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Rain dilutes spring practice

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Maroon - White game likely cancelled

By Jesse Osbourne

Though spring practice went nearly perfect for nine days, the tenth day was a spoiler for Marion County High School football Head Coach Jeff Robbins and the Knights.

Rain and dormant grass sent Robbins and company seeking shelter in the fitness center Friday instead of ending spring practice with the annual intra squad Maroon - White scrimmage.

"If it was the fall and we needed to go out, we go out. The safety of the kids and concern for kids is the number one factor," Robbins said.

He said the team didn't want to risk injuries from the sloppy conditions nor did they want players getting sick from playing in the cold, wet environment.

Though he said he would speak to KHSAA officials about possibly rescheduling the intrasquad scrimmage, Robbins said it was "99.9 percent likely it would be cancelled."

The coach said his players were very disappointed about canceling the scrimmage, especially since it would be the first or last for many.

"For our seniors, that was there last opportunity for a spring game," Robbins said. "The sophomores haven't had a chance for a spring game yet because you can't participate in spring practice as an incoming freshman.

Though an inconvenience, the problem of having a wet field may be the gateway to a solution. Right now the practice field is sewn in Bermuda grass, which lies dormant until late spring or early summer.

"On the practice field I would prefer to have just fescue because the Bermuda is dormant right now. It does you no good in spring practice. Fescue would be better for a productive spring practice," Robbins said. "I think Mr. (Stacey) Hall and Mr. (Wayne) Keen have discussed getting fescue. I think it's fairly inexpensive and it has a tough root system."

Despite the issues on the last day of practice, Robbins was overall pleased with how things went.

"As far as most improved in the spring, we have a kid named Dominique Hawkins, who enrolled this past fall," Robbins said. "He's a sophomore, to be a junior. He probably improved the most over the course of three weeks as an outside linebacker. He definitely stepped up his game."

Robbins said juniors Wes Stayton and Bryson Bell had typical performances in that they got much better.

"That was one of the biggest disappointments is that they worked so hard and didn't get to play," Robbins said.

The coach is still sticking by his decision to have a two-quarterback system in the fall. He also said there have been no decisions made about replacing offensive coordinator Corey Crume in the fall.