Arnold begins spring practice Monday

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 9:57 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Some area high school football teams are back on the pracitice field this week. That includes the Arnold Marlins who one of several area programs starting spring practice Monday afternoon. The 20 days of spring was originally scheduled to start next week across the state.

However some of the bigger schools in the region petitioned to start this week, citing the school year ending so close to when spring would end. So those programs were given the go-ahead to start today. Once a few schools made that change, others, like Arnold had to fall in line and begin this week.

“I’m excited for spring football.” Arnold head coach Shawn Campbell told me near the start of Monday’s workout. “We have some testing issues in school this week so we have some kids who are going to be missing practice due to that. And I just think it’s a little bit unfair to them. But it is what it is and we’re going to move forward and try to get better. The first day of spring today and we’re ready to roll. We’ve got about 65 in the program, ten through twelve (grade). We’re expecting about 30 ninth graders coming in this fall. That ought to put us right around 70 to 85 kids somewhere in that area. We’ve had a good offseason, the kids have done a good job in the weight room. We’ve picked up a few kids from basketball and baseball, some other athletes that want to play. So we’re excited about the future. We are young, we graduated 19 seniors last year. So we’re going to be revamping the office and revamping the defense a little bit.”

As for the priorities for these 20 spring practices, which include the spring jamboree in next month, Campbell says “Well I think install for us this spring is going to be high (on our priority list). We hired a new offensive coordinator and hired a new defensive coordinator. So getting our systems installed is the number one thing. The second thing is finding out who can play and who can’t? Who wants to be the dog? Who wants to be the guy that is going to step up for us on Friday night? And then competition, who’s going to compete when it comes time? May 18 we play Bozeman and Holmes County, and Rutherford will be here. So we’re excited, we’re excited. We’re young but we’re excited. I think that’s the whole goal of spring is to find out where we’re at when we come out of spring.”