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Pigskin practice

The Russellville High School football team finished up summer work in preparation for the 2019 season with a busy week on the field, including a 7-on-7 and lineman competition held on the RCS campus July 26.

Russellville was joined by 22 other schools for the 7-on-7 at RHS, which was held on eight fields of competition and included more than 1,100 players and more than 200 coaches.

Golden Tigers in grades nine through 12 were split into two squads, with the varsity making up one team and the younger players working together as a team in separate games.

Colbert County, Buckhorn, Decatur Heritage, Montevallo, Meek, Ardmore, Phil Campbell, Clements, Hackleburg, Central-Florence, Tanner, Lauderdale County, Falkville, Cullman, Colbert Heights, Madison Academy, Sheffield, J.B. Pennington, Rogers, Itawamba, Carbon Hill and Good Hope joined RHS to make up the slate of schools in attendance.

Play started at 9 a.m., and the final games of the day finished about seven hours later, making for a busy day of work for players, coaches and volunteers.

“Every one of our guys got a lot of work,” said Russellville head coach John Ritter. “We had two groups going, and our coaches coached all day long. I would be willing to bet that our coaches sleep as good as our kids do because we coached from 9 this morning until 3:55 p.m. It was a phenomenal day, and I thought it went great.”

Russellville finished up the day with some work on the stadium field with varsity games against Good Hope and Lauderdale County, while the final competitions of the afternoon session for the younger Golden Tigers saw RHS play Falkville and J.B. Pennington.

In Russellville’s game against Good Hope, junior defensive back Caden Watts picked off a Good Hope pass to end the first possession. Watts and his teammates in the secondary had a solid day with good coverage and many interceptions.

RHS later answered a Good Hope touchdown with a TD pass from Jacob Bishop to Cole Barnett. Russellville went on to add two more touchdowns in the game, and the defense got another interception by Watts and one by JD Bishop.

The final game of the day for the Russellville varsity saw the Golden Tigers take on Lauderdale County. This contest featured 11-on-11 practice with the lines on both sides of the ball getting in on the action for both teams.

The RHS defense got a stop on Lauderdale County’s first possession, and then Jacob Bishop found an open Bryant Hyde, and the ninth-grader made a move, eluding a defender on his way to the end zone.

Two defensive stops by the Russellville defense followed, including another Watts interception, and the RHS offense scored two more times on touchdowns – one by Barnett and one by senior JD Price – to end the day.

The young Golden Tigers took on Falkville, and RHS was led by 10th-grader Gabe Amick at quarterback. The two teams worked on running the football and stopping the run throughout much of the game in an 11-on-11 format. Amick connected with ninth-grader TJ King for a nice throw and catch for a touchdown for the Golden Tigers late in the game.

Against J.B. Pennington, Russellville got another TD reception from King on a throw by Amick and an interception by Conner Warhurst of a Pennington pass.