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Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia head football coach Gary Parnham Jr. pitches the ball to Scooter Brown during the Vikings spring practice Monday afternoon.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia head football coach Gary Parnham Jr. pitches the ball to Scooter Brown during the Vikings spring practice Monday afternoon.

Vidalia not worrying about transfers on 1st day of spring practice

Published 12:01am Tuesday, May 7, 2013

VIDALIA — Vidalia High School head football coach Gary Parnham Jr. isn’t interested in talking about the athletes no longer on his team.

With a few former Viking football players having transferred to other schools — Parnham wouldn’t name them — Parnham said he’s only interested in seeing who has returned to his team.

But Parnham admitted that transfers do hurt his team in the short-term. As the Vikings began spring practice Monday, Parnham said a couple of adjustments were made to account for the transfers.

“If it’s players we were counting on, it does disrupt some stuff,” Parnham said. “But the next guy can step up and take advantage of the opportunity. That’s the way we look at it.”

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia Vkings football player Charles Albert catches the ball during the Vikings spring practice Monday afternoon.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia Vkings football player Charles Albert catches the ball during the Vikings spring practice Monday afternoon.

Spring practice will be a time to evaluate what he has and help develop those players during the two weeks he can practice with them, Parnham said.

“We have to see where we are as far as the learning curve goes,” Parnham said. “It’s probably going to be pretty basic concepts for the next three or four days. Next week, we’ll move toward team stuff. Right now, it’s more individual work, technique and fixing things we need to correct.”

The quarterback position is currently open for Vidalia, and rising senior Stewart Mallory and rising sophomore Jonterrius Townsend are both getting reps at that position.

“Between those two, we think we have some good options,” Parnham said. “Both of them have strong suits, and they’ll both complement each other.”

Mallory said he’s confident he can handle quarterback after seeing some playing time at the position last year.

“Whatever I can do to help the team win is fine with me,” Mallory said.

Like his coach, Mallory said players transferring do have an effect, but it won’t sink the team.

“Not that they were the sole part of the team, but it messes things up to where you have to put people in different places,” Mallory said. “But we’ll be all right.”

Townsend said even if he doesn’t become the starting quarterback, he’s flexible enough to play several positions.

“I’m just open to whatever is needed,” he said. “I just have to work harder at whatever position they put me at.”

Townsend said he wants to step up as a leader of the team in order to give other players an example to follow.

“We have a lot of young guys, and we have to get this team to work hard,” Townsend said. “(Our goal is to) have a better team than we usually have.”

Mallory said some short-term goals include improving team speed and getting better on the offensive and defensive lines.

“We have to get better — that’s all we can do,” Mallory said.

Parnham said it wouldn’t be fair to set any expectations on the team just yet.

“That’s looking way ahead,” Parnham said. “We’re a young football team, and there aren’t many seniors. We just have to see what we have talent-wise and see what we need to improve heading into summer workouts.”

If the team wants to put the recent losing seasons behind it, Townsend said playing error-free and giving 100 percent would be critical.

“We have to stop the mistakes, work hard and give every minute, every second in the game,” he said.

  • R.S.

    Two Words…..Go Vikes!!
    (former Viking)