There’s been a quality-over-quantity component to the spring for Jamie Perry as he enters his third season leading the Holy Ground Baptist Academy football program.

The Stallion coach was encouraged by the effort and productivity he got from his guys during the two-week practice session, he just wishes he had more of them on hand during this busy time of year.

“We’re excited. Everything is going well. With what we’ve had here, spring practice is like usual. You’ve got kids leaving early and kids getting out. But with what you’ve got here, you get some good work in. The main thing this year is we’re excited that we’ve got the most experience, but we’re just the thinnest in numbers, depth-wise, that we’ve ever had,” Perry said.

“We’ve got a great, great, great upcoming junior class with good numbers in it. We’ve only got three seniors this year and one of them is having surgery, so we don’t know how much work we’re going to get out of him. But our starting quarterback, starting tight end, both of those are back and both of those are key position players.”

The Stallions return seniors Demo Agan, Walt Denney and Jordan Edwards, though Edwards has been dealing with a lingering shoulder issue and Perry is unsure if he’ll be able to play or not come the fall. Edwards, who was used as both a kicker and position player last year after undergoing an initial shoulder surgery only to tear it again during the season, will likely miss the start of the year and could wind up missing more than that.

“He nursed it through baseball. We don’t know how much work we’ll be able to get out of him next year. It doesn’t look like we’re going to have him at the start of the season, for sure. He’s one of those that he’s our fastest kid. If we can get him back just to run a route every now and again and he can get outside, hopefully we’ll be able to use him there,” Perry said.

Agan, the Stallions’ senior signal-caller, and Denney, starting tight end, are two of Holy Ground’s biggest offensive weapons, while junior Michael Yates will do a little bit of everything on that side of the ball.

Perry said the junior class includes basically the entire line of scrimmage and some emerging leaders in the program.

“It’s probably our biggest class we’ve ever had ... And we really won’t know until the fall where we’re going to be total-wise in numbers. The school is growing and we’ve got some upcoming new kids coming in. We just don’t know,” Perry said. “Our junior class has been here the longest. They’re the most experienced group we’ve ever had. We lost three big seniors last year that had been here since the start of the program. I didn’t realize how much they would hurt us when they was gone, but that depth-wise, not having that depth hurts.”

A new entity to Holy Ground football is the conception of a middle school program this year, something Perry believes will reap major rewards for the varsity squad for years to come.

“We had about 20 sign up and, of course, all of them aren’t out here right now. Some of them are still in baseball and things like that. But we’re pretty excited about starting that middle school program to feed on into the high school. We knew we’d have a year there of lull in numbers. Last year we were down a little bit and we knew we’d go down again this year, but the middle school has really been a great asset to all of our programs. We’ve been able to add middle school in all sports,” said Perry, who also serves as Holy Ground’s athletic director.

Perry said with the addition of a middle school program, it’s imperative that the upperclassmen lead in a positive manner to keep the foundation flowing fluidly from top to bottom.

“I think this year I’ve stressed to all of our high-schoolers that this is one of our most important years for them to set the tone and teach these guys who we are and what we do and how we do it,” Perry said. “I think we’re pretty excited about that.”

With not enough numbers to line up against each other at full speed, the spring has been about fundamentals at Holy Ground. Another issue Perry wants to correct is ball-control, something that surfaced in the playoffs last season.

And while Perry looks forward to getting his full squad together in the fall — where the program will enjoy its first radio game on Thursday, Sept. 19, when hosting Praise Academy — he understands there won’t be the luxury of depth, but he will have a group of gamers on his side.

“We’re small in numbers, but large in quality,” Perry said.

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