — has made this spring calendar all the sweeter for the Wildcats.

“It’s exciting. We’ve had months being in the weight room so it was refreshing to come out, get a chance to put the pads on and get back to football,” Smith said. “Honestly, it’s the first time since I’ve been back here that things have felt normal.”

After getting acclimated to spring conditioning, the Wildcats put on pads for the first time Monday. The clacking of pads on the warm spring day was a pleasant ambiance heard across the Poplarville campus.

“It was just a good day for the Wildcats,” Smith said. “The most rewarding part is how refreshing it was to come out here, play football and have a spring.”

The Wildcats will spend the spring implementing the offense of co-coordinators David Chatham and Bo Wallace, getting newcomers like South Alabama transfers Tony Brown (Hurley; East Central) and Zach Jones (Hurley; East Central) caught up to speed, and continue to build cohesion on defense.

The hope is by the end of spring on April 15 the staff has a better grasp of what they truly have going into the 2021 season.

“It’s nice and rewarding. Now you get a chance to evaluate your guys before they come back in the summer and do a re-evaluation then before starting camp,” Smith said. “I feel like this gives us a chance to start cementing our program, cementing our culture and hopefully gives us a chance to come out this year and be productive.”

At the end of the day, Smith said, the goal this spring is pretty straight forward.

“Get better every day. I know it’s cliché, but it’s a fact,” he said. “We just want to progress and get a little better every day.”