Head Coach Mike Turk on the final day of practice before school starts: "We'll take a day off from practice on Monday for the first day of school. They have a lot going on during the first day, so we'll just meet with them, watch some film and let them get their legs back a little bit. We have a week of practice with school going on before we get into game week. That works out well and will give us a chance to transition into the season schedule."
Position Spotlight – Quarterback
Projected Starters: Michael Lambert (Sr.)
Others to Watch: Preston Samoden (Sr.), Luke Taylor (So.), Eli Powell (Fr.), Brady Herring (So.), Landon Cotney (Fr.), Josh Aiken (Fr.)
A Closer Look: Michael Lambert returns to lead the Huntingdon quarterbacks. Last season, in his first year as a starter, Lambert had to gain experience under pressure. For the season, he completed 136-of-242 passes for 2,091 yards, 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and earned second-team all-conference honors. Lambert led the USA South in passing efficiency (146.42) and passing yards and was second in touchdowns.
Samoden enters the season as an experienced backup who has helped win games for the Hawks. As a sophomore in 2017, Samoden came off the bench twice during the season to help lead Huntingdon to wins over North Carolina Wesleyan and LaGrange.
Behind the two seniors, sophomore Luke Taylor and Eli Powell are competing for the third-string position. Sophomore Brady Herring and freshmen Landon Cotney and Josh Aiken have also impressed the coaches during the preseason.
Turk on Lambert: "Inexperience was an issue last year. But after the season, I challenged him to take the mistakes he made last year, learn from them and don't repeat them. He took that to heart. He is coming into this season with a much better grasp of our offense and each time that ball leaves his hand, there is a purpose behind it. He has improved quite a bit and he can really throw the ball. Right now, he is light years ahead of where he was this time last year."
Turk on having two players with experience in Lambert and Samoden: "Both Lambert and Samoden have helped us win games. Lambert started all of last season, and Samoden helped us win some games in 2017. Both of those guys have been around and played ball for us. That experience is nice to have."
Turk on the younger quarterbacks: "There is a battle for the third-string quarterback position between Eli Powell and Luke Taylor. With Lambert and Samoden both being in their final season, the battle between Powell and Taylor is to position themselves to be our next quarterback.
"Brady Herring is another sophomore who has done some good things this preseason and has gotten a lot better from his freshman year to now. We have two other freshmen who have both caught on to what we're doing pretty quickly. Landon Cotney is probably a little ahead right now but Josh Aiken is also doing some good things. They've had a lot thrown at them in the preseason, so they're still trying to figure some things out, but they both show a lot of promise for the future."
Next Practice: With the first day of school, Huntingdon will not practice on Monday. Beginning Tuesday, the Hawks will practice at their normal in-season time of 4 p.m. and will scrimmage on Wednesday at 4 p.m.