The Sumter Item sports writer Danny Kelly conducted a question-and-answer interview with each of the 12 high school football coaches in Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties, asking each the same five questions about their recently concluded spring practices. Today we have Robert E. Lee Academy head coach David Rankin.
Q: What was your No. 1 goal entering spring practice and did you accomplish that?
A: We had summer practice, didn’t get to have a spring practice. We’ve been practicing probably two days a week for a little while. We get 12 of those. Our goal over spring practice was try to see what we got, try to figure out our offense, changes a little bit because of personnel. We might be running the same offense, or whether we’re going to try decide whether we can throw it any. Defense, what kind of speed we got on defense. Do we got big enough linemen to be a hit hat-to-hat team or are we going to slant and get after it. How we’re going to play personnel you’ve got, and try to figure out who can do what.
Q: Who was an individual who shined for you?
A: Our quarterbacks, Jet Smith and Keaton Price, have really developed along. They’ve gotten older and understand the offense a lot better. Christian Olson, our inside linebacker, looks like he’s come on real good.
Q: Was there anything that left you a little concerned?
A: We need to develop some depth. I think the first group will be fine. Where as in the past we’ve had some depth, we don’t have as much depth. Some of our younger players are going to have to develop a little bit earlier than in the past.
Q: Where do you need to make the most progress over the summer entering fall?
A: Conditioning and weight lifting, be ready to go when we get there in August. Monday through Thursday in the summer we go from 9 to 11 (a.m.) and you get in shape. Try to prevent some injuries by lifting weights and getting stronger.
Q: What was one area or position you feel like you solidified in spring?
A: Maybe receiver. We got some guys who can catch it, and feel good about our receiving corps, and some of those young guys are better than I thought they would be.
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