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Football: Alma begins final preparations

Doug Loughridge is pleased with his first August of football drills as the new Alma head football coach.

“We’ve had a really, really good fall camp,” Loughridge said. “Things are really going well. The thing I like about it is we’ve been really, really physical. It took a while for the guys to realize what I expect, but after that first day of full pads we’ve kind of picked it up.”

The Airedales conducted their intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 17 and Loughridge, who left Charleston in December after a successful run with the Tigers, liked what he saw out of his experienced defense, which returns six starters.

“I was really impressed with they way we ran to the football, defensively,” Loughridge said. “We had 11 guys to the ball on every play and were physical when we got there. There wasn’t a whole lot of missed tackles, which I was impressed with.”

Alma returns just one starter on the offensive line, which has been a major point of emphasis for Loughridge during summer and August drills.

“Offensively, I thought we did a good job lining up and running the football,” Loughridge said. “Our offensive line is progressively getting better every week. They’re no where near where I think they can be, but they are getting better every day.”

Junior Evan Burris and sophomore Alex Beneaux, who guided the junior high team to a 10-0 mark last year, continue to be locked in a quarterback race. Burris had little varsity playing time last year but guided the junior varsity on Monday nights.

“The quarterback battle is still a pretty good battle,” Loughridge said. “Evan and Alex are neck and neck, going back and forth. Evan is doing well in the things he is capable of doing, and Alex is doing the same.”

Alma will scrimmage at Southside at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday before opening the season Sept. 6 at Van Buren.

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