Beaufort Today -

First-year coach Wilson gets first look at Battery Creek

Battery Creek hasn’t tasted a winning football season since 2012’s 7-6 campaign.

But after his first two weeks of spring practice, new coach Walt Wilson says he doesn’t necessarily see his first season as an uphill battle.

“My first impressions — I was really pleasantly surprised — more so pleasantly aware. What I really thought came true,” Wilson said. “I really think I have a lot of talent.

“But talent is just that. Talent must be coached, potential must be shaped. That’s what these kids need.”

Wilson thinks he has a good amount of athleticism. His first several spring practices were devoted to finding out who belongs where and he’s attempting to do that by instilling “iron-man football.”

“That means everyone is going to have an offensive and defensive position (this spring),” he said. “The first week, we went two days with offense and two days of defense. After that we kind of evaluated what we have, and, after that Thursday practice, we sat down and made a depth chart.”

He went on to split up the practices similarly in week two with everyone receiving reps at their projected offensive and defensive positions.

“These kids will get coached on both sides of the ball and that’s how we’re going to do it until our numbers go up. Right now, my biggest concern is that I need to find more linemen,” Wilson said.

Wilson expects turnout to improve in the summer and noted that jobs and previous commitments have kept numbers lower in the spring.

Wilson, who will be in his 26th season overall as a head coach, is aware that he’s still dealing with mostly unknowns, but he says he knows one thing.

“I know my kids are hungry and they want to win,” he said. “I do know that. And to be honest, I feel that we have a good chance to win. We’re getting closer every day as a group. I see kids’ lights turning on because they’re being coached and actually learning fundamentals. And they are understanding the game a little more each day.

“My kids are buying in. They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. The effort they’ve given me is terrific. I can’t ask for much more. If I had a wish, it would be for more linemen, but I have all the pieces right now. They just need to have an iron man mentality to make up for that.”