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The Tullahoma High School football team practiced in full pads for the first time on Monday. The team enters the fall with an abundance of questions still to be answered. Tullahoma returns just four starters on offense and two on defense from last season.
First the Wildcats must find an adequate replacement for departed quarterback Jared Davis.
“We have a body in there,” said THS head coach John Olive.
Senior Justin Brown, who played both wide receiver and linebacker last season, has been taking most of the snaps thus far. In replacing Davis, the Cats simply need a quarterback who can minimize mistakes, while directing traffic and leading the team.
The Cats need to find dependable linemen to work the trenches in order to open holes for the team’s most explosive player, Trey Burks. Will Sharpton is gone and junior Timmy Lemon has a shoulder injury that is expected to sideline him for the season.
Olive, who is entering his 20th season at the THS helm, is charged with the task of replacing a host of defensive players too. Cody Farr and Allen Starks, who helped anchor the Tullahoma defense for two seasons, have departed.
Also gone is Joseph Burke, which leaves the Cats looking for a reliable place kicker as well.
While Olive is faced with replacing a talented group, he’s focused simply on getting the 2012 version of the Wildcats in shape before the Aug. 17 season opener against McGavock.
He said Tuesday that he will try to tailor the Cats’ offense to meet the personnel on the team. That could mean a heavy workload for Burks, while other players grow into their new assignments.
By ROBERT HOLMAN, Sports Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)