Since arriving in the spring, Decatur coach Mike Fuller has awaited the chance to start working with his new squad and new staff.
Monday afternoon, the wait will end as fall workouts get underway.
“I’m pretty excited to get started,” Fuller said. “I’ve never seen what these kids can do on the field.”
Monday will also start a crash course for players to learn a new offense and defense. While Fuller arrived in March and some of the new systems were installed, he said there is still much to cover.
“We just got into the basic stuff,” Fuller said. “We didn’t have the time, and all our coaches weren’t here. We’re starting over. We’ve got to teach everything. We’ll go slow. We’ve got time. There’s four weeks until the first game.”
The Eagles graduated several skilled players from last year’s 9-3 region semifinalist squad. Gone are quarterback Garrett Muehlstein, who threw for 3,100 yards and rushed for another 1,300 last year. Decatur also also lost talented wideouts Austin Givens and Cain Lowe, who combined for more than 2,500 yards.
“That’s the nature of high school football,” Fuller said. “It’s a brand-new team every year. You have a few underclassmen but most of the guys you depend on are seniors.
“They are all new to me.”
The top goal for Fuller and his staff in the first week is to start identifying starters and developing a two-deep roster for both sides of the ball.
“The quicker we can decide on personnel will help us,” he said. “Depth is the biggest thing for us and how many guys will be playing on both sides of the ball.”
The Eagles return three offensive linemen that earned district recognition last year – Jacob Hartsell, Dakota Williams and Rickey Roberts.
“From what I’ve seen, the offensive line should be a strength,” Fuller said. “They were really good last year, and they have a lot back.”
The Eagles will be on the field at 4:30 p.m. Monday.