Photo by Derrick Mahone
Greg Manior begins his second season at Mundy’s Mill after taking the team to the brink of a playoff berth last season.
JONESBORO — This year, there was no need for player or coaches introductions.
After a year with the program, Mundy’s Mill coach Greg Manior has firmly placed his footprint on the program.
The Tigers opened spring practice on Monday, a week ahead of most teams in Clayton County.
Once the team worked through first-practice glitches, it was all business.
“We are spending a little time teaching the guys that haven’t been here,” Manior said. “We are basically going to throw them in the first see what comes out. We are looking for guys who are ready to play. We have a lot of guys who are willing to jump in there and learn.”
With 10 offensive returning starters and seven back on defense, Manior said they will throw in a few new wrinkles during spring. He said less time is spent on learning the system since most players have been with him the past year.
Last season, Mundy’s Mill finished with a 4-6 record and one game away from making the playoffs.
“We have the luxury this year at spring that we are not introducing ourselves to the players,” Manior said. “They know me, and they know what I expect from them. Last spring we were teaching them terminology and schemes.”
Standout running back Rodney Smith is not participating in spring drills while he continues rehab on his surgically repaired knee. He missed the Region 4-AAAAA play-in game against Northgate after sustaining the injury in a win at Ola.
Smith, a junior, rushed for a county-leading 1,575 yards and 18 touchdown last season before the injury. Wearing a big knee brace, Smith was giving advice to several players during drills and offensive team work.
“Rodney knows this offense,” Manior said. “He is sort of like a coach out there with us.”
With Smith out, several younger players are able to get more reps. Manior said about nine other players are working into the running back spot.
Smith is expected to be ready when fall drills begin.
“He is about 75 percent right now,” Manior said. “We have a lot of other players who are looking to battle in the competition.”