The Bulldogs wraped up a hectic spring practice schedule with their annual intra-squad scrimmage.
College coaches from around the country have traveled to Greenwood for the past couple of weeks, and the Bulldogs have conducted a lot of their spring drills early in the morning to accommodate the soccer team’s use of the field prior to last weekend’s state tournaments.
Bulldogs practiced Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, and will concluded the sanctioned spring practices with an intra-squad scrimmage at Smith-Robinson Stadium.
"It’s been going well," Greenwood head coach Rick Jones said. "We’ve gotten a lot of repetitions. We’re looking forward to playing the games and see how that looks."
Several baseball players re-joined the team after last week’s state tournament, including highly-touted quarterback Connor Noland. Coaches have converged on Greenwood the last couple of weeks to see Noland, who picked up his 10th Division-I football offer Tuesday from the University of Memphis.
"It takes a little bit of time from pitching to throwing a football," Jones said. "It takes a little bit of time to adjust to that, but he’s done well. We’ve had so many people coming in looking at our quarterbacks. Connor would dress out and go through drills. He just wouldn’t go through 11-on-11 stuff. We’ve had a lot of coaches coming through looking. That’s always fun."
Of course, those college coaches get to see other players and it also kind of makes practice a little more spirited, too.
"There’s all kinds of stories you here, somebody goes to look at somebody and they say ‘who’s that guy’ so it’s good," Jones said. "It gives a lot of guys an opportunity. I think we always practice well anyway, but that makes it a little bit better to practice when you’ve got guys there that have flown in from all over the country to watch. It probably makes the enthusiasm a little bit better."
Luke Hales returns at quarterback for his senior year after guiding the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record, the outright 7A/6A-Central title, and the Class 6A championship game last year.
"Luke’s doing great," Jones said. "The quarterbacks most people have figurered out isn’t going to be a problem. Both of them are looking really, really good. We’re going to play both guys. At some point, if one of them does a better job then we’ll roll with it."
The spring has been used to look at players to fill several different holes.
"We’ve got to find some receivers, defensive backs, and running backs," Jones said. "We’ve got to a lot of stuff to look for, but it’s been good. The kids have done an awesome job of practicing, getting here at 6 a.m. and going early. I think they like the early practices and being done by 7:30. It’s been good."
Austin Collins, John Womack, cornerback Caleb Fowler and Peyton Holt have all been impressive this spring. Collins and Womack performed great at last month’s state weightlifting meet in Alma.
"John had a great off-season," Jones said. "He’s a very destructive force on defense. Caleb has been competing every single play. I like the way he competes. Peyton has done some good things."
This summer, Greenwood will participate in its first 7-on-7 tournament in 10 years when the Bulldogs play in the Charleston 7-on-7 Tournament on June 4.
"We’ll do two team camps, at Russellville and here with Broken Arrow, Pulaski Academy, Northside and Clarksville," Jones said. "We’ll have good competition."
Greenwood will scrimmage at defending Class 7A state champion Fayetteville on Aug. 22.
Greenwood opens the season on Sept. 2 at Northside.
The Bulldogs host Texarkana on Sept. 23 in their maiden voyage into the new 6A-West.