WHITE HALL — Senior linebacker Terrance Warren looked around during White Hall's first football practice of the season and did not see as many of his teammates as he wanted to.
WHITE HALL — Senior linebacker Terrance Warren looked around during White Hall’s first football practice of the season and did not see as many of his teammates as he wanted to.
White Hall, which is coming off a semifinal appearance in the Class 5A playoffs, was missing about 25 players, according to coach Mike Vaughn, at Monday’s first practice. That is a bit concerning to Warren, especially since White Hall has to replace 14 starters from last year’s team.
“It was very disappointing that everyone wasn’t here,” he said. “It doesn’t show like a family like we were last year.”
The good news — Warren was happy with how the practice went with the players that were there.
“I think it went pretty good,” he said. “Everyone was doing what they need to do and gave a lot of effort.”
The players practiced with helmets, shorts and T-shirts on Monday morning. Practiced started at 7:30 a.m. and ended at about 10 a.m. The team will add shoulder pads on Wednesday and go to full pads next Monday.
Vaughn was ready to find out where the missing players were, though.
“We had about 25 that didn’t who up, for various reasons, we don’t know,” he said. “We started earlier this year than we normally do, but we texted them about 25 times telling them to be ready. I am anxious to get inside and call them and see where they are.”
When the missing players show up, they will have to make up the work, too.
“They make up these practices that they miss and they know that,” Vaughn said. “Sometimes they can’t help it and we know it.”
But the a good number of key players were there, and the players were happy to be there.
“The upperclassmen for the most part were here,” Vaughn said. “I think everyone is excited. Kids are always dreading the first day or two.”
White Hall had three team camps during the summer and 90 percent of the projected starters were at those, Vaughn said. Those camps allowed Vaughn to see what areas the team has to work on with the start of practice.
“We got a lot out of those camps and told us the things we need to work on,” he said. “We are at that stage right now.”
The team will have to work on those problem areas quickly, though, since White Hall has about 15 practices before the Bulldogs scrimmage against Malvern.
“We are already in panic mode,” Vaughn said. “We have to be ready to intensify everything. … Have a long ways to go, but we are in the right direction.”
With 14 starting spots open, there will be a lot of competition during the next few weeks. While Vaughn said there is a battle everywhere, quarterback will be the focus. Nathan Lee was last year’s quarterback and has since graduated.
Warren will have a shot at the starting job along with sophomore Kirk Baugh, Vaughn said. Clayton Bower is also in the mix.
“Our quarterback spot is the biggest question. When you are running the spread offense, the quarterback is the key ingredient,” Vaughn said. “Terrance has been here the longest and he will probably play some running back some and receiver some. We want Kirk to come along … if not start. It’s just going to take a lot of practice time.”
Warren may be in a quarterback battle with Baugh, but he is open for playing anywhere.
“Just do my best and try to lead us to victory,” he said. “They think I am very versatile and I think I am versatile. They think I can play any position that I put my mind to.”