After spring practice was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, the Abilene High Eagles are soaring into practice to prepare for the 2021 season.
Head Coach Mike Fullen says, “We’ve got three main goals for the spring. We want to evaluate our personnel, work on our fundamentals both mentally and physically along with out football fundamentals, and then third we just want to build a bunch of junkyard dogs out here.”
Sophomore Safety Noah Hatcher added, “All of my fellow teammates, we’ve been waiting for this. We’ve been grinding in the offseason thinking about this.”
While to team was dressed in shorts and t-shirts last week, the Eagles put on pads this week. Pads are required to develop the kind of football players Coach Fullen is looking for.
Coach Fullen says, “What we want to do is just develop a physical football team, and that’s where you develop that mindset, when you put the pads on.”
Hatcher added, “Getting back that feeling, I love hitting. My teammates love hitting. We’re just a hard nosed football team.”
Like most teams the Eagles are looking forward to getting things back to normal. Using spring practices to find that sense of normalcy is even more important to Coach Fullen, because of his battle with colon cancer last season.
Coach Fullen says, “I Wrapped up my chemo last week. I’m still dealing with a lot of fatigue from my cancer, but just getting the players back, and ever since the end of the season we’ve gradually got back into some normalcy with within our offseason, and even leading up into spring ball, and it feels good to be back out here.”
In 2020, the Eagles snapped a 3-year playoff drought and advanced to the regional semi-finals. Players say they are trying to capitalize on last years momentum to make a deeper run this fall.
Hatcher says, “The guys last year boosted us up big time. All this right now that we’re going through and that out coaches are pushing us through, it’s because of the guys last year. They started back something up that we need to finish.”
Abilene High’s first game of the 2021 season is on the road August 27th, against Amarillo Tascosa.