WedneSday, aUGUSt 24, 2011
2011 HigH ScHool Football Preview
ROuGH & TOuGH 20
anderson, Tyree have musTangs on The run Every year there’s always debate as to who is the best pound-for-pound high school football player in Autauga and Elmore counties. The Progress has thrown its hat into the ring of competitive banter with its “Rough & Tough 20” 2011 preseason rankings. By Cortez Strickland firstname.lastname@example.org 1. Justin Thomas
6. Lorenza Cooper
11. Jay Minor
16. Bailey Hansen
QB | Prattville | Sr.
RB | Marbury | Sr.
DL | Prattville | Sr.
DB | Edgewood | Jr.
If Thomas can avoid those nagging leg injuries, he’ll show why numerous SEC and ACC schools continue to recruit him despite his verbal commitment to Alabama. A stellar season by this quarterback could mean another state championship for the Lions.
2. Justin Shanks DL | Prattville | Sr.
The attention for Shanks, who committed to Florida State, went to another level over the summer behind his impressive camp outings. However, his onthe-field output hasn’t matched those numbers of other highprofiled stars. Stay tuned.
3. Caleb Gulledge OL | Prattville | Sr.
One of two Tide commitments at Prattville, Gulledge’s size and quickness off the line make him a perfect fit for the up-tempo scheme of Lions coach Jamey DuBose.
4. Kevin Lacey QB | Wetumpka | Sr.
The switch to quarterback should be an interesting process for the 6-foot-6 former defensive back. If he can make quick adjustments, expect programs like Oregon State to soon offer a scholarship.
5. Austin Golson OL | Prattville | Jr.
With two seasons still remaining to improve and grow, the FSU commitment should be in the running for the nation’s top prep linemen by season’s end.
As perhaps the most underrated player in Autauga County, Cooper amassed more than 1,400 all-propose yards in a tough region that included 3A heavyweights Leeds and Handley.
The 6-foot-2 defensive lineman is one of three Prattville teammates who have already given a verbal to South Alabama. He was one of the Lions’ top sack leaders, collecting a dozen a season ago.
12. Jalen Whitlow
7. O.J. Howard
QB | Prattville | Sr.
He had more than 100 tackles, six interceptions and five fumble recoveries. And it was just his first season as a full-time starter, so expect to see those numbers go up.
17. JaQuille Ellis RB | Holtville | Jr.
No one can argue Whitlow’s talent or ability. If you don’t think so, ask your self how can someone who played mainly as the backup quarterback secure an offer from Arkansas State?
Ellis created some buzz for himself despite being in a deep and loaded backfield in the Dawgs’ “Spin” offense. Whether at receiver or running back, he’ll keep defenses honest.
13. Arie Anderson
18. Jonathan Pearson
DL | Stanhope Elmore | Jr.
LB | Prattville Christian | Sr.
A playmaker in the true sense of the word. A hardhitting defensive back with a mean streak. Southern Miss is getting a good one.
A key cog in the defensive machine at Stanhope Elmore, Anderson finished with 81 tackles and a pair of sacks as a sophomore. He’ll be counted on more this season due to the program’s large graduation number on his side of the ball.
Pearson’s abilities at linebacker have caught the eye of Wake Forest and Western Kentucky, among others. He had 77 tackles and three sacks a year ago.
9. Dedrien Lucas
14. Bradley Steele
RB | Stanhope Elmore | So.
WR | Autauga Academy | Jr.
Like Shanks, the on-field production hasn’t equaled his off-season national attention. There’s more than enough time for Howard, an Alabama commitment for 2013, to mature as a playmaker.
8. Derrick Moncrief DB | Prattville | Sr.
DL | Wetumpka | Sr.
Lucas’ non-stop motor was one of the main reasons why the Tribe’s secondary caused so much trouble for opposing quarterbacks.
10. Laronji Vason DB | Prattville | Sr.
OL | Prattville | Sr.
He’s the one of four starting linemen to have already committed, pledging his alliance with South Alabama, which also got a verbal from follow lineman and teammate Terrance Jones.
15. De’Ante Lawrence
A get-in-your-face cornerback who can be left on an island by himself with the opposing team’s top receiver. He has already given a verbal commitment to Wake Forest.
LB | Prattville | Sr.
An all-around and versatile performer who committed to Southern Miss. Lawrence might just be the best athlete of the two counties.
19. Kenterrious Tyree With the backfield less crowded now, Tyree should be the featured back for the run-first, run-second offensive scheme of Mustangs coach Jeff Foshee.
20. Keyvon Owens DL | Marbury | Sr.
A late bloomer, Owens has generated some interest from several state colleges including Alabama State, Tuskegee and Faulkner. top: photoS by Mickey WelSh and lloyd GallMan/advertiSer left: advertiSer file photoS
INSIDE » Stanhope Elmore 2C » Edgewood Academy 3C » Prattville Christian Academy 4C » Games I’d Pay To See 5C » 2011 Football Schedules 5C » East Memorial 6C » Wetumpka 7C » Holtville 8C » Prattville 9-10C
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
STANHOPE ELMORE MUSTANGS AHSAA Class 6A, Region 4 » 2010 Record: 10-3 (the Mustangs lost to Davidson, 31-24, in quarterfinals of Class 6A playoffs after defeating GW Carver, 20-15)
HIGH EXPECTATIONS Mustangs plan to extend long homefield winning streak Head coach
By Cortez Strickland email@example.com
» Age: 39 » Experience: Foshee spent two years as an University of Alabama graduate assistant and three years as the defensive coordinator at Stanhope Elmore High School before taking over the helm following the retirement of his father, Jimmy, in 2000.
Player profiles Casey “C.J.” Davis
Kicker Dalton VanCor, above left, said being a senior will bring out more pride in winning this year. Head coach Jeff Foshee, below left, said expectations are high for the Mustangs and the team wants it that way. Photos by Lloyd Gallman/Advertiser Top Gun All-Star Camp as an eighth-grader. The camp has featured with some of the nation’s top players and boasts an elite staff of some of football’s greatest minds. Top Gun has privately trained and mentored NFL quarterbacks such as Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Eli Manning, among others. But Foshee was recently forced to juggle his depth chart at quarterback after Harris surprisingly transferred to a school in the Gulf Shores area. With his competitor out of the picture, Glenn assumes playcalling duties with the first team and Tory Graves slides
When you look up and see the student section filled and parents there to see their kids play, it brings out a lot of pride. — Dalton VanCor, K
in as backup until Wilson is declared healthy enough for football activities. “He has accepted the challenge and I know he’s not going to make a lot of mistakes,” Foshee said of Glenn, a senior. “No doubt he can run the offense, he’s been out here two years so he knows what to do. Now is his opportunity. “It puts a lot more pressure on the other guys,” the head coach continued.
he bar has been set pretty high for Stanhope Elmore. A season ago, the Mustangs put together their best campaign, posting a 10-3 record that featured wins that halted long losing streaks against Prattville and Wetumpka and included a trip to the Class 6A quarterfinals. “Expectations have always been high and we want to keep them that way,” Stanhope Elmore coach Jeff Foshee said. “The guys have worked extremely hard this summer. Hopefully we can keep it going and maybe go a step further.” The Mustangs, who lost close to 30 seniors from last year’s squad, are expected to use the same formula that provided the Millbrook fans with loads of excitement in 2010. Foshee said he plans to continue calling the defensive schemes while the offense will operate out of the I-formation again. Stanhope Elmore’s running attack should continue to be the school’s bread and butter with Fred Harris, C.J. Davis and Kenterrious Tyree. If there’s one glaring concern for the Mustangs, it might come from the quarterback position. Last year’s starter, Brandon Wilson, suffered a broken leg during the spring and is expected to miss at least the first three games. Quarterbacks Garrett Glenn and freshman Nathan Harris came into the offseason neck-and-neck in a heated battle to land the job. Harris generated some buzz last summer while in middle school, participating in Football University’s
“We’re going to move on and be fine. It does hurt as from a depth standpoint, though.” Six of Stanhope Elmore’s regular-season games are at the safe confines of FosheeHenderson Stadium, a field where the Mustangs have not lost at in two seasons. “When you look up and see the student section filled and parents there to see their kids play, it brings out a lot of pride,” senior kicker
Dalton VanCor said. “Being a senior, I know I will have more pride about winning (at home) more than ever.” A senior, Davis said protecting home-field advantage is perhaps the most important thing for him and his follow senior classmates because they don’t want to be known as the group who allowed the streak to end. Notes: Stanhope Elmore has not suffered a loss at FosheeHenderson Stadium since its 27-21 setback to Jess Lanier on Oct. 31, 2008 — a span of 11 consecutive home games including the postseason. … The Mustangs’ defense dominated more than half of their opponents a season ago, limiting seven schools to a touchdown or less.
» Year: Sr. » Position: Fullback » Ht./Wt.: 5-11/230 “Playing in front of your family and friends and your school and showing your talent to those you love the most on the football field.” Dalton VanCor » Year: Sr. » Position: Kicker » Ht./Wt.: 5-11/207 “Too many things to list — discipline, strength, toughness and effort.”
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
EDGEWOOD WILDCATS AISA Class AA, Region 1 2010 record: 12-2, 5-1 Class AA, Region 1 » (beat South Choctaw Academy 49-7, Clarke Prep 43-40 and Springwood 41-0 in the playoffs)
BULL’S-EYE ON WILDCATS Edgewood seeks to defend another state football title
Head coach Bobby Carr, center, will try to lead his team to its third state title in four years. Carr said he the Wildcats will be working every day to reach the high standard set by past teams. PHOTOS BY MICKEY WELSH/ADVERTISER
By A. Stacy Long firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Jackson » Year: Sr. » Position: LB/FB » Ht./Wt.: 5-11/250 Favorite movie? “I have a couple of them, but I’ll say “Friday Night Lights.” How they play the games and how they go through practices fits in with real high school football. I love that. I could watch that movie every day.”
WR/DB Cole Lipscomb, left, and Bailey Hansen, WR/LB, will be looking to help the Wildcats repeat as state champions. Carr, when practice started, was leaning toward Dylan Ingram after impressive summer 7-on-7 work. “We have a lot of weapons, and Dylan does a good job spreading the ball around to all of our guys,” Carr said. “He understands our offense and that is more than half the battle.” Still, tasting a title last year hovers in the back of their minds. The Wildcats beat Springwood 41-0, so there wasn’t any last-second drama, but it still hit
We love these rings, but we’ve got to focus on this season. It’s a lot of motivation, and we’re working hard to get another ring. —RYAN JACKSON, LB/FB
them hard. Now, they just have to do it again. “It’s definitely harder,” Coleman said. “It gets tougher. Everybody out there looks at us and wants to see us lose.”
he logo isn’t changing on the sides of Edgewood’s helmets this year, but there’s a symbolic addition that will stick to the Wildcats. With two state championships the last three years, a red bull’s-eye will likely center on the school’s helmet insignia and the Wildcats are confident their name has been circled (maybe in red) on opposing schedules. “We know we’re going to get everybody’s best game,” senior receiver/defensive back Sam Coleman said. It’s become a fact of life for Edgewood, the price the Wildcats pay for a run of overwhelming success. Edgewood has a combined 35-4 record the last three years and -- except for a last-play field goal by Monroe Academy in 2009 -would have three straight state titles. And winning isn’t limited to just the gridiron. The school’s baseball team is a three-time defending state champion, too. “It says a lot about our teams in the past and they’ve raised the bar high,” said Bobby Carr, the football and baseball team’s coach. “Every team is going to give them their best game. Coleman and linebacker/fullback Ryan Jackson each wear their championship rings sparingly. They save them for special occasions but look at them most every day. It’s not just a reminder of what they’ve done. It’s motivation to add to the collection. “We have the talent,” Jackson said. “We have most of our players coming back and we know what it takes. “We love these rings, but we’ve got to focus on this season. It’s a lot of motivation, and we’re working hard to get another ring.” The Wildcats return their front eight players on defense and eight starters back on offense, too. That includes virtually all of their skill offensive starters, though they do need a new quarterback after AllState Matt Moore graduated.
Notes: Offensive lineman Mitch Greer was All-State last season. He missed the first week of practice this year because he was at a workout for the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland, Fla. Edgewood has suffered just one losing season under Carr, a 3-7 finish in 2007. Carr has had eight All-State quarterbacks in 15 years as a head coach.
Head coach Bobby Carr » Age: 39 » Experience: Carr is 95-25 with two state championships in 10 seasons as Edgewood’s football coach. The Wildcats have also won three straight state baseball titles under Carr. Previously, he spent five years at New Life in Millbrook. His career record is 139-43.
Sam Coleman » Year: Sr. » Position: WR/DB » Ht./Wt.: 5-10, 165 Favorite TV show? “That 70s Show.” It’s a pretty funny show about teenagers and the lives that they live. (Mila Kunis) is such a character and she’s crazy. She’s definitely a drama queen on that show.”
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
PRATTVILLE CHRISTIAN ACADEMY PANTHERS AISA Class 3A Region 2 » 2010 Record: 9-3 (lost in first round playoffs to Pike Liberal Arts 34-16)
TAKING THE NEXT STEP Panthers hoping region success will fuel state title dreams By Jimmy White Special to the Advertiser
At left, Quandarius Vickers stops Shawan Parks during football practice. The Panthers lost their first game 21-14 to Autauga Academy last week. At right, Nick Nettles works out during preseason practice. PHOTOS BY LLOYD GALLMAN Quarterback Jordan Peak (junior) is healthy and already has college recruiter’s interest. Peak has an excellent arm and manag-
es Powell’s spread offense with accuracy. “We run the Gus Malzahn spread and have some kids that can run and catch,” Powell said. “Edward Todd (senior) has good hands and great speed. Others include Barry Jackson (senior) and three juniors Thomas Cotton, Jake Williams and Trey Ousley. Michael Lynam (senior halfback) and Jonathan Pearson (senior running back) will also play a vital role in our offense.” The Panthers return seniors Nick Friday, Tyler Brannon and Aaron Reynolds on the offensive
There is no doubt that this year’s team has worked harder, longer and with more enthusiasm that any other season. — Edward Todd Jr., WR/KR
line. Defensively, Pearson (6-0/200) is an all-metro linebacker, while Connor McKenzie returns as a senior linebacker and can play H-back. Pearson is excited about his senior season. He has interest from Western Kentucky, Samford, Jacksonville State and Harding University. “We have been working very hard this summer,” Pearson said. “It has been the best summer since I have been here. We hope all the extra work we have put in will help us get to Troy. We have set the bar high for this year’s team, and our expectations are not just to make the playoffs, but advance deeper to Troy for the championship.” Todd has interest from Troy, Samford, Western Kentucky, UAB, North Carolina, Memphis and Wake Forest. Prattville Christian traveled to cross town rival Autauga Academy for the season opener on Aug. 18. The Panthers won last year meeting, 27-6. “There is no doubt that this year’s team has worked harder, longer and with more enthusiasm that any other season,” Todd said. “We have focused on details of every phase of the game. We have really come together as a team, more like a brotherhood. “It has meant a lot of hard work, and long hours
n his second year, Grey Powell’s Prattville Christian Academy squad finished second in a tough region of the largest classification in AISA. The Panthers had opportunity to win the region, but lost back-to-back home games to Pike Liberal Arts and Bessemer Academy. “We hope to be able to play up to our potential,” Powell said. “This will be the first senior class at PCA that actually began their careers on the very first PCA team in the seventh grade. It is common knowledge that first we must stay healthy, just can’t afford to have injuries to our key personnel, and second eliminate mistakes, such as penalties, and broken assignments, etc. “To win our region we have to beat Morgan, Bessemer and Pike Liberal. And even winning those doesn’t guarantee it. Everybody has good teams in this region.” The Panthers will dress 45 players for varsity games and also field a junior varsity team. The Panthers have 65 players in total. One of those is Alex Powell (coach’s son).
of extra time on our own practicing. Through it all we have honored God, on and off the field.” Notes: Mike Pearson, father of senior linebacker Jonathan, serves as defensive coordinator … The Panthers lost 11 lettermen including record setting running back J. J. Hudson (All-state, all-metro, all county) and offensive lineman Ray Rudolph (all-state, all-metro, and all-county). Rudolph and Hudson played in the AISA all star game along with four other Panthers who have graduated — Michael Gregory (Strong safety) Josh Jones (wide receiver), DeMarcus Geeter (defensive back) and Victor Washington (defensive line) … 16 lettermen return this year including a three-year starter in linebacker Michael Lynam.
Head coach Grey Powell » Age: 37 » Experience: Begins third season at PCA with career record of 16-8. He is a native of Arkansas, where he graduated from Harding University. Following college, he served as assistant coach at several high schools in Arkansas, Texas and Tennessee. He and wife, Sharon, have four children, Alex, Caleb, Haley and Rebekah.
Player profiles Edward Todd. Jr. » Year: Senior » Position: WR/KR » Ht./Wt.: 5-9/160 “This year’s team can accomplish our goals and make plays and the bond we have is better than anything else. We have each other’s back.” Jonathan Pearson
Junior quarterback Jordan Peak will be managing the offense on the field for the Panthers this season.
» Year: Senior » Position: RB/LB » Ht./Wt.: 6-0/200 “The two losses to Pike Lib motivated me. I hate the feeling of losing. I hate it more than I like the feeling of winning and I don’t want to feel it this year.”
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
2011 FOOTBALL SCHEDULES Wetumpka
Aug. 26 vs. Greenville Sept. 1 at Robert E. Lee Sept. 9 vs. Sidney Lanier Sept. 19 vs. Prattville Sept. 30 vs. Carver Oct. 7 at Benjamin Russell Oct. 13 at Jeff Davis Oct. 21 vs. Stanhope Elmore Oct. 28 vs. Dothan
Aug. 26 at McKenzie Sept. 2 vs. John Essex Sept. 9 at Shades Mtn. Christian Sept. 16 vs. Sunshine Sept. 23 at Montgomery Catholic Sept. 30 at Pickens County Oct. 7 vs. Holy Spirit Catholic Oct. 14 vs. Maplesville Oct. 21 at Keith Oct. 28 vs. St. Jude
Aug. 26 vs. Thompson Sept. 2 at Prattville Sept. 9 vs. Carver Sept. 16 vs. Benjamin Russell Sept. 23 at Dothan Sept. 30 at Jeff Davis Oct. 7 at Sidney Lanier Oct. 14 vs. Robert E. Lee Oct. 21 at Wetumpka Oct. 28 vs. Selma
Aug. 25 at Holtville Sept. 2 at Leeds Sept. 9 at Central-Coosa Sept. 16 vs. Beulah Sept. 23 at Chilton County Sept. 30 vs. Handley Oct. 7 vs. Comer Oct. 14 at Clay County Oct. 21 vs. Walter Wellborn Oct. 28 vs. Jemison
Aug. 25 vs. Marbury Sept. 2 vs. Munford Sept. 9 at Lincoln Sept. 16 vs. Childersburg Sept. 23 at Houston Academy Sept. 30 at Calera Oct. 7 vs. Dadeville Oct. 14 at Beauregard Oct. 21 vs. Elmore County Oct. 28 vs. Alabama Christian
Aug. 26 at Dallas County Sept. 2 at Isabella Sept. 9 vs. Vincent Sept. 16 at Thorsby Sept. 23 vs. Maplesville Sept. 30 vs. Hatch Oct. 7 at American Christian Aca. Oct. 14 vs. Francis Marion Oct. 21 at Central-Hayne Oct. 28 vs. Verbena
Elmore County (Class 4A) Aug. 26 at Alabama Christian Sept. 2 vs. Lincoln Sept. 9 at Munford Sept.16 vs. Calera Sept. 23 vs. Tallassee Sept. 30 at Childersburg Oct. 7 vs. Beauregard Oct. 14 at Dadeville Oct. 21 at Holtville Oct. 28 vs. Trinity
Tallassee (Class 5A) Aug. 26 at Benjamin Russell Sept. 2 vs. Charles Henderson Sept. 9 at Eufaula Sept. 16 vs. Rehobeth Sept. 23 at Elmore County Sept. 30 at Carroll Oct. 7 vs. Russell County Oct. 14 vs. BTW (Tuskegee) Oct. 21 at Valley Oct. 28 vs. Beauregard
Autauga Academy (AISA, Class A) Aug. 18 W, 21-14 vs. PCA Aug. 26 at Coosa Valley Sept. 2 vs. Cornerstone Sept. 9 at Jackson Sept. 16 vs. SMCA Sept. 23 vs. Meadowview Sept. 30 at Sparta Oct. 7 vs. Sumter Oct. 14 at Bessemer Oct. 21 vs. Clarke Prep Oct. 28 at Lowndes
Prattville Christian (AISA, Class AAA) Aug. 18 L, 21-14 at Autauga Acad. Aug. 26 vs. Kingwood Sept. 2 vs. Morgan Sept. 9 at Tuscaloosa Sept. 16 at Escambia Sept. 23 vs. Lee-Scott Sept. 30 at Pike-Liberal Arts Oct. 7 at Bessemer Oct. 14 at E. Memorial Christian Oct. 21 vs. Hooper Oct. 28 vs. Restoration
(AISA Class AA) Aug. 18 W, 55-14 vs. E. Memorial Aug. 26 at Evangel Sept. 9 at Lakeside Sept. 16 vs. Morgan Sept. 23 vs. Pickens Sept. 30 at Restoration Oct. 7 vs. Springwood Oct. 14 vs. Abbeville Oct. 21 at Glenwood Oct. 27 at Fort Dale
Prattville (Class 6A) Aug. 27 vs. St. Thomas Aquinas Sept. 2 vs. Stanhope Elmore Sept. 8 at Robert E. Lee Sept. 16 at Wetumpka Sept. 23 vs. Opelika Sept. 30 vs. Sidney Lanier Oct. 7 at Carver Oct. 14 at Benjamin Russell Oct. 21 vs. Jeff Davis
East Memorial Christian (AISA, Class AAA) Aug. 18 L, 55-14 at Edgewood Aug. 26 vs. Bessemer Sept. 2 at Restoration Sept. 9 at Hooper Sept. 16 vs. Meadowview Sept. 22 vs. Kingwood Sept. 30 at Morgan Oct. 7 at Tuscaloosa Oct. 14 vs. Prattville Christian Oct. 21 at East-Macon
Games I’d Pay to See
RIVALRIES SHINE Stanhope Elmore, Wetumpka game brings out best in teams records, they do have five regional titles to their credit). Folks without reserved seats begin lining up at 4 in the afternoon to get into the stadium that is always packed. There is no extra seat to be found when these two get together.
By Jimmy White Special to the Advertiser
have often been asked the question “Why is football so popular in the South and particularly in Alabama?” I wish I had a good answer, but I don’t. I do have a theory that we do not have a professional team in the state, so all our hero worshipping goes to our local high school team, and then there is the magnetism of worship for Alabama and Auburn. But this theory is slim at best, since Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas all have professional football teams. The high school stadiums in those states are packed Friday nights just like those in Alabama. Friday nights in these states are almost like a holy day as grandmas and grandpas, uncles, aunts and family members come out to cheer their young gladiators on to victory. Here are a few high school games that I would pay top see this fall in Alabama. There is nothing like a friendly rivalry when it comes to high school football.
Sept. 23: Lineville at Clay County
Talking about rivalry — there are only a few games that can top the rivalry between the Aggies of Lineville and the Panthers of Clay County. Only six miles of Alabama 9 separate the two schools. They began playing each other in 1922 and they still play it annually. Toss in five times that the two met in the playoffs and that total is 96 games. Lineville has won 54 and Clay County 42. The Aggies beat Clay County last fall 41-6 to break a seven-game winning streak by the Panthers. The two schools even met in the state championship game in 1996 with Clay County spanking their county rivals, 42-0. They also won the regular season game, 21-0. This was during the Danny Horn era. Horn was Clay County’s coach for 19 years and won 225 games, dropping only 40. The Panthers won ten regional titles, and six state titles under Horn. He left Clay County after the 2008 season for class 6A Benjamin Russell in Alexander City.
Oct. 21: Auburn at Opelika
The battle for bragging rights in Lee County always produces an overflowing crowd as the two powerhouses collide, normally for the Region title. Last year’s battle in Auburn was won by the Tigers, 19-14. The win by Auburn narrowed the gap to 41-39 in favor of the Bulldogs
Oct. 14: Hoover at Vestavia Hills
Stanhope Elmore players take the field against Wetumpka on Oct. 21. The winner of the game gets bragging rights in Elmore County. MICKEY WELSH/ADVERTISER FILE with three games ending in a tie. Opelika High was originally known as Cliff High and became Opelika High in 1959.
Oct. 21: Stanhope Elmore at Wetumpka
The game for bragging rights in Elmore County brings out the best in the two schools, and sometimes the worst in some of the school’s fans. Both teams are expected to be competitive this fall in Class 6A Region 4. Wetumpka lost their Mr. Football, Jamal Golden. Golden is now playing for Georgia Tech. This fall the Indians will turn to allstate defensive back Kevin Lacey to continue the winning ways. Lacey will be the Indians quarterback. Stanhope Elmore snapped a four-year dominance by Wetumpka last fall with a 21-14 victory in Millbrook. The Mustangs own a decisive edge in the traditional battle, having won 28 of the 43 games.
Oct. 27: McGillToolen vs. Murphy
On a Thursday night down in Mobile’s Ladd Peeples Stadium former Prattville Lion offensive coordinator Bart Sessions will bring his McGillToolen Yellow Jackets to do battle with the Murphy Panthers. This is a longtime rivalry between the two Mobile schools dating back to 1935. The two schools have met 78 times with the Panthers holding a 46-31 edge and one game ending in a deadlock. Murphy has one state title in 1983 and has 12 regional championships. They also have sent 14 players to the NFL. Murphy opened its doors in 1925 when old Barton Academy was closed in downtown Mobile. For many years they played their home games in old Monroe Park, which was located about where Hank Aaron Baseball Stadium stands today. Murphy and McGill Institute (the Bishop Toolen school for girls became a part of McGill in 1972),
for many years played two military schools from Mississippi, Gulf Coast Military Academy and St. Stanislaus of Pass Christian, as well as Mobile’s own University Military School. McGill won last year’s game 28-13.
Oct. 28: T. R. Miller at W. S. Neal
The battle of Murder Creek has been played continuously since 1946. Only the creek with the unusual name separates the two schools located in Brewton and East Brewton. The Tigers in Brewton are rich in football tradition, having won six state titles and having 31 playoff appearances with an 80-25 overall record. Miller has been in the finals 11 times (while their upstarts from across the creek do not tout the highly regarded
For years only a few miles separated the two schools when Hoover was known as Berry High School. In 1994 a new school was build and Berry moved and became Hoover. However the bitter rivalry between the two schools continued. Bob Finley coached Berry High School for 25 years and retired when the school became Hoover. Buddy Anderson is the longtime coach at Vestavia Hills (33 years). Hoover has won eight state Class 6A championships, 15 region titles and has been to the playoffs 26 times. Vestavia Hills has two state titles and 15 region championship, and has been to the playoffs 27 times. The two schools have battled continuously since 1972 with 25 wins for the Bucs, and Vestavia Hills’ 18. Four times the two schools have met in the state playoffs. A ticket to this game between the two Birmingham powerhouses is a valuable commodity.
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
EAST MEMORIAL WILDCATS AISA Class AAA, Region 2 » 2010 Record: 2-9
SEEKING RESPECTABILITY Wildcats taking steps to turn program in right direction Head coach
By Jimmy White Special to the Advertiser
» Age: 50 » Experience: Foxworth will begin his second year of his second tour at EMCA. Foxworth began the football program at EMCA in 2004 and coached two years. He was out of football for four years, returning in the 2010 season. Foxworth and his wife Toni have three adult children, Jason, Vicki, and Lena.
Player profiles Corbin Shaw
Tommy Hammack, clockwise from left, Tommy Burton and Casey Rollan will look to help East Memorial improve on last year’s 2-9 record. The Wildcats lost their first game 55-14 to Edgewood Academy last week. PHOTOS BY MICKEY WELSH/ADVERTISER the team we put on the field will have quality players because most will have a year’s experience in what we want to do. We want to throw the ball and spread it out on offense. “Defensively, we are going to make it simple, we will run the 4-3 and play fundamental, sound defense. Some games might be different. We’ll just adapt to what our opponents run. Most of the teams in the AISA like to run the football, so this is our best defensive scheme to stop the run, a 4-3.” Dashun Bartley is one of the players that Foxworth is counting to have a great season. Bartley, 16, transferred
We’re looking at a lot of youth, but we will have more quality players. — Vic Foxworth, head coach
to East Memorial from Stanhope Elmore High. “I felt more comfortable coming to EMCA because of the environment here as a Christian school,” Bartley said. “Also I knew coach (Jeff) Foshee was going to run the ball more at Stanhope, and here I knew EMCA would use passing plays more frequently. I felt I would have a better opportunity to be noticed for my pass receiving skills.” Bartley’s teammate Corbin Shaw, also 16, didn’t
he East Memorial Wildcats got off to a horrendous start last fall, dropping their first three football games by a combined score of 148-7. “It was a tough start, no doubt,” East Memorial coach Vic Foxworth said. “But I was very proud of the kids, they never quite and always played to the best of their ability until the last game of the season. We had a ton of injuries throughout the season. That’s one of the keys to having a successful season, stay healthy. “The chemistry on this team is much better, and we have more talent, not in numbers, although our numbers could be up from last year.” Other than injuries, Foxworth cited a few other key factors for success this season. “There are also three other things that have to happen for a successful year,” Foxworth said. “One, the injuries, we have to eliminate those, and be more consistent on offense and defense, Second, we have to be more productive in the red zone. Last year we were 23 percent. We can’t do that and win. Three, we have reduce the mistakes, like holding and offside penalties. If we can do those things, then we’ll be competitive.” The Wildcats head into the season with only seven seniors. “We’re looking at a lot of youth, but we will have more quality players,” Foxworth said. “We may be smaller in numbers, but
get to show off his skills as he was hurt the majority of the season. He is completely healthy and ready to get started. “We have been working out three days a week and it is different as night and day from last year’s team,” Shaw said. “We have come together as a team and have been willing to pay the price to get better. When you come in and lift when other students are out having fun in the summer, you realize that you and your teammates are
paying a price to be better, and that’s our goal to improve.” East Memorial will open the season with a road trip to class AA defending state champions Edgewood Academy in Elmore. Bobby Carr’s Wildcats defeated Springwood Academy, 41-0, in last year’s championship game for the school’s second title in three years. Notes: Scott Phillips and David Chambers serve as co-defensive coordinators while Richard Joiner is the team’s offensive coordinator. … The Wildcats have 10 lettermen returning junior quarterback Corbin Shaw, who was injured most of last season, junior running back Timmy Moore and senior offensive tackle and defensive end Joseph Brewton.
» Year: Jr. » Position: QB » Ht./Wt.: 6-4 1/2/185 “I love the bond between teammates and the feeling that you get playing on Friday nights.” Joseph Brewton » Year: Sr. » Position: OT/DE » Ht./Wt.: 6-1/254 “I love being able to fellowship with my teammates and other players.”
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
WETUMPKA INDIANS AHSAA Class 6A, Region 4 » 2010 Record: 10-2 (the Indians lost to Daphne in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs after beating Prattville in the first round)
BIG SHOES TO FILL Will Lacey have golden touch for Indians? Head coach
By Tim Gayle email@example.com
» Age: 35 » Experience: Anderson, a graduate of Prattville High, is now in his 12th year as a football coach, either as an assistant or as a head coach at Wetumpka. Anderson, a graduate of the University of Alabama with a master’s degree from Alabama State University, has a wife, Meagan, and daughter, Annabelle.
Player profiles Damian Lewis
Kevin Lacey, above left, takes over as quarterback this year, replacing Jamal Golden. At right, running back Anthony Finney runs the ball during practice as the team prepares to build on last season’s success. PHOTOS BY MICKEY WELSH/ADVERTISER the backfield but believe they have a supporting cast that can take the burden off Lacey. “We ran the ball quite a bit last year, but we won’t really have that deep threat of Demario (Bell) or the jump ball factor we had with him in the red zone,” Lacey said. “We’ll be more of a downhill running team. I think we’re good enough to run the ball on anybody.” That could take the burden off the defense as well as it searches for defensive linemen to anchor the 3-4
We have to come together and figure out how we’re going to play together. We have to figure out we’re not the same team as last year. — Kevin Lacey, QB
scheme. “Defensively, the line is going to be a work in progress,” Anderson said. “We’ve got one of the starters coming back in a rotation of six. That’s going to be the biggest thing.” Anderson said the suc-
he Wetumpka Indians will have a different look on offense this fall. For the past three years, it’s been Jamal Golden at quarterback, leading the Indians to some of their most exciting and monumental victories since climbing to Class 6A a decade ago. The graduation of Golden, the 2010 Mr. Football, creates a new challenge at Wetumpka. Not just at quarterback, where safety Kevin Lacey will assume the duties previously held by Golden, but in the entire psyche of an offense that had come to depend on Golden to make the big play when it was needed. “He had that spark about him,” said Wetumpka High coach Chad Anderson. Without Golden, Anderson predicts subtle changes in the Indians’ offensive attack. “We’ll definitely run more option with Kevin,” Anderson said. “Jamal was based more off a zone scheme with different types of angles. We have a different offensive line, too. They’re heavier, so it’s not a zone friendly group. I gave Jamal the option on every run to pull it if he saw grass, if he saw an end not paying attention and honoring him. I don’t know if you’re going to see quarterback sweeps out of Kevin, but I don’t know if he’ll need to do that.” With three starters returning on the offensive line, the Indians are searching for a big-play threat in
cess of last year’s squad will be tough to duplicate because of the team’s chemistry, an intangible Lacey and his teammates are searching for as the season opener draws near. “There’s enough to build on, but right now we’re
struggling to find our identity as a team,” he said. “We have to come together and figure out how we’re going to play together. We have to figure out we’re not the same team as last year.” Notes: The Indians not only lost “Mr. Football,” quarterback Jamal Golden, but also its big-play receiver, Demario Bell, which will change the look of the Wetumpka offense this fall. Although the Indians’ spread attack focuses a lot of attention on the quarterback, the Indians could have more brute strength in the trenches and should be a better running team this fall.
» Year: Sr. » Position: LB » Ht./Wt.: 5-11/185 “The best thing about playing high school football is learning the game, playing with friends and coaching support.” Kevin Lacey » Year: Sr. » Position: QB » Ht./Wt.: 6-5/185 “The best thing about playing high school football is the fans and playing in front of a lot of people.”
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
HOLTVILLE BULLDOGS AHSAA Class 4A, Region 3 » 2010 season: 7-4 (the Bulldogs lost, 35-27, to Jemison in the first round of the 4A playoffs)
Climbing the mountain Bulldogs return 16 starters from last year’s playoff team
Holtville is bringing back seven starters on offense and nine on defense from a team that made it to the playoffs last season. PHOTOS BY LLOYD GALLMAN/ADVERTISER
oltville entered uncharted territory last season with new opponents after the AHSAA’s realignment put them into a highly competitive region. Despite the new challenges and unfamiliarity, the Bulldogs pushed forward to claim their second postseason berth in three seasons under coach Barry Gibson, whose team finished third behind top-10
mainstays Dadeville and Beauregard in Class 4A, Region 3. “Taking that No. 3 spot was a step in the right direction for us because we didn’t know what to expect in a new region,” Gibson said. “We won seven games, and I was very proud of them for stepping up to the challenge.” With a positive first year as its confidence builder, Holtville looks to make even more noise this campaign with seven returning starters on offense and
Taking that No. 3 spot was a step in the right direction for us because we didn’t know what to expect in a new region. — Barry Gibson, head coach
nine on the defensive side of the field. “We had an excellent offseason, perhaps the best since I’ve been here, and I know the guys are up for the challenge again,” Gibson said. “I feel good about our guys because they know what to expect now.” But the recent major
By Cortez Strickland
shakeups in the backfield could be somewhat of a setback for the Bulldogs, who loss of key backs Akeem Bennett and Patrick Reed. Bennett was dismissed due a violation of team rules and Reed transferred to Sidney Lanier, Gibson said. Expect JaQuille Ellis and Antonio Kendrick to step in
to fill the void. Ellis, a junior wingback, was a heavy contributor in a supportive role as season ago, reaching the end zone via the air and ground in the school’s complicated Spin’ offense. “We’re going to run that ball, that’s been our reputation,” Gibson said. “We had some young guys back there a year ago, but one thing that’s going to be the difference maker is the experience they’ve picked up.” Senior Daquarious McCall feels offseason training and conditioning should help open up more running lanes for his teammates. “It’s our job to make sure we can pound the ball, basically we’re going to knock people’s heads off,” said McCall, who is an offensive and defensive lineman. “We’ve worked extra hard in the weight room.” Gibson said the commitment from players to summer workouts was the best he’s seen since taking over the program three seasons ago. “Showing up and working out every day during the summer showed leadership and commitment, something the younger guys can look up too,” senior Mason Price said. “It showed them how hard they need to work if they’re going help us reach our goals on the field this year.” While coaches stress the importance of taking the season one game at a time, Gibson has pointed out a pair of games — Marbury and Dadeville — that his squad has definitely circled on their calendars. “I think Dadeville is important because you want to knock off the best,” Gibson said. “But just as important, the (season-opener) against Marbury is as equally important because it’s the first one of the season and it’s a rivalry.” Notes: Gibson proved yet again he won’t allow any player to mess up team chemistry with the recent dismissal of RB Akeem Bennett. Prior to the start of the 2009 campaign, he parted ways with talented RB Akevious McCall, who had several high-profile schools interested in his services. … Scoring was never a problem for the Dawgs in 2010, as they put at least 40 points on the board four times — all wins. … Holtville has won two of the last three home games over rival Marbury.
Head coach Barry Gibson » Age: 57 » Experience: Gibson has 34 years on the sidelines, with the past three coming at Holtville.
Player profiles Daquarious McCall » Year: Sr. » Position: OL/DL » Ht./Wt.: 5-10/233 “I think the best thing about high school football is the relationship between your coaches and players, and Friday Night lights.” Mason Price
» Year: Sr. » Position: QB/DB » Ht./Wt.: 5-9/160 “Memories you make playing beside your friends on the field.”
Senior Mason Price said the summer workouts showed the younger players how hard they have to work to help the team excel on the field.
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
PRATTVILLE LIONS AHSAA Class 6A, Region 4 » 2010 Record: 8-4 (lost to Wetumpka 26-23 in two overtimes in the second round of Class 6A playoffs. Defeated Phenix City Central in first round 42-14).
MAINTAINING RANK Lions enter season as one of state’s, nation’s top teams By Jimmy White Special to the Advertiser
The Prattville Lions, with numerous seniors returning on both sides of the ball, are ranked No. 1 in the country by Rivals.com. MICKEY WELSH/ADVERTISER
rattville rolls into the 2011 season as a preseason favorite to compete for the state championship. The Lions were knocked out in the second round last fall and the majority of players will return. It has been a who’s who of college coaches at the Prattville Athletic Building during the spring recruiting season. Quarterback Justin Thomas played most of the 2010 season hobbled by a knee injury that required surgery over the winter. He is expected to fully recover by the start of the fall season. Thomas has an excellent arm and blazing speed. He will have a host of available targets. Senior Brandon Smith was on the receiving end of 45 passes for 448 yards at the National Select 7-on7 tournament in Hoover in July. Senior Nick Shanks grabbed 27 for 317 yards.
Prattville finished second to defending state champion Daphne in a field of 32 teams from 15 different states at the prestigious tournament. Senior running back George Rowe also picked up 485 receiving yards at the tournament. Seniors Kordell Arrington, Jeremiah Gardner, Nate Albert, Mike Smith and sophomore Denzel Jones all are excellent receivers. Following the tournament, head coach Jamey DuBose said he “left our best players at home.” DuBose was referring to talented defensive linemen and offensive lineman. The Lions return offensive linemen Rann Causey (6-0, 240), Jordan McQueen (6-3, 280), Austin Golson (6-6, 260), Bradley Steele (6-3, 310), Nole Jones (6-5, 268) and Terrance Jones (6-3, 260). One recruiting website ranks defensive lineman Justin Shanks (6-3, 305) as Continued on Page 10C
Player profiles Caleb Gulledge » Year: Sr. » Position: OL » Ht./Wt.: 6-6/280 “The atmosphere of Friday night games — the love for the game is most precious at the high school level.” Justin Shanks » Year: Sr. » Position: » DL » Ht./Wt.: 6-3/305 When asked what he loved about high school Shanks replied: “Sacking quarterbacks.”
Wednesday, AUGUST 24, 2011
PRATTVILLE LIONS AHSAA Class 6A, Region 4 » 2010 Record: 8-4 (lost to Wetumpka 26-23 in two overtimes in the second round of Class 6A playoffs. Defeated Phenix City Central in first round 42-14).
the No. 1 prospect in the state, with Caleb Gulledge (6-6, 280) the No. 13. Other defensive linemen include Jay Minor (6-2, 230), Jherron Jones (5-10, 280) and linebackers Se’Courtney Gardner (6-0220), De’Ante Lawrence (61, 180). Lawrence can also play running back. Prattville is blessed with defensive backs beginning with seniors Laronji Vason, Derrick Moncrief, Lawon Debardelaben and Mike Smith and juniors Cory Jones, Jalel Gilbert, and Christian Reese. The Lions lost kicker Chris Kennedy, who’s now at Georgia Military School. However, kicking coach Mike McCabe has junior
Daniel Marshall and senior Brian Curry vying for the starting role. DuBose approaches the season with cautious optimism. The Lions are ranked No. 1 by Rivals.com in its preseason rankings of the top 100 high school teams in the country. “I know we are getting a lot of preseason hype, but that’s what it is, hype,” DuBose said. “Looking at our schedule on any night we can get beat. We start the season in Birmingham with the No. 4 team in America, St. Thomas Aquinas. They won the Florida big school state championship last year, and were undefeated and ended the season ranked No. 2 in the state. “You could say that’s our
I know we are getting a lot of preseason hype, but that’s what it is, hype. — Jamey DuBose, head coach
toughest opponent, but any time you play the schools in our region week in and week out, you have to play your best. All of the region schools are going to be better. We’re not looking over anyone and will play the schedule game by game. “Certainly, we have some talented kids. But many things can play a part in a successful season, such as injuries, too many penalties, silly mistakes, and believe it not, having a lot of luck. The ball is not round.” Thomas, 18, echoed Du-
Continued from Page 9C
Bose’s thoughts. “I hope to have a good year and avoid the nagging injuries,” Thomas said. “We certainly set our goals high, and we know we will be a marked team. We’ll go out and play to our best ability and see what happens.” Gulledge, 18, also feels that the team will have high expectations. “This is a team with a lot of seniors on it,” Gulledge said. “Most of us have been together for three to four years, and have set our standards high. We feel
like we fell short of our goals last year, and want to try and correct those mistakes and get back on the winning track. If we can stay healthy we could have a great season, hope so anyway.” Notes: Forty-five seniors return with the class having 15 Division 1A scholarship offers. The team expects to have another 10 sign with smaller schools. Some of the commitments include: QB Justin Thomas (Alabama), OL/DL Caleb Gulledge (Alabama), OL Bradley Steele (South Alabama) and Terrance Jones (South Alabama), DB Derrick Moncrief (Southern Mississippi); DB Lajonri Vason (Wake Forest), QB Jalen Whitlow (Arkansas State), Austin Golson (Florida State) and DL Justin Shanks (Florida State). The Lions are 1-4 when facing out-of-state schools since 2008. The program’s lone win came against Tennessee’s Brentwood Academy.
Head coach Jamey DuBose » Age: 41 » Experience: He begins his fourth season. DuBose is a native of Opp, where he played football for the legendary coach Jamie Riggs. He has two young sons from first marriage, and his wife Tracey, has two sons, Lance, 18, and Austin, 16, from her first marriage. DuBose began his high school coaching career in 1993 at Eufaula High. He was head coach at Susan Moore High in Blountsville, for two seasons. His career record is 43-19 (Susan Moore 10-11 and Prattville 33-8).
Prattville quarterback Justin Thomas said he knows other teams will have the Lions in their sights this season. MICKEY WELSH/ADVERTISER