There's no two ways around it. The 2010 Ackerman High football season wasn't anywhere close to the standards that have been set at a school that seemingly is in the Class 2A championship discussion every year.
So when the Indians convened this spring on the heels of their 1-10 fall campaign, head coach Adam Dillinger says his group was more than ready to get to work.
"They were all ready to get back and put the pieces back together and get better," said Dillinger. "There was a lot of enthusiasm and most of the guys out there, they played last year and are now a year older and a year stronger. They had a good offseason and that led to a good spring with some good weeks of practice."
For Ackerman, Dillinger says spring drills were essentially more about continued progression of players than any sort of major adjustments.
Primarily the only holes the Indians had to fill came on the offensive line.
"We did lose some offensive linemen, so we've got some guys moving into those spots, but most of them got to play a lot last year," said Dillinger. "So there's not a whole lot of personnel adjustments that we had to make during the spring."
Due to scheduling conflicts, Ackerman didn't get the opportunity to participate in a jamboree during the spring.
Instead, Dillinger and the Indians settled for an intrasquad scrimmage to put a wrap on their drills.
"We were originally scheduled to go to Winona (for a jamboree) but they had to reschedule it," said Dillinger. "We had a conflict on the day it was rescheduled for so we ended up just scrimmaging."
Still, Dillinger says Ackerman's progress will continue. Summer workouts begin for the Indians today and Ackerman plans to participate in Mississippi State's 7-on-7 camp and potentially more camps later in the summer before school starts back.
"August will be here before you know it," said Dillinger.
With that in mind, Ackerman is ready to completely erase last year's hardships, yet Dillinger says he doesn't want to completely dismiss the happenings of last year, saying that 2010's struggles may have laid a foundation for 2011 success.
"We went through injuries and guys missing games and things last year," said Dillinger. "But this next year, we'll benefit from all of it because the guys that had to serve as fill-ins gained a lot of experience and hopefully, it'll show."
(Editor's Note: This is the fourth and final story of a series recapping spring practice for area high school football teams.)