MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon football team went through its first two-a-day practice of the preseason on Tuesday.
The Hawks held a full-gear workout in the morning before working on the kicking game and fundamentals in the afternoon session. Huntingdon will hold its first preseason scrimmage on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
"We had another productive day. We're trying to extend our full speed reps a little each day and we're working to get the guys used to playing more plays at full speed," Huntingdon head coach Mike Turk said. "We'll find out more Wednesday night with the scrimmage, but I expect it to be a step in the right direction.
"There are a lot of things we'll be looking for Wednesday night. I want to see our defense lining up correctly, playing fast, reacting and tackling well. Offensively, I'm looking for execution and playing at a good tempo. We want to see which guys are going to show us that they're capable of helping us."
Turk said the Hawks will also work on the kicking game in the scrimmage. Huntingdon's special teams will be a mixture of experience and new players this season.
Senior David Ballard returns to handle the Hawks' punting, placekicking and kickoff duties. Ballard owns Huntingdon's career record for punts (128) and ranks second with 4,427 punting yards.
He also holds the Huntingdon career records for extra points made (104) and attempted (115), ranks third in field goals made (eight), fourth in field goals attempted (13) and second in field goal percentage (61.5 percent). As a junior, he set the Huntingdon and USA South Athletic Conference season record for extra points in a season with 56.
"David has been a solid guy for us for three years now," Turk said. "As of right now, he will handle kickoffs, punting and placekicking for us. He is the best we have in all three areas.
"But I'm also pleased with the job Jimbo Turk is doing as a backup punter and kicker and we have two young guys, Austin Wood and Trey Collins, who have shown us some good things so far."
Quarterback Taylor Hughes will again be the holder on extra points and field goals. But with the graduation of three-year long snapper Cameron Lewis, the Hawks are developing a new long snapper.
"Neil Lawler is working with the first group as our long snapper," Turk said. "He has played baseball for Huntingdon and he decided to come out for football. He looks solid. Zane Jones has also looked good for us. It's always comforting to know we have guys in those spots that can get the job done."
In the return game, Jamichael Bibb, Brantley Carr, Zach Camp and Anthony White are seeing time as punt returners and Willie Coleman and Nick Haas are the early leaders as kick returners.