MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Huntingdon Hawks opened fall practice Thursday and head coach Mike Turk says he’s just happy to be back out on the field.
“It’s just good to be finally out here, seems like everybody in the country been practicing but us, and so it’s our first day we got no time to really mess around as we play Sept. 7, so we’ll get actually 21 practice opportunities before that first ballgame, so every one of them matters,” said Turk.
That’s right, the Hawks open their season Saturday, Sept. 7 against Guilford. The Hawks had a down year last season, finishing 4-5, something that was unusual for the Mike Turk area, and snapping a streak of three consecutive playoff berths.
As the Hawks enter this new season, they’re looking to fill out some areas on defense.
“We’re huntin’ some depth, certainly in the defensive backfield and at linebacker," said Turk. "We got a lot of guys up front, defense back from last year that played for us, but linebacker and secondary are positions that we desperately need some young guys to learn what to do and be able to do it at a fast speed so that they can help us with depth and making plays as far.”
The Hawks return a pair of offensive weapons, including thousand-yard back Eric Thomas. As a sophomore Thomas rushed for 1,040 yards and 11 touchdowns. Thomas became the third Huntingdon Hawk to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He fumbled just once all of last season.
Alongside Thomas is junior quarterback Michael Lambert who completed 56 percent of his passes a year ago for 2,086 yards and 19 touchdowns. Lambert threw for 300 yards or better twice and had a five touchdown game as well as a four touchdown game.
The Hawks welcome Guilford on that Sept. 7 Saturday for a 1 p.m. kick.