BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Spring football has commenced with a few changes at Blountstown.
The Tigers' stadium was ravaged by Hurricane Michael. Their secondary practice field located behind the press box and home sideline, was ripped apart by cleanup vehicles. Now it's on to plan C: an auxillary parking lot next to the school and makeshift locker rooms.
As is expected for all teams, there are also a few roster changes, with three starters on each side of the ball graduating, including the starting quraterback.
Those spots will be filled by players who have physically changed quite a bit from last season. Ten players were on the regional champion weightlifting team this spring. Thheir hard work is paying off.
"Man, they came out of nowehre and just kept grinding," head coach Beau Johnson said. "We had two freshmen guards that started every game. When they started last summer, they were probably bench pressing 155 pounds, cleaning 175 pounds. Those same guards are cleaning and benching 250 and squatting right at 400 pounds."
Blountstown has several multi-sport athletes. Weightlifting season is over (at least as an organized competition), but with six players on the baseball team and two participating in the state meet for track and field, the Tigers are noticibly missing some key players.
That's alright with the head coach.
"Next man up. You might need to end up helping us in the fall. This is just great to build depth. We expect still to go out and perform in the spring like we would in the fall with or without those guys. THe ting around here is, I like that. I want our track team to be successful. I want our baseball team to go back to the final four and that kind of stuff. I think it builds great team and school spirit. It's not just about football. It teaches them how to win and we love winners."
The track athletes will rejoin the team this week, while the baseball team participates in the district tournament Monday night.
Blountstown's jamboree is set for Thursday May 16 at Graceville with Bay and Chipley.