Quitman wrapped up spring practice Thursday with 23 players dressed out and ready to roll this fall, plus a couple more waiting to be cleared by medical professionals.
Listing a handful of returning starters and only seven seniors, this could be a rebuilding year for Coach Fritz Heidenreich's Bulldogs. “We've got a lot of young guys and some ninth grade kids that didn't play last year that have come out to learn so that is good, but we've had a lot of distractions with a couple of people hurt … not letting us get a true look with what we need to see offensively so it's good and bad right now.”
Junior quarterback Walker Johnson, who started last year as a sophomore, is injured and awaiting clearance from a doctor. Running back Hadley Martin has also been hampered by injury.
Quitman lost roughly 90 percent of its offensive production from last year with the graduation of running back Allen Mannon, receiver Chase Stewart and Hunter Martin, who played all over the field while taking snaps from quarterback, running back and wide receiver.
“Royce Katzer and Michael McRae are doing a good job at receiver right now, filling some of that void,” said Heidenriech. “We may start a sophomore next year at running back Chris Milam. He and Jacoby Brown, who will be a senior, are taking up some of the slack at running back. Hadley Martin, another running back, has been hurt this spring.”
The Bulldogs' offensive line, anchored by Eugene Pegues, has the most returning experience. “We have a good line we just don't have a lot of them. We are not going to be real deep. Eugene is a quiet leader. He just shows up and gets the job done. He is the leader of the line,” added Heidenreich.