MONTGOMERY, Ala. – More than 140 football players took the field for Huntingdon College's first preseason practice.
The Hawks worked out in shorts and helmets for more than two hours Thursday morning.
Head coach Mike Turk said he saw some things he liked and some other things he expects his players to improve on. In short, it was a typical first day of practice.
"Today was a baseline for us," Turk said. "The goal of any football team is to improve each day. Wherever you start, you want to build on that and continue to get better. Today was a good start and we expect tomorrow to be a little better."
The Hawks are coming off a 7-3 season in which they beat two nationally ranked Division III opponents. Entering this season, the Hawks return six starters on offense and five on defense. Among the other players opening preseason practice with the first team, the majority have game experience.
"You lose good players every year. Thankfully, we have a good number of guys back that have played for us," Turk said. "We have a lot of skill players back that have played a lot of football for us and we have some linemen back that have played for us. That helps. We have very few guys in the starting rotation that don't have game experience. That's important."
Turk said he has already seen some good things out of some of the Hawks' newest players.
"We're going to rely a lot on our veteran players early, but there are some talented younger guys in this group," Turk said. "We're going to have to start making some decisions quickly and work those younger guys into the rotation to get some reps. In order to be successful, we're going to need a lot of guys ready to play."
Huntingdon's second practice is set for 9 a.m. on Friday. The Hawks are also scheduled to practice at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Practices are open to the public.
Huntingdon opens the season on Sept. 1 at home against Maryville.