Herring giving Talladega football a face-lift
by LaVonte Young
Robert Herring is working to give the Talladega Tigers football program a face-lift on and off the field. The first-year head coach has made several changes in the last few months, and he hopes that the Tigers’ fate from the last decade will change as well.

“We have pressure washed the stadium, the whole visitor side bleachers, the walls and the outside,” Herring said. “We are not through; we have a lot of stuff to do. We have repainted the field house inside and out. We have redone the weight room. It is just a work in progress.”

Herring replaced Chris Mahand in April. During Mahand’s four seasons, Talladega went 6-34.

Herring and the Tigers had a successful spring practice, which has carried over into summer workouts. Herring has a good core of players that have been dedicated to come in four days a week to summer workouts.

“I have a lot of kids, between 25 and 30 showed up for work outs,” Herring said. “That is what I had in June, now that July is here we’ve had a few more to come out. Our kids are off this week dealing with the state stuff in Montgomery. Hopefully, next Monday we will have that many numbers come back.”

In May, Herring gave his team a blueprint for the summer that they can follow if they want to be successful this fall.

“We told them when the spring was over, here is our plan,” Herring said. “We gave them a work out sheet, we told them this is when you need to be here if you plan to win. If you want to keep losing don’t show up. Good teams that win have kids that show up in the summer and work. Do you want to be a part of that or not?”

During the off-season workouts, several leaders have emerged for Talladega.

“We have a couple of good senior leaders and we have a couple of good juniors,” Herring said. ”Our quarterback is going to be a junior, Ken Wells. He hasn’t missed a day. We have a good defensive end in Ahmad Gooden that has been offered from a couple of schools. He has been here everyday. You got to have that core group that you can depend on. We know we have some kids working from six or seven in the morning to three or four in the afternoon. That’s not just here; that is everywhere. As long they are working and when they get home I tell them to do some pushups and sit-ups. They probably get more of their whole day than we get out in the morning.”

Herring said the players are buying in to his system and they are enjoying training for the season.

“They are enjoying it,” Herring said. “I brought in a guy that coached with me at West Alabama. Coach Jason Bates is during our weights. He has different things like that he does with them everyday. In the month of June it was more of just weights. Now that July is here after we get through with weights we will work on footwork and agility. Every little week, we will add more.”

The Tigers will compete in one 7-on-7 tournament this summer.

“We are just trying to get our offense installed,” Herring said. ”The players know what we are trying to do. 7-on-7 will help us defensively, but offensively that won’t help us because we are not going to be a spread team.”

The former B.B.Comer defensive coordinator said he has spent time teaching and working on their offensive and defensive schemes twice a week during the off-season.

“One day we will do offense and the next day we will do defense,” Herring said. “We work on different sets, different motions. We work on our base defense, different formations and how we line up to them. It just gives the kids something to think about.”

Herring said he appreciates Talladega High School for providing the paint and the things he has needed to give the stadium and field house a face-lift.

He hopes the face-lift he is giving the Talladega football program will be one that the community will be proud of.

© 2013