MOULTRIE — Colquitt County head football coach Tim Cokely finished his second spring practice with the Packers on Tuesday much more familiar with the personnel he will enter the coming season with.

Last year, Cokely was hired in January and did not have his full staff in place by the time he took his team out for spring drills.

This year, he has a 6-6 season behind him and went in knowing where he wanted to place his spring emphasis: the offensive and defensive lines.

Both suffered signifcant losses from last year, but both could be stronger when the Packers open the 2006 season on Sept. 1 at Cook High.

Cokely and ninth-grade coach John Redmond handled the offensive line during spring, replacing last year’s line coach and offensive coordinator Barney Myers.

The two had to begin the process of filling the vacancies left by the graduation of center Tyler Brooks and right tackle Marcus Robinson.

The Packers then lost offensive line prospect Matt Howell, who injured a knee in an early practice.

But Cokley said he thinks the group will have more capable players to choose from this fall.

“We’ll have a lot more depth,” Cokley said.

The defensive line also needed to rebuilt and new coach Tony Long, also the team’s strength and conditioning coordinator, will be in charge of that makeover.

That group lost Bart Sims and KelvinWatts, but the addition of Antonio Sutton and Willie Carr should add some depth.

“Antonio will help us,” Cokely said of the defensive tackle who won the Region 1-AAAAA wrestling championship and reach the state semifinals.

Cokely also said there was a chance that one or more of the defensive players could play on both sides of the ball.

Several players — including All-Region players Dontrell Johnson and Vance Cuff — played both offense and defense last year and took repetitions on both sides of the line of scrimmage this spring.

Although the Packers will continue to use the offense that they finished the 2005 season with, Cokely said there was not much emphasis on expanding on that offense this spring.

“Spring is the time to work on fundamentals,” Cokely said. “We stay pretty simple. We work on blocking and tackling.”

But with projected starter running back Orion Ponder and quarterback Channing Hudson still with the basketball team, several younger players were able to get plenty of spring reps.

Cokely is still searching for an offensive line and wide receivers coach and wants to build a separate B-team staff by summer.

Members of the ninth-grade and middle school staffs helped during varsity practices this spring.

The rising eighth-graders began spring practice on Monday. The rising seventh-graders will hit the field on Feb. 27.

The rising ninth-graders will do their spring football in May. Ninth-grade coaches Craig Pitts, Daniel Dalton and Greg Tillery also work with the junior varsity and ninth-grade baseball programs.

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