Knights’ numbers low as preseason practices open

DUBLIN — The numbers are both slim and skinny for the Knights, who opened the preseason practice week with just 27 players and more speed than size.

“I’ve coached for 37 years and I’ve never seen a turnout this low,” said West Bladen AD Kim Cain. “It just makes it tough.”

But first-year head coach Kris Williams remains optimistic.

“It’s not the best scenario, but I feel sure another 15 or 20 kids will be here once school starts,” he said. “Of course, they will be behind because they still have to get their 12 days of conditioning in first.”

As all-conference linebacker Hunter Pait, a 2017 graduate, looked on, West Bladen went through a myriad of drills with a newcomer to the varsity — Tyre Boykin — at quarterback and returnees like B.J. Drake and Kerron Washington.

The Knights are opening the preseason with their third different head coach in three years.

As the first morning of practice progressed, it was evident the players would be dealing more with pesky bugs than a sizzling sun as temperatures progressed only into the high 70s.