After White Hall’s scrimmage against Malvern last Tuesday, head coach Mike Vaughn said his team would need to work on live tackling in practice.
Well, that really didn’t get to happen thanks to the injury bug the Bulldogs picked up in Malvern. However, White Hall hopes to have some of its injured players back healthy for the team’s season opener against Monticello at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Golden Lion Stadium.
According to Vaughn, several players suffered sprained ankles in the scrimmage and senior defensive standout Robert Dooms picked up a turf toe injury.
One of the players who sprained an ankle was Daniel Sprinkle. The junior was supposed to replace Clayton Bowers as the Bulldogs’ backup quarterback after Bowers left the team. If Sprinkle is unable to play in Tuesday’s game, Vaughn said senior running back Irvin Tisdale would be the team’s backup quarterback.
“(Tisdale) can throw the ball a little bit,” Vaughn said, “but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.”
On the other side of the field will be a Monticello squad that played its scrimmage last Tuesday against Camden Fairview without five starters.
“Some of the guys probably could have played,” Billies head coach Greg Tiner said. “With it being a scrimmage, though, we didn’t want to risk anything.
“It paid off, because we had a really good week of practice.”
Senior starting quarterback Imani Riley was one of the Monticello players who sat out the scrimmage. Tiner said he was impressed with how junior backup Garrett Jeffers played in the game.
“If things are going well with Imani, we’ll stick with him,” Tiner said. “(But) we’ve prepared to have both play.
“We’ll just see if it comes to that.”
Both teams will be looking to correct mistakes made in their respective scrimmages.
“Our fundamentals were really lacking against Malvern,” Vaughn said. “We went about trying to correct that this (past) week.”
“We did some good things,” Tiner said about his team’s 40-0 loss to last season’s 5A state champion. “… The biggest thing is just being more consistent.”
Both coaches expect to see their opponent utilize the running game.
“We’re expecting to see a lot of option (plays) out of them,” Vaughn said.
“They have one of the best running backs we’ll see all year,” Tiner said. “… Their run game is definitely a concern.”
White Hall, a member of the 5A South conference, is ranked No. 5 in its class by Hooten’s Arkansas Football magazine. Meanwhile, Monticello was picked to finish fourth in the 8-4A conference.
That hasn’t stopped Tiner from feeling confident about his team heading into Tuesday night’s game.
“When we had all our guys back practicing after the scrimmage, our continuity was much better,” Tiner said. “I feel good about (Tuesday) night.”