Table of Contents In Each School Section Season Preview Team Roster Academic Athletes Cheerleaders Band Preview
7 Letter from the Editor 19 Life of a Football Mom
73 The Friday Night Changeup...From Football to Cheerleading 76 Factors Impacting Today’s Athlete
78 ASWA Preseason Poll 82 Charley’s Treasures
LAVOY CALDWELL email@example.com
Contributing Writers JOANNE BOZEMAN, LEISEL CALDWELL, CHARLEY NORTON
Neighborhood Publishing 877.959.5253 18285 Highway 431 Wedowee, AL 36278 www.FridayNightLife.com Friday Night Life, produced by Neighborhood Publishing, is published once a year and available for sale through different organizations associated with each of the schools in Clay and Randolph counties. All content is protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, or otherwise published without the prior written permission of Neighborhood Publishing. ÂŠ 2008-2012 Neighborhood Publishing
Football is in the air The state of Alabama loves its football, and we love winners. You just have to look at the last three college football national champions to see that. It doesn’t matter if you bleed orange and blue or crimson and white, football is the heartbeat of this state. While college football has the reputation of dividing not only this state but households as well, Friday night high school football has the power to unite entire communities. That was evident when the Handley Tigers won the Class 3A State Championship last season. The community not only celebrated the win with the team, the people of the area raised more than $30,000 in a matter of weeks to ensure the young men received Championship Rings. The sense of community pride still rings true this season as the Central High School of Clay County Volunteers embark on a new journey. The communities of Ashland and Lineville have rallied behind this new team with as much enthusiasm as ever before. And, they are beyond excited for that first game at Volunteer Stadium. At this point, all five teams in the area are on equal footing and have a fighting chance at accomplishing something extraordinary this season. As one ole’ ball coach use to say “Winning a state championship comes down to three things...Players, Coaches and A Little Bit of Luck. You can’t do it without all three!” So here is wishing each team the best of luck in the 2012 season!
Enjoy Friday Night Life! Kelly Caldwell
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HANDLEY FOOTBALL 2012 Aug. 31 Sept. 7 Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 12 Oct. 19 Oct. 26 Nov. 1
BEAUREGARD @Holtville CHILDERSBURG @ Dallas County @ Anniston ELMORE COUNTY CENTRAL CLAY CO. @ Dadeville BEULAH @ Dora
All games start at 7 p.m. Home games in all caps.
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2012 HANDLEY TIGER FOOTBALL ROSTER Jersey # 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 17 18 19 22 23 25 27 28 29 30 33 34 39 40 42 50 52 53 58 60 62 63 64 65 66 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 80 81
Name Coby Floyd Trae Kyles Duran Zachery Rashad Trammell Sedric Tucker Tevin Morgan Tevin Cook Jerrod Tucker Marcellous Floyd Kelvin Kelley Logan Taylor Mikeia Trammell Toddrick Burton Kevin Morgan Damien Ware Cody Foster Bran Trammell Dakelton Daniel Damien Harris Jarreion Williams Eli Taylor Trent Wilkerson Quincy Morris John David Fordham Tez Watts Connor Smith A.J. Reed Kenny Seiffert John Simon Connor Boyd Andrew Owens Colton Murphy Luis Velazquez Quandale Trammell Timmy Yarbough Seth May Jacob Seiffert Hunter Fulghum Beau Robinson Skylar Bladwin Allen Kelley Shane Adams Steven Adams Shaquan Glass Will Tennent Erik Velazquez Bradley Bozeman Clay Burks Daniel Folds
Height 5'10" 5"10" 5"10 5'11" 6'2" 5'8" 6'3" 5'11" 6'0" 6'0" 5'10" 5'11" 5'6" 5'8" 5'10" 5'11" 5'10" 5'8" 5'7" 5'8" 5'8" 5'9" 6'0" 5'10" 5'9" 6'4" 5'8" 5'9" 5'10" 5'11" 5'8" 5'11" 5'10" 5'9" 5'5" 6'0" 5'9" 5'11" 6'1" 6'0" 6'4" 6'1' 5'10" 6'0" 5'11" 5'11" 6'4" 5'10" 6'0"
Weight 170 175 200 175 185 165 190 200 170 160 165 160 140 150 180 165 170 180 150 190 170 140 175 160 185 230 140 175 170 205 170 210 250 180 165 230 200 210 225 230 210 270 215 300 260 320 320 160 180
Grade Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Sr Jr So So Fr So Sr So Jr Sr So Jr So Sr So Jr So So Jr Fr Sr Fr Sr Jr Jr So Jr Fr Fr So Sr Jr Fr Jr So So Sr Sr Sr Sr So So
Tigers Returns to Familiar Territory While the 2011 Handley Tigers achieved the ultimate in high school football, it's not something head coach Mike Battles likes to talk about now. "Last year doesn't matter. We don't talk about last year," Battles said. "It takes a long time to get that out of our players but spring and this summer helped. In the spring game, Pinson Valley defeated the Tigers 28-17 which Battles believes will help his team this season. "Pinson Valley was one point away from being in the 5A title game last season. Them coming down here and beating our butts takes a lot of that state championship out of you." The Tigers also return to familiar territory with the move back to Class 4A. "We are back to where we came from, playing opponents we are used to seeing," Battles said. "But, there is nothing special about us right now. Special comes during the season." However, this year's Tigers are a little more than just ordinary. "We lost a core group of players to graduation, but we have a lot of players returning that played in the state championship game," Bat-
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Photo by Kelly Caldwell tles said. Handley returns more than a handful of players on both sides of the ball including quarterback Trae Kyles and the majority of the offensive line.
Season Preview By Kelly Caldwell “We have the nucleus to have a good football team," Battles said. “We have our entire offensive line back with exception of one. We are replacing right guard Doug Tucker
with Will Tennant." Tennant returns for his senior season after being sidelined in 2011 for injuries sustained in a car accident. “No one is more surprised than we are that Will is back," Battles said. “I didn't think he would ever play football again after his wreck. “Football is not like riding a bicycle and he still has a long way to go. But, I have every confidence he can get to where we need him to be, and I know for a fact he will work. He just has to persevere. He has to get out there and do it until
he can't do it wrong." The offensive line includes starters University of Alabama recruit Bradley Bozeman, Shaquan Glass, Connor Boyd, Will Tennant and Erik Velazquez. "They were all together last year with the exception of Will, and they are bigger and stronger than ever," Battles said. "And, we have a good second bunch behind them and I think we can really push on offense." The second string offensive line includes Shane Adams, Colton
ute this season," Battles said. "I want to be able to put our second offensive line in the game, without blinking." As far as skill people on offense, the Tigers will look to Kyles at quarterback with Kenny Seiffert returning at fullback with RaShad Trammell and Tez Watts being worked into the mix as well. The Tigers also have Duran Zachery, the state championship game Most Valuable Player, returning for Photo by Kelly Caldwell his senior campaign. Joining him at tailback position are Murphy, Beau Robinson, Allen Colby Floyd and Jarreion Williams. Kelley and Hunter Fulghum. "We have got some people that "They got to play a lot last year, can play different positions in the and they will continue to contrib-
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backfield," Battles said. "Connor Smith and Cedric Tucker will be tight ends then we have Tevin Cook and Cody Foster at X and then Marcellous Floyd can be an X or a Z. "We feel good about our offense with the depth we have," Battles said. Special teams also has some veteran returners with Kyles continuing his punting duties, and Boyd handling extra points and field goals. "He outkicks our coverage a lot of times because he can really bust the football," Battles said. "But, on the other hand, in the championship his punts were turning points in the game because they flipped the field. We are working with him on getting his punts higher in the air and less down field." If there were questions marks on the Tiger roster it would be on
Kyles, Cook, Floyd and Logan Taylor are working at the position currently, and Battles is impressed with their progress so far. "They have come a long way, and the more they understand their role, the further we will go, Battles said. "They have gotten better as we have practiced against other teams. The coaching staff has done a great job with our kids teaching our defense and being able to play more than one position. "Instead of being defensive ends or tackles our players are defensive lineman," he said. "They can play either one. Our linebackers can flip and play either Photo by Christy Fordham side and so can our backs." defense. Other than the four backs, the "We lost our four defensive rest of the defense will consist of backs to graduation," Battles said. Bozeman, Glass, Williams, Boyd, "And, it takes time to develop Trammell, Watts, Smith and Jerod backs." Tucker. Seiffert also returns at out-
Photo by Christy Fordham side linebacker. "Our goal is always to have the best athletes on the field at any given time," Battles said. "We probably have 18 or 19 guys that play right now, and we are trying to find more personnel to back those guys up. We are young in the middle and the backs need more experience. "We are going to rely on the offense to control the game until our defense catches up," he said. "We have good football players on defense, but they have to get up to speed and that crucial on the job training."
2012 Handley Varsity Cheerleaders Seated: Selena Cottle, Caitlin Neighbors, CoCaptain Anna Bonner, Regan Self; kneeling: Madeline Farmer, Abbie Bailey, Captain Kiera Staples, Sydney Bailey, Keoshane Allen. Standing: Coach Bronwyn Rampy, Ashley Yarbrough, Monica Roundtree, Chelsea Brown, LaRavian Atkinson, Hannah Kirby, Madeline Traylor, Coach Jennifer Kirby. Not pictured Kieauna Strickland.
The Life of a Football Mom There are so many things I could write about when it comes to my experiences with my son Bradley on a Friday night. But, starting on Friday mornings this I how my football game day goes. Friday mornings as I wake up with the excitement of watching Bradley play another game that night, I say a prayer that he will play a good game and not get injured.
Football 2012 by JoAnne Bozeman I go to the stereo, put on some pump up football music and head to his room to wake him up. As I open his door, he can hear the beating of the music as I wake him up. For some reason I always get choked up and teary eyed as I enter his room. I know just from the spring game that this year is going to be a very emotional year consid-
ering this is his ers come senior year down the and last year to steps from the play as a field house, Handley Tiger. the music is I know he will pumping at continue his the field and football career they are all at Alabama, standing bebut he won’t hind the banbe under his ner. Bradley is mama’s roof usually the anymore, and first to punch things will be out a hole in so different. the banner, so As he gets up he can see out. and heads out Shortly after the door I am that “Eye of always there to JoAnne and Barry Bozeman celebrate with their son Bradley last season the Tiger” betake my before gins, the after the Tigers won the state championship. the game picsmoke starts, tures, kiss him goodbye and send and the Tigers play. and Bradley is leading the team, him out the door with the music I always get to the field early so tearing through the banner. I am pumping him up. I can watch warm ups and once standing there (hoping I don’t get I then wait very patiently for the again take my pictures. run over) as I take his picture runday to pass by, so I can watch him As kickoff approaches, the play- ning to the sideline. I can always
see Bradley’s eyes looking at me like, “move out of the way or we are going to trample you!” Of course, I’m not the only mama out there taking pictures. Running back to my seat, I say another prayer that there are no injuries during the game. As the game starts, the excitement continues to build while cheering and yelling for the Tigers, I have my eyes on Bradley just making sure after every play he gets up with no injuries. Most of the time I don’t know a lot about the game, just that he’s playing and getting up after every play. I guess the only time I really know what’s going on is when we are winning and the first string is sitting on the sidelines while the others play. Of course, the best part of the game is when it’s over and I get to go on the field and hug his neck, sweaty and all. Bradley’s love for the game of football and his team is so strong. I will always worry about him playing football, but he loves it and will continue after he graduates, so all I can do is say a prayer and leave it in the Lords hands to watch over him. As long as he can do something that he loves and be happy, that’s all I can ask for. Everything else will fall into place.
2012 Handley Tiger Marching Band
Photo By Christy Fordham
Rocking the Fans on Friday Nights The fans are in for a fun, high energy show this season from the Handley High School Marching Band. The show, entitled “Rock Of Ages,” is full of rock and roll oldies from the 50s through the 80s which are easily recognized and sure to be crowd pleasers. The show will start of with a mash-up of two Elvis Presley songs, “All Shook Up” and “I Can't Help Falling In Love” with a trumpet duet by Justin Pike and Erica Barber, featuring the dance line. The second song, “California Dreamin” features the color guard and majorettes with a flute solo by Ali Pike. The third selection on the hit parade is a mash-up of “All Out Of Love” by Air Supply and “Hot
Stuff” by Donna Summer with solos by Clay Fetner on trumpet and Aaliyah Magby on saxophone. “The finale is “Joy To The World” with a football field full of color,” Band Director Jesse Tiner said.
Band Preview by Leisel Caldwell Leading the Handley band for the 2012 season is Drum Major Katie Vollenweider, Flag Captain Carissa Anglin, Co-Captain Shanna Weaver; Dance Line Captain Leslie Guizar and Majorette Captain Jasmine Burton. Jesse Tiner the “not so new”
band director is glad to be back with the Handley High School Marching Band this year. Mr. Tiner had previously been with Handley from 2005 through 2007. After his stint at Handley the first time, Mr. Tiner was called to the mission fields in Honduras for four years. There he worked with different Christian outreach groups to teach and work at improving the living conditions for families in poverty stricken areas. “I would not take anything for that experience,” Tiner said . Samford Watson, assistant band director, is working side by side with Tiner to bring unity and a great band (music) experience to the students in seventh through twelfth grades.
Seiffert excels on and off field for Tigers Handley Senior Kenny Seiffert is not afraid of hard work, especially considering he has been playing for the State Champion Handley Tigers since he was a sophomore. "Football has taught me the value of hard work," Seiffert said. "One of the coaches told me that we practice for 22 straight weeks, and I have had no choice but to work hard. To get the things that I want, I have to work hard for them. It has taught me that if I work hard, it will pay off." Seiffert excels in the classroom as well with the highest grade point average on the team at 4.02 as he enters his senior year. After graduation, he plans to attend West Point Academy or Georgia Tech and pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. However, before that happens, Seiffert is looking forward to playing one last season in cardinal and white. "When this is all done, I will
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game." As a junior, Seiffert played his part in helping the Tigers win the state title, and itâ€™s a memory that he will take with him for the rest of his life. "My greatest moment as a Handley Tiger was when the time ran Photo By Christy Fordham out in the state championship game. It went down to the miss my teammates more than final whistle but our team came anything," Seiffert said. "We have out on top," Seiffert said. "But it's been playing together since sevnot just about that game. It's about enth grade, and have been starting every Friday night and looking for Handley since we were sophointo the home stands before the mores. game, it's a sea of cardinal and white. There are schools with more money, but they don't have the by Kelly Caldwell excitement that we do. " For a small town, its packed. When the band starts playing and "We have a tremendous coachwe are standing behind the banner, ing staff. They have taught me so the hair stands up on your neck much about not just football, but and the adrenaline starts pumping. life as well. I will be able to share "I never want to play anywhere so many stories with my children other than WRIGHT field." when they decide to pick up the
Randolph County 2012 Football Aug. 31 Sept.7 Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept.28 Oct. 5 Oct. 12 Oct.19 Oct. 26 Nov. 1
GASTON ISABELLA LAFAYETTE @ Reeltown WOODLAND @Montgomery Aca. LANETT HORSESHOE BEND @Prattville Christian OPEN
All games start at 7 p.m. Home games in all caps.
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2012 Randolph County Tigers Varsity Football No. 1 2 4 5 6 8 10 12 13 14 16 17 18 21 22 24 25 26 27 30 32 33
Name Cortavious Childs Brad Benefield Alex Sanchez Lane Henderson Latavious Poole Dontay Bell Levi Scarbary Ty Sparks Josh Lee Braxton Lackey Kylan Sims Dustin Farrow John Mark Prestridge Lance Daniel Colton Lovvorn J.R. Roundtree Dontae Barrett Zack Baker Willis Knight Steven Buchanan Josh Smith Reco Hannah
Grade 12 12 11 10 9 10 9 11 10 10 12 10 9 12 12 9 12 11 11 9 12 9
No. 35 37 40 42 50 51 52 53 54 58 59 60 61 64 71 72 76 77 80 81 88 97
Name Jonah Bailey Rico Nelson Russell Whaley Christian Benefield Timothy Nelson Patrick Johnson Tyler Harper Jessie Parker Levi Phillips Caleb Bain Ethan Heard Colton Cooper George Moore Eric Henderson Keith Clark Spencer McCain Chris Morris Melvin Sims Will Sledge Trevor Harmon Tanner Cross Deonta Freeman
Grade 10 11 10 9 12 12 9 10 10 10 9 9 12 9 11 9 9 10 9 10 12 8
Tigers Searching for Depth, Leaders The Randolph County Tigers hope to build on the success of the 2011 season this year, however, graduation took its toll and it will not be an easy task. "Losing the amount of seniors that we did is never an easy thing," Coach Randy Sparks said. "They were an exceptional bunch that had played together for years." While its not going to be an easy road for the Tigers, Sparks is optimistic about building on the foundation the 2011 team built. "We can't be satisfied that we had a good season last year," he said. "It was the first good season in several years here." On the field, the Tigers posted a 7-3 record, but due to a rule infraction, had to forfeit the 30-29 win against LaFayette. "We have faced about every type of adversity imaginable," Sparks said. "And last year our team grew stronger from it, but we can't continue to overcome adversity day after day. We have to limit it where we can." The biggest win of last season came against Lineville. On the road and in the final meeting between the two schools, Randolph County came out on top 28-21 in overtime.
pumped to play them." The region also lost Ranburne and the Tigers' cross-county rival Woodland. "Last year the Woodland game was for a playoff berth, and it went down to a 31-28 overtime win for them. Would it have been that exciting if it didn't mean anything... I don't know. "We still have them on our schedule because they are a great rival, but now its a non-region game, and some of the excitement will be gone." Region 5, howPhoto by Ellen Sims ever, will not be a cakewalk with the additions of Montgomery Academy, Isabella and AHSAA newcomer Prattville By Kelly Caldwell Christian. "It will be different, but I would"Wins like the one we had over Lineville last year will help sustain n't say that it will be easier," Sparks the progress we have made," Sparks said. "We don't know a lot about Prattville Christian, but we undersaid. "Our players have to experience those big wins to get to the top. stand Montgomery Academy is I hope we can take the positives we loaded with talent. And, Isabella Coach Scott Booth does a phegained last year to be able to compete and beat some of the top teams nomenal job with the talent he has." in the region." The familiar teams of the region Due to realignment and the are expected to be stiff competition opening of Central High School of for the Tigers as well. Clay County, the Tigers region "We beat Lafayette by a slim (Class 2A Region 5) looks dramatimargin on the field last year, and cally different than in years past. they return 18 starters while Lanett "We liked to play Lineville," returns 40 of 44 players," Sparks Sparks said. "Our kids really got
said. "And, of course Reeltown is always loaded. "As far as the pieces of the puzzle being here to compete in this region they are there," Sparks said. "It's possible to compete, but if we don't take care of all our situations day to day it won't be possible. Everything has to fall in to place." Lack of depth is a concern for
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said. "All of our skill position people return." Randolph County will be led on the field by junior quarterback Ty Sparks. "Ty had a phenomenal year as a sophomore," Sparks said. "He passed for almost 1700 Photo by Ellen Sims yards and had 29 touchdowns." Making his job the Tigers this season but fortulook easier will be receivers Willis nately the team returns its offenKnight, Dontae Barrett and threesive weapons and field general. year starter Brad Benefield. " We have some really good ex"They are all extremely talented," perience returning on offense exSparks said. "They are legit." cept for the offensive line," Sparks Lance Daniel, Braxton Lackey
and Zack Baker will also contribute at receiver. The Tigers also return three running backs in Rico Nelson, Colton Lovvorn and Cortavious Childs. "We return three extremely good running backs," Sparks said. "Their numbers might not be as high as others, but they are very steady." The offensive line, however, continues to be a competition for starting positions. "We return two part-time starters on the offensive line in George Moore and Timothy Nelson," Sparks said. "We really have six players vying for five spots on the line. And, it will become clearer once we get the pads on." Others working for position include Melvin Sims at center, Keith Clark at guard and then Levi Phillips and Patrick Johnson.
"We are actually moving Johnson from fullback to tackle," Sparks said. The Tigers have more questions than answers on defense as well. "We have some holes to fill for sure," Sparks said. "We have to have some people step up and some of those questions can't be answered until we get in pads." The Tigers return four starters on the defensive front line. Daniel and Tanner Cross line up at defensive end while Moore and Clark play at tackle. "I don't think that will change but because of other situations we might have to move some of them around," Sparks said. Johnson, Nelson and Lovvorn return at linebacker while Sparks believes Baker, Jonah Bailey and Josh Smith have shown promise at
the position. He also mentioned Jason Davenport could split time at linebacker or on the line. "In the secondary, it depends on who has to play where," Sparks said. "Knight focuses on receiver but is a good cover guy at corner. "Childs also returns at cornerback while Benefield has experience at safety," he said. Barrett will fill in gaps where the Tigers need him. "Dontae can play anywhere," Sparks said. "He can play strong safety, free safety and linebacker. He will have to play where ever we are missing that link. "Beyond that I am just not sure. We are a little bit thin the in secondary and it depends on how the whole scheme of things plays out." The Tigers open the season at home August 31 against Gaston.
2012 Randolph County Varsity Cheerleaders
Front Row: Mollie Heard, CeCe Garrett, Ceara Cooper & Chasity Marable; Second Row: Caroline Sikes, Valerie Watkins & Katie Bennett; Third Row: Dakota Henderson, Courtney Cooper, Tillie Langford & the Mascot is P.J. King.
2012 Randolph County Tiger Marching Band
Marching Tigers Halftime Show Thrills The Randolph County Golden Tiger Marching Band has doubled in size since last year's season, and they are ready to take the crowd on a thrilling ride with this year's music. The theme for 2012 is “Lights Camera Action!,” while the thrill comes from their music selections from the movies and television shows: James Bond, Hawaii Five-o and Mission Impossible. The band has been in camp for over a week. For band camp, band 38 Friday night life
director, Adrian Peters brought in help with percussion and marching technique from Steve Ellison
Band Preview by Leisel Caldwell who teaches in Calhoun County and Aaron Thompson from Jacksonville who helped with the music and marching technique as well.
Leading the band on the field this year is Drum Major Marleigh Bradley, Percussion Section Leader Robert Tittle and Brass Section Leader Breanna Nicholson. Adrian Peters, the band director in his fourth year at RCHS is excited about the band doubling in size since last year. “We are planning on attending three competitions this year,” Peters said. “We are really looking forward to the upcoming season.”
Lake WEdowee Auto Parts
Daniel hopes to lead team to playoffs in 2012 In this day and time three-sport athletes are not as common as they once were, but for Lance Daniel its never been an option. "It keeps me busy all year," he said. "But, I like it and wouldn't have it any other way." He excels in athletics, but with a 4.0 grade point average, he excels in the classroom as well. "I have always been told to work hard at everything I do and be the best I can be," Daniel said. "I take that to heart." The senior athlete will play defensive end and receiver for the Randolph County Tigers this fall and credits football for teaching him lessons that he will take with him beyond the walls and fields of Randolph County High School. " Football has taught me class and respect," Daniel said. "We have responsibility, too. I have to be responsible for my position on
in life as well." As he enters his final season for the Tigers, Daniel has goals for his team. " Our team has to work hard, work together and stay out of trouble," he said. "And, I want us to make the playoffs and go as far as we can." When the last whistle is blown on his final game, Daniel will know he has given the RCHS Tigers all that he can. “I know I am going to miss it,” he said. “Its hard to describe a Friday night. After you make a good play, knowing that all the fans in the stands are cheering for you… It’s awePhoto by Kelly Caldwell some.” Daniel's college plans include going to the University of Alabama and majoring in sports medicine. by Kelly Caldwell "I want to be an athletic trainer and then go on to be a physical defense, and I have responsibility therapist," he said.
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VARSITY ROSTER No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11 12 15 16 17 20 21 22 23 24 30 31 32 38 39 41 45 50 51 52 54 55 56 57 58 60 62 63 64 65 67 68 70 71 72 74 75 77 78 79 80
Name Lakeland Phillips Colby Spears Jay Yates Chris Israel Tyler Rollins Clay Gay Bradley Rainwater Justus Herring Trae Messer John Wes Adcock Tyler Gay Hunter Baldwin Jordan Hopkins Elijah Phillips Trey Bradford John David Jacobs Kendall Hudson Michael Howard Jared Walker Axson Gay Kyle Keith Austin Crenshaw Josh Brown Matt Stapler Levi Arrington Nathan Parker Aaron Buttrill Luke Rice Jake Gay Austin Mitchell Nick Phillips Dusty McClurg Parker Ratzlaff Jarod Lewis Hunter Henry Chris Langley Alonzo Cummings Bobby Taylor Austin Meadows Al Davis Chadarius Parker Alex Jackson Levi Noles Kyle Strain Landon Herring Kison Strain Christian Burroughs Tyler Davidson Marcus Purvine Calvin New
WOODLAND BOBCATS 2012 FOOTBALL Aug. 31 Sept. 7 Sept.14 Sept. 21 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 12 Oct. 19 Oct. 26 Nov. 1
Bowdon VICTORY CHRISTIAN @Fultondale OHATCHEE @ Randolph Co. @Ranburne WALTER WELLBORN @Pleasant Valley VINCENT @ CLEBURNE CO.
All games start at 7 p.m. Home games in all caps.
Bobcats leave region, old foes behind in 2012 The Woodland Bobcats are in familiar territory as they prepare for the 2012 football season. This time last year, the Bobcats were breaking in a new quarterback and only had the leadership of seven seniors to guide the team. This time around, Woodland has six seniors and guided by a quarterback that sat out last season due to injury. "We have really been the underdog since 2004, but we have been successful because of our players," Strain said. "They know how to work and aren't scared of it." Woodland finished last season with a 8-5 record which included an appearance in the third round of the AHSAA Class 2A State Playoffs. "To be honest, if Zach Barron didn't break his collarbone on the fifth play of the game, we could have been playing for the state championship. We had a good chance to beat Tanner that night. At halftime, it was 10-0, but we couldn't move the football because we were down to an eighth grade quarterback." The Bobcats are looking for more this season, but they know it won't be an easy road. "We lost some very valuable positions from last season," Strain said. "I lost my quarterback and go-to receivers, and then those same three kids, I lost one of my defensive sec-
Photo by Phillip Heard
"We are expecting big things out of John Wes," Strain said. " He has by Kelly Caldwell had a year off and in football that can be difficult to overcome. Every ondary guys and both inside linegame was tough for him last year. backers." He was actually dressed out for that Replacing Zach Barron at quarter- last game, but we didn't put him. It back is John Wes Adcock, a rising was an important year to miss, but I junior, that could have been the think he is going to rebound well. starting quarterback last season if it Adcock and Barron are different had not been for a pre-season knee style quarterbacks, but it will give injury. the Bobcats a different weapon than
they have had. "He gives us more ability to do the option and do things with quarterback runs," Strain said. "John Wes has a heck of an arm, too. I think he is going to do well. He had a 58-yard touchdown pass in the spring game." Woodland is also fortunate to welcome their leading rusher back for his senior season. "We are tickled to death to have Mikey Howard back this year," Strain said. "He was one of the catalyst that changed us last year." Howard finished his junior season with 1602 yards rushing with 19 touchdowns. Rounding out the backfield for the Bobcats are Colby Spears, Lakeland Phillips, Justus Herring and Kendal Hudson. "We have more running backs than we have had since the 2006 season," Strain said. The offensive line returns intact for the most part and is being led by
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Photo by Phillip Heard senior Al Davis. "Al plays the blindside and is being looked at by a number of Div -I schools," Strain said. "To be honest we had college coaches on our field about half the time during spring practice. That's a good thing."
Christian Burroughs is also a three-year starter at center while Alonzo Cummings and Austin Meadows are the two guards on the line. "They are strong, thick and able to move,â€? Strain said. The only hole to fill on the line is the right tackle position. "Last year Devontae Maffett and Andrew Burroughs played in that spot," Strain said. "We have about four or five guys competing for it now." As far as receivers, it depends on who is running the ball. "When not in at running back, Kendal Hudson will play Z, Tyler Rollins will probably play Y," Strain said. "H will be Colby Spears when he is not running the ball. Trey Messer, John David Jacobs and Kip Sims are all competing for X." The defense, however, is not as secure. "The offensive picture is a lot
clearer than defense is at this point," Strain said. "We lost two defensive coaches in the off season and they haven't been replaced, yet." Stephen Bailey, the Bobcats defensive coordinator for 9 seasons, left for a position at another school and volunteer coach Billy Lake was killed in a motorcycle wreck in the spring. "Billy Lake is going to be sorely missed," Strain said. "He coached our outside linebackers and the players loved him. I am not sure who is going to fill that position. "As far as players, we didn't really lose anyone but the two inside linebackers,” he said. “But those are tough people to replace.” At the Class 2A level, it is typical for numerous players to play on both sides of the football and at Woodland, it’s especially true. "We are small school football and we want to put our best players on the field at all times," Strain said. Special teams is another concern for the Bobcats. "We lost a very valuable player on special teams in Colton McManus," Strain said. He had
the 2A title," Strain said. "It had started to change a few years back when Clay County moved to 3A, but now because of the region alignment, Ranburne and Woodland have moved north and then Lineville is no more. " The Bobcats will be competing in Class 2A Region 6 while county rival Randolph County will be in Class 2A Region 5. "We are in a good region and there are some quality opponents, but there is no way to compare the region we are in now to the region we left," Strain said. "Why? Because every single week the bottom team could realistically knock off the top Photo by Phillip Heard team. We saw it last year. Every week had upset potential.” some big field goals for us. He To combat the possibility of a missed one PAT last year, and the one he missed was because some- weaker region schedule, the Bobcats beefed up their non-region one else missed their assignment. schedule. "We have got to find a kicker "Bowdon has always been a and a punter. We may have to be like some of those teams that go for good game for us, both on the field and at the gate," Strain said. "But, it on every fourth down," Strain we added Cleburne County for the said. Woodland also changes regions last game of the season because it this year and will face some differ- should be a good test for us. "I have to make decisions on ent competition than in years past. "Basically the strong hold of Re- what is best for our football team gion 5 is now destroyed. I think it and it came down to boosting up our non-region games to help us in has been like 17 of the 19 years a team from Region 5 has played for the playoffs."
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2012 Woodland Varsity Cheerleaders
Front row left to right Sophomores: Meagan Jackson, Jaycee Carter; Middle row Juniors: Alexis Young, Macie Edwards, Zoe Arrington, Leah Strain, Tansy Parmer, Cody Yeargan Back row Seniors: Amy Strain, Abby CookCaptain, Jordan Williamson -Co-Captain, Anna Glaze.
2012 Woodland Bobcats Marching Band
Photo by Lisa Cummings
Halftime Show Promises Lots of Surprises With approximately 60 members taking the field on Friday nights, the Woodland Bobcat Marching Band is pumped and ready to go for the 2012 season. The band has settled in nicely with their new band director, Dilmos Hamilton, who joined them after school began last year. “The show was already in place when I got here last year so this is my first halftime show as a band director,” he said. This years show has a fun and funky vibe with a theme called “Bird Is The Word.” The common element to all the music selections is obviously “birds.” The birds are definitely flying high in the show with the opening
number of “Surfin' Robin” a mashup of “Surfin' Bird” and “Rockin' Robin” featuring the flag line; the second selection is“Chicken Fried” and features the dance line The band will close the show with “Freebird” featuring the drum line and according to Hamilton a lot of surprises.
Band Preview by Leisel Caldwell The band is lead by Drum Major, Tobie Harris; Dance Line Captain, Madison Brown; Flag Captain, Melissa Nobley and Percussion Section Leader, Wayne Mitchell. Hamilton is not your typical
newbie even though this is his first band directing/teaching position. Taking a break after high school he traveled far from his home of Boaz, Alabama and delved into several different occupations before coming back home and entering college at Jacksonville State University. Hamilton holds the distinct honor of being the oldest student to march with the JSU Southerners. He graduated in the Summer of 2011 and feels very fortunate in finding a home with the Woodland Bobcat Marching Band. Mr. Hamilton has quite a few surprises up his sleeve and said “we will not be playing traditional band music, but music that will promote and pump up the team and our school”. Friday night life 49
Davis looking to play at next level Combined with size and skill, Woodland's Al Davis is getting the attention of numerous colleges around the country. "I wouldn't be where I am without our coaches," Davis said. "They have taught me how to take advice and constructive criticism. And, because of them, I know how to work with a team and be a leader of some sort." With scholarship offers from Cornell, Alabama State and West Alabama, Davis has the opportunity few high school athletes have which is to play football past high school. "There are more colleges that are interested in him," Coach Larry Strain said. "He has gotten looks from Mississippi State, Tennessee, Memphis , South Alabama and Idaho State. To be honest we had college coaches on our field
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about half the time during spring practice."
Academic Athlete by Kelly Caldwell The three-year starter works hard in the classroom as well with a 3.97 grade point average, and while he navigates the recruiting process, he knows to enjoy what he has in his hometown. " I am going to miss the brotherhood aspect of around here,"
Davis said. "I went to Samford and one of their players said at a bunch of colleges it was more of this group and that group instead of the whole team together like it is here. " I am also Photo by Phillip Heard going to miss this town where everyone knows each other," he said. "The teachers know me here and depending on which college I go to, I could just be a number on a piece of paper." While all the attention is flattering to Davis, he enjoys his teammates and knows he will be only part of the reason if the Bobcats are successful this season. " It's not all about me. The success we have on the field is about how well we work together as a team. I am only one part of it," he said.
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VARSITY ROSTER Number 1 5 7 9 10 12 15 20 22 27 33 34 40 44 50 52 55 58 64 65 66 68 70 71 72 85
Name Trevor Windsor Devin Freeman T L Heard Adrian Marable Dakota Caldwell Caleb Calhoun John Lacy Chandler McLain Dakota Brown Dalton Welch Ridge Dobson Devarsie Greathouse Kamaury Avery Brandon Norris Triston Blackmon Bradley Melton Glenn Depriest Daniel Green Cale Mitcham Arin Howell Tristan Coker Ethan Howard Hunter Lingerfelt Jerry Dye Corey Ray McGill Keshawn Daniels Johnathon Clark
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WADLEY FOOTBALL Yr 10 10 12 12 11 10 12 11 9 10 12 11 9 11 11 11 11 12 11 12 11 9 11 10 12 10 11
Aug. 30 Sept.7 SEPT. 14 Sept. 21 Sept.28 OCT. 5 Oct. 12 Oct.19 OCT. 26 Nov. 1
@ Horseshoe Bend @Verbena FAYETTEVILLE @ Talladega Co. Cen GASTON ST. JUDE @Winterboro LOACHAPOKA NOTASULGA @ Beulah
All games start at 7 p.m. Home games in all caps.
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Bulldogs gear up for 2012 campaign The Wadley Bulldogs are in a better position this season considering head coach Darrel Roach has been at the helm for a full year now. "It's daylight and dark from last year to this season," Roach said. "It was two weeks into the season last year, and I still had tape on the players helmets because I didn't know their names. " Roach was hired as Wadley's football coach the Thursday before practice began last season and while the Bulldogs struggled to a 3-7 record, he saw some bright spots during the year. "We had a couple of games (that we lost) where we played really well but kinda let them slip away," he said. "It was like we gave up in the third and fourth quarter because of conditioning. This year we are definitely in better shape." Roach implemented his offseason routine and the results are paying off. "We have really been working this offseason," he said. "The guys have really bought into what we are doing and we will be better, faster and stronger this season." The Bulldogs lost four players to graduation from last season including quarterback Ryan Siskey. "My biggest thing right now is building a quarterback," Roach said.
year," Roach said. "Chandler is definitely going to help us. He is an athlete," he said. Depriest came to the Bulldogs weighing in at 210 pounds and will be the starting left tackle for Wadley. "He has been working with us and shredded about 15 pounds," Roach said. Photo by Ellen Sims The rest of the offensive line "Ryan did a good job for us and its is intact led by seniors McGill, Arin Howell and Daniel Green. going to be hard to replace him." "Some of our seniors have really Sophomore Caleb Calhoun and stepped into leadership roles this Senior TL Heard are two players competing for the role of field gen- year," Roach said. "Corey Ray and Arin, Daniel are the three that are eral. really on top of things." Rounding out the line is Cale Mitcham, Jerry Dye and possibly by Kelly Caldwell Bradley Melton. "We are averaging 240 pounds across the board on the offensive "Caleb was a utility man for us that was all over the field last year," line and that's great for 1A football," Roach said. Roach said. "While TL did a good The offensive weapon the Bulljob for us in the spring game." dogs will be wide receiver Adrian While the Bulldogs lost four Marable and running back Kaplayers to graduation, they have maury Avery. been able to pick up a few players "These guys are both pure aththat will be able to make an immeletes," Roach said. "Adrian was a diate impact. playmaker for us last year with 750 "We have John Lacy and Chandler McLain that have transferred to yards in only seven games. He missed three due to injury. Wadley and then we have Corey "Then Kamaury is 5'11", 220 lbs Ray McGill's brother Glenn Depreist that will be playing for us this and is only a freshmen. He was in-
Photo by Ellen Sims vited to Auburn University for a camp this summer." Avery also scored three touchdowns in the spring game. "He's only a freshman, but we are expecting big things from Kamaury," Roach said. Roach wants more for his team in 2012 and will not settle for a mediocre finish. "Our goal is to make the playoffs this year," he said. "And, get Wadley football back to what our fans expect. We like our chances in the region, but it all depends on how healthy we stay." The Bulldogs open the season on the road against Horseshoe Bend on August 30.
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2012 Wadley Varsity Cheerleaders Front Row: Captain Jordan Shaver, Co-Captain Lesli Padgett Middle Row: Megan Costley, Kelli Laster, La'Tia Williamson, Katelyn Schriefer; Back Row: Hannah Phillips, Danlee Shaver, Madison McGill, Cassie Mulkey, Makayla Wilkins Not Pictured: Lauren Hughes and Coach Katie McElvy.
Howell leads Bulldogs on, off field Football has taught Wadley's Arin Howell many things over the course of his high school career, but none more relevant than the importance of hard work. "We have been faced with a lot of adversity over the last four years here at Wadley," Howell said. "Last year it was two weeks before school started when we found out who our coach was going to be." Howell and the Bulldogs have had three head football coaches in the last four years and with Coach Darrel Roach returning for his second season, itâ€™s the first time the Bulldogs have had consisitency in the last four years. "It has definitely made for smoother practices so far this summer," Howell said. "This is the first time since I was a freshmen that we
remember getting set and when we hiked the ball, I couldn't move... The field was just mud and I was stuck. I tried to get free but I couldn't move." On offense, Howell is the first in control on offense lining up at center. "I am the head of the line," he said. "If I don't do my job right, nothing else matters.â€? Howell also excels Photo By Kelly Caldwell off the field with a 4.0 grade point avdon't have to learn a whole new of- erage and in his role as Student Government Association President. fense." "Hard work pays off on the field and off," he said. "I want to go to Auburn for college and keeping my by Kelly Caldwell grades up is the first step in making that happen." Howell also wants to accomplish Howell, a four-year starter at defensive end, had an amusing start to more for the Wadley Bulldogs this season. his high school career against Lo"We want to win," he said. "We chapoka his freshmen year. want to come closer together as a " When it rains down there the team because it's not about individfield is like a swamp," He said. ual achievements. We want to win "Well, we were down in the end zone and it had been pouring rain. I as a team."
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CENTRAL VOLUNTEERS 2012 Football Aug. 31 Sept.7 Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept.28 Oct. 5 Oct. 12 Oct.19 Oct. 26 Nov. 1
TRINITY PRES @Dallas Co. ELMORE CO. @Holtville @Munford CHILDERSBURG @Handley BEULAH DADEVILLE @Madison Aca.
All games start at 7 p.m. Home games in all caps.
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2012 Central Volunteer Football Roster Jersey Num 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48
Name Robqreus Smith Jamari Staples Randall Brown Patrick Hardy Jodarius Staples Devin Gaddis Chris Brisky Tyrone Cosby Justin Cosby Jamario Lyles Curtis Hunter Anthony Wood Kenneth Lacy Deidric Rutledge Marcus Sandlin Jaylon Lyles Evan Whitehead Kyle Nelson DeAndre Wills Deon Drummonds Tyrese Henderson Tim Ellis Andrew Robinson Adarius Scott Spencer Thomas Jaylon Greathouse Kwasi Jennings Logan Cooper Aaron Boyd Marcus Heflin Bobby Carter Jonathan Wycoff Dawson Taylor Ryan James Daylan Buchanan Issac Andrews Malik Dark Dennis Towns Tyler Smith Travis Smith Clay Tuck Justin Bass Kaleb Bryant Payton Reynolds Hunter Flowers Lance Hubbard
Grade 11 12 12 11 10 12 11 12 10 12 12 11 12 11 11 10 10 10 11 10 11 12 12 12 10 10 10 9 11 9 9 11 9 11 11 9 10 9 9 12 9 9 9 10 10 9
Jersey Num 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 94 98 99
Name Grade Timothy Henry Neal Anderson Jacob Brown Daniel Henry Lane Browning James Milstead Noah Leary Christopher Smith Debontae Caldwell Colby Robinson Adam Brown Jared Street Nicholas New Eli Johnson Billy Ray Hamlin Hunter Nelson Brady Allen Cal Riley Shahiem Ackles Logan Camp Dakota Jones Justin Denney Blake Jackson Dylan Ragsdale Travarius Kidd Juawon Vaughn Devin Denny Shuntavious Hardy Nicholas Lett JaQuan Ross Ladarius Zackery Dion Thomas Jeremy Thompson Andrew Milstead Dexter Scales Joe Burns Damion Ford Blair Lacy Tristen Taylor Jacob Williams Casey Jones Kyle Hallman Adam Milam Cody Jones Hunter Bickerstaff Kevin Heard
10 9 9 12 10 11 10 9 10 10 9 9 12 10 11 12 10 10 11 9 9 10 12 11 10 12 10 12 11 12 9 10 9 9 11 9 9 9 10 10 9 10 9 12 10 9
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Volunteers prepare for inaugural season
Photo by Kelly Caldwell The 2011 football season was bittersweet for the people of Clay County, the communities of Ashland and Lineville celebrated last events almost every week as they said goodbye to their beloved Panthers and Aggies. And, as their respective seasons came to a close on the same Friday night of Thanksgiving weekend, it was evident the offseason would be an interesting one. In the months following the end of the 2011 season, the once bitter rivals became teammates thanks to the pending opening of Central High School of Clay County. "Ashland and Lineville are gone as far as the coaches and players are
Season Preview by Kelly Caldwell concerned," Clay Central Head Coach Steve Giddens said. "That's the common feeling on this team. We are all Volunteers and we are Red, White and Blue." The excitement in Clay County is infectious and evident as you drive through and see signs of support in the yards and businesses that are scattered throughout the county. "Our goal is to take the best from Lineville and the best from Ashland (mix it together) and make it better for Clay County," Giddens said. "I
will say it's been a learning experience from day one, but I can say there is a lot of excitement and pride both here on campus and in the county." When spring practice came around an unexpected surprise greeted the Clay Central coaching staff. "We actually started spring training with 106 players," Giddens said. "That really surprised us to have that many players nine through 12. "We lost a couple due to grades and then some didn't come back for summer workouts," he said. "But now we are solid with 94 players including 21 seniors."
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The blessing and curse of having such a large roster is the ability to put the absolute best players on the field at any given time. " The good thing we have discovered is that we will not have very many athletes that have to play full time on both sides of the ball," Giddens said. "That's the benefit of having so many athletes on this team. " Going into something like this we are fortunate to have a large senior class with ample playing experience," Giddens said. "The junior class also has a lot of players with a couple of years under their belts." However, the challenge comes into play when deciding exactly who will play where and when.
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will have different personnel if we run the wishbone. Same thing is true on defense depending on the different formations." One position that is fairly certain is quarterback. "Mario Lyles looks like he will be the starting quarterback," Giddens said. "He started three or four games for Lineville last year and then the rest of the time played a good Photo by Ray Mansfield bit for us at that position when we needed it. He "We want our best people on the has some experience under his belt." Other skill people on offense will field at all times," Giddens said. "But, include Jamari Staples, Tyrone it's hard for me to tell you they are Crosby, Dedric Rutledge, Devin going to start here, here and here because we have enough talent that Gaddis, Curtis Hunter, Anthony we can't say for certainty who is go- Wood, Brandon Brown, Andrew ing to start on offense and defense. If Robinson. The offensive line will also be we run the spread we will have certain players in position and then we varied with Shahiem Ackles at cen-
ter, Hunter Nelson will be guard along Nick Lett and Nick New. Tackles will be JaQuan Ross and Shuntavius Hardy, tight ends when we have those will be a rotation of DeAndre Wills, Andrew Robinson and Randall Brown. "That will be who you are looking at the first game," Giddens said. " Defensively the front will consist of Rob Smith, DeAndre Wills, Daniel Henry linebackers will be Travis Smith and either Payton Reynolds, or Ryan James or Aaron Boyd. Secondary will be Jamari Staples, Devin Gaddis, Rutledge and Anthony Wood. Curtis Hunter and Chris Briskey will rotate in. Special teams will also have a different look due to the size of the roster. "Mario will handle place kicking and Jamari will be the punter," Giddens said. "The guys that I have already mentioned will do the bulk of offensive and defensive work, but we have a lot of kids that we have confidence in to play on special teams. "We are looking at playing about 30 to 35 kids in the average course
letic Association called us a few months ago and asked if we would be interested in playing in the al.com champions challenge," Giddens said. "They thought it would be a good idea to let the state see what we are doing. We talked about it and felt like it would be a positive thing for our team." The Volunteers will face Beauregard during the preseason opener at the Crampton Bowl in Montgomery. " Everyone here is excited for the season to start this way," Giddens said. "The selling point for most people here was that this is the first tangible thing we can say we Photo by Kelly Caldwell have received because of the consolidation of the of a football game which is sometwo schools. If we had still been thing we haven't been doing," GidLineville and Clay County, neither dens said. team would have gotten that call." If last year was the season of endThe event is considered a jamboings for the people of Clay County, ree but will have the look and feel the 2012 campaign is the season of of a regular season game. beginnings. The first opportunity for "There will be four 12-minute the communities to watch the Clay quarters and we will have special Central Volunteers will be on Auteams," Giddens said. "It will feel gust 25 in Montgomery during the like a real game, it just won't count al.com Championsâ€™ Challenge. on our record. "The Alabama High School Ath" We are going to carry the
Photo by Kelly Caldwell whole shebang with us.. band cheerleaders everybody," he said. It's also cool that it's on a Saturday, so all of Clay County can load up and experience this with us." The Volunteers will host Trinity for their home opener the following week. "Coach Ragsdale at Trinity had a talk with his seniors and they decided it would be something special for them as well," Giddens said. "Not too many teams can say they were the first opponent ever for another team. It will be a special night for all involved. Again we are glad to get a quality opponent and the fact they were willing to come here so we can play our first game at home is something special.â€?
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2012 Central High School of Clay County Varsity Cheerleaders Front Row: Left to Right, Becky Harris, Alexis Ford, Marina Sudduth, Molly Barton, Alissa Mayer, Madison Varnadore, Danielle Walker & Summer Sherard Middle Row: Haley Boswell, Holly Smith, Taylor Nappier & Madison Williams Back Row: Brent Coleman, Savannah Harris, Molly Barton, Paige Moore, Emily Lett & Robert McNatt. Photo by Heartâ€™s Desire Photography.
Friday Night Change Up... Central Athlete Trades Cleats for Megaphone For most Central High School of Clay County students, this year has brought many changes but for one student, it's probably more drastic than most. One young man from Clay County has gone from playing on the football team on Friday nights to now cheering for the Central Volunteers In the 2011 season, Robert McNatt played for the Clay County Panthers football team but in this new year he is one of the two male cheerleaders you will see on the sidelines cheering for the Central High School Volunteers. Robert's reason, for changing was pretty simple... he loves gymnastics more than football and he is looking for college scholarship opportunities. Most kids his age don't think that far in the future, but Robert is not like most kids. His plans are already set and include studying veterinarian medicine at Auburn University. Cheerleading, he hopes, will be one of the ways on paying for that college education. Robert has been around cheering and gymnastics for many years. His mother was the cheerleader sponsor for Clay County High School and his sister cheered for the Panthers. His sister received a cheering scholarship for the upcoming year at Southern Union State Community College. Robert has extensive training in gymnastic as well. His best friend
Fortune Worthey, also a big supporter of him trying out for cheerleader, told him he would have many scholarship opportunities and would be great at it.
Football 2012 Story and Photo by Leisel Caldwell “Football has more physical contact and a player needs to have a sharp focus on each individual play, McNatt said when asked what are the main differences from playing football to being a cheerleader. “Cheering is not as intense, but the stunts and gymnastics require more precision and practice to be perfected.”
He agreed that cheerleaders can be a little more emotional and dramatic than football players, but for those who do not think of cheerleading as a sport, Robert will be quick to say competitive cheering requires as much training as it does to be a football player and to be successful in either of these sports requires intensive training and dedication. Robert is very excited about the new school and said that, many of the students from both schools were reluctant about moving to the new school. “We are coming to terms with going to school with what we once perceived as our “arch enemies”, he laughed. “Yes there was a strong competition between the schools, but the students who have worked together this summer in football, band and cheering, got a head start and have already started to bond and come together with a strong school spirit and pride for Central High School of Clay County.” This year the season is made up of 18 cheerleaders, with two of them being male. The other male cheerleader is Brent Coleman. The guys have brought stability to the squad and allowed for a lot more lifts and complicated stunts to be put into their cheering routines. As one of the cheerleaders said “ I don't how we would be doing the stunts we are doing without the guys!”
Hardy, Robinson excited to be part of first team When Central High School of Clay County opens its doors Aug. 20, the students will experience something few others have in Clay County. "It's pretty exciting to get to be the first senior class at this awesome school," Andrew Robinson said. "As seniors we set the pace for everything and the underclassmen are looking to us not just on the football team but in the classroom as well." Shuntavius Hardy echoes his teammate's excitement. "We get to come out and be the leaders for this team and school," he said. "We have a bigger team, nicer facilities, and it's something we are very proud to experience." With the combination of the two schools, the football team for the Central Volunteers is loaded with talent and the roster reflects it considering 94 players made it through summer workouts. "It has been hard," Robinson said. "Working hard, running hard, practicing hard...With a lot more players comes a lot more expectations. Everyone is watching us, and
teams, it's understandable the community and players want a great first season. "I want a state championship," Hardy said when asked what he wants out of this season. "I will have to copy his answer," Robinson said. "In order to achieve our goal, we have to practice Photo by Kelly Caldwell like we play. The coaches the coaches are making sure we are tell us to practice at game speed prepared. We are going 110 percent every day." "We have to work hard, prepare in all that we do, so we can deliver for it and win every game we what people are expecting out of play," Hardy added. us." The community will have to travel to Montgomery if they want to catch the first action from the by Kelly Caldwell Central Volunteers on Aug. 25 for the al.com Champions Challenge. "I agree with Andrew... We have The squad will play a scrimmage against Beauregard at the Crampbeen working hard all summer," ton Bowl and the anticipation conHardy said. "And, because of all the talent we have now, the compe- tinues to grow with every practice. "I think its a great way to bring tition level is higher than we have ever experienced from the weight our school to the state level," Robinson said. "If we show up and room to the practice field, we are pushing to be the best in all that we play like I know we can, we will come out with a band and people are doing." Considering the Central Volun- will take notice. Then the next week, we get to start the season at teers are the combination of two home." perennial powerhouse football
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2012 Central Volunteers Marching Band
Proudly marching in Red, White & Blue The new Central High School of Clay County Marching Band members are ready to take the field in a new stadium and with new uniforms for the 2012 season. “The kids, band parents and the community have worked very hard to make this a smooth transition and to provide everything we need for our new band,” Band Director Russell Hathcock said. “We are very fortunate, the new school administration saw the importance of keeping both band directors from Clay County and Lineville High Schools,” he said. Bucky Aleman, the junior high band director and Hathcock have formed a great partnership and are excited about working together and growing an impressive music department for Clay Cen-
tral. With the new colors of red, white and blue and Volunteers as its mascot” it was only natural for the halftime show to be a tribute to America. Leading the band on the field
Band Preview by Leisel Caldwell is drum major, Ricardo Moreno. The band's opening number will be “Battle Hymn of The Republic” and followed by “We Are An American Band.” The third song of the show will be “America The Beautiful” with a trumpet solo by Taylor Chappell. The band will then perform “Simple Gifts” before ending with a repeat of the “Battle Hymn Of The Republic”. Other leaders bringing the
show to life at halftime include: Jatori Simmons, Color Guard Captain; Sylina Hallman, Dance Line Captain and Jillian Hensleigh, Majorette Captain. The band would like to thank all those that contributed to the purchase of their new uniforms especially Representative Richard Laird and Senator Gerald Dial for their generous donations. The band would also like to recognize, Brad Wolf and the band booster organization for all their hard work and dedication to the band program. It is easy to see that the halftime show is not only a tribute to the United States of America, but a tribute to the Clay County community for its perseverance and commitment to building a better future for its children.
Many factors influence todayâ€™s game In small towns high school football can be everything to a community, but getting to Friday nights in the fall can be difficult for a team. "Today's players are bigger, faster and stronger than ever before," Wadley Bulldogs Coach Darrel Roach said. "But, we are in a different environment than when I was playing." Each of the coaches in the Friday Night Life coverage area weighed in on what impacts the high school football player today and the answers were as varied as the coaching styles they exhibit on Friday nights. "Kids today are not outside as much," Central High School of Clay County's Steve Giddens said. ". To me the thing that impacts the athlete the most is they are not as physi-
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cally active as they used to be. Most kids today are riding around in cars or playing video games for entertainment. When I was growing up we were outside in the heat playing." With temperatures in the 90s for
Todayâ€™s Athlete by Kelly Caldwell most of the summer, not being acclimated to the heat does have an impact so much that the Alabama High School Athletic Association introduced new rules for sports practice this year. "In all sports, two-a-day practices may not be conducted on consecutive days. When two-a-day practices are conducted, a four-hour break is required between the end of the first
practice and the beginning of the second practice. In football, only one practice per day may be in full pads. The other practice that day can be only in helmets and shoulder pads." The rule change is to combat heat-related illnesses like heat stroke, heat exhaustion and heat cramps. "We take the heat very seriously," Roach said. "We check the heat index and adapt our practices accordingly. We want to push them as hard to prepare for the season, but nothing is more important than the health of our players." Heat related illnesses are completely preventable with minimal precautions like frequent water breaks and monitoring the players. Another outside influence that has changed the game especially in
small towns is specializing in only one sport. "It use to be very common to see three-sport athletes," Handley Coach Mike Battles said. "But, there are so many outside things to do now and so many athletes are being pulled to play just one sport." With the advancement of "travel ball" in other sports, many talented athletes that would have once played football and the other sports available are choosing to channel their talents into one sport often times playing the sport year round. "You didn't have travel ball and AAU a few years ago," Battles said. "It puts a bind on a good athlete at a small school. "But, we can't combat it," he said. "If an athlete chooses to play one sport, we kind of treat them like its an injury. We need them and would love to have them, but we can't have them so we move on." However, when it comes to football, travel ball is not an option. "We really have the last pure sport in high school football," Woodland Coach Larry Strain said. " If you take basketball for example, its controlled now by the AAU programs. There are other feeder programs that help the high school athlete get to the next level. With football that's not the case, there isn't travel football. There are no agents between high school and the college ranks. The high school
coaches have more direct control." And, some high school coaches would argue that there are not as many regulations on volunteer coaches. " I am not on par with AAU coaches and travel ball coaches because they don't fire them... As long as they are not fireable, we have nothing in common," Battles said. Another factor immediately impacting the high school athlete especially in small towns is the continued down economy. "As far as the overall high school athletic program, financial times are terrible," Strain said. "It is effecting the high school athlete because they are not able to get the quality equipment they need. Equipment is more expensive than it used to be and couple that with the lower gates we have been experiencing... it hurts. Woodland has always had a strong fan base but if you think about it, it's not cheap for a family of five to go to a football game. After you buy tickets, pay for parking and visit the concession stand, it's easy to drop $100 at a football game. In these tough economic times, that can be hard. The average family can't afford it every Friday night like they used to do. "Its not like we are broke, but we have to watch what we spend," Strain said. "Everything you do in high school football is technology driven from your laptop to your armbands to the way you trade
films. And, all of that cost money." While technology does make it easier to do some things in the football world, it is a blessing and a curse for the high school athlete. For every highlight film that circulates on the internet and may get looked at by a college recruiter, there is a social media site that can potentially harm the athlete. "I hate social media when it comes to my players," Randolph County Tigers Coach Randy Sparks said. "It just adds to the pressure our athletes experience. "People become very brazen when they are sitting behind a keyboard. It has also taken taunting to a new level," he said. "Ty got a text the other day from a player at another school talking trash. He asked what he should do and I told him not to respond because he has more respect than that." While a little trash talk is expected and deemed good natured fun for the most part, it can get out of hand in a hurry on the internet. "I know I can't control it, but I would like for my players to ignore it," Sparks said. "It's a whole new world we live in because of sites like facebook and Twitter. Use to we just had to worry about 'bulletin board material' coming from the newspaper...But now, everyone can offer their praise and criticism in a matter of seconds. And, that can be tough for a high school student to understand."
Friday night life 77
Handley, Clay Central make AWSA Preseason Poll The complete poll, including all schools receiving votes and the panel of voters is listed below, with first-place votes and the 2011 record in parentheses. Class 6A 1. Hoover (31) (13-2) 372 2. Clay-Chalkville-& (1-9) 247 3. Auburn (8-2) 189 4. McGill-Toolen (11-2) 181 5. SpainPark (5-6) 155 6. Daphne (10-2) 102 7. Oxford (12-2) 82 8. Carver-Montgomery (7-4) 80 9t. Vestavia Hills (7-5) 77 9t. Northridge (10-2) 77 Others receiving votes: Prattville (12-2) 47, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (12-1) 41, Gadsden City (6-5) 33, Hueytown-* (131) 24, Mountain Brook (12-1) 21, Austin (7-4) 15, Fairhope (10-3) 8, Bob Jones (10-2) 7, Davidson (7-4) 4, CentralPhenix City (11-3) 2, Huntsville (8-4) 2, Florence (7-3) 1. *-Class 5A in 2011; &-Forfeited nine games in 2011 due to an ineligible player. Class 5A 1. Hartselle (19) (15-0) 316 2. Muscle Shoals (5) (11-2) 262 3. PinsonValley (3) (9-3) 245 4. St. Paulâ€™s (2) (11-2) 217 5. Homewood-* (1) (5-5) 194 6. Jackson-** (15-0) 188 7. Vigor (1) (12-3) 70 8. Eufaula (10-2) 60 9. Briarwood Chr. (12-2) 46 10. Center Point (11-2) 44 Others receiving votes: Cullman (84) 34, Spanish Fort (9-4) 24, FortPayne (10-2) 24, Demopolis (6-5) 16, Etowah (10-2) 9, Valley (9-3) 7, Athens (4-7) 6, Walker (6-5) 3, Greenville (11-1) 1, Russellville (5-6) 1. *-Class 6A in 2011; **-Class 4A in 2011 Class 4A 1. Oneonta (20) (12-3) 327 2. Handley-** (5) (15-0) 250 3. Dadeville (2) (12-1) 234 4. UMS-Wright (1) (9-5) 184 5. N. Jackson (1) (11-1) 174 6. Thomasville (2) (10-2) 173 7. Bibb Co. (12-1) 84 8. Central-Clay Co.-*** 74
9. Anniston (9-5) 73 10. Beauregard (10-2) 42 Others receiving votes: Andalusia (10-1) 33, Sardis-** (9-2) 24, Brooks (8-3) 20, Rogers-** (11-3) 16, Fairview (7-4) 10, Madison Co.-* (4-6) 10, Charles Henderson-* (6-6) 9, Calera (4-6) 8, Tallassee-* (4-7) 6, Guntersville (8-3) 5, J.O. Johnson-&* (0-10) 5, Hillcrest-Evergreen (5-5) 4, St. James (8-3) 2. *-Class 5A in 2011; **-Class 3A in 2011; ***-New school; &-Forfeited five games in 2011 due to ineligible player. Class 3A 1. Leeds-& (11) (0-13) 297 2. Deshler-* (13) (11-2) 293 3. Piedmont (1) (12-1) 242 4. Madison Acad. (6) (12-3) 233 5. Bayside Acad. (11-1) 129 6. Abbeville (9-2) 121 7. Midfield-* (6-5) 112 8. Lauderdale Co. (11-2) 105 9. T.R. Miller (9-3) 78 10. Hamilton (8-3) 37 Others receiving votes: Fayette Co.* (9-4) 25, Gordo (9-3) 25, Hanceville (10-1) 23, American Chr.-** (12-2) 16, Elkmont (7-5) 8, Straughn-* (6-5) 7, Trinity (6-5) 5, Excel (3-7) 3, Greene Co.* (7-4) 3, Geraldine (5-6) 2, Montevallo (4-6) 2, Opp (6-5) 1. *-Class 4A in 2011; **-Class 2A in 2011; &-Forfeited 10 wins after the 2011 season due to ineligible player.
4) 6, Sand Rock (6-5) 6, Leroy (8-5) 4, Montgomery Acad.-* (3-7) 3, Southern Choctaw (8-3) 2, Luverne-* (7-4) 1. *-Class 3A in 2011; **-Class 1A in 2011. Class 1A 1. Marion Co. (19) (14-1) 297 2. Linden (6) (13-2) 285 3. Maplesville (2) (12-1) 219 4. Ragland (1) (13-1) 213 5. Brantley (1) (10-2) 192 6. Pickens Co. (11-2) 179 7. R.A. Hubbard (2) (7-4) 121 8. Cedar Bluff (6-6) 106 9. Lynn (9-3) 38 10. Berry (10-2) 28 Others receiving votes: Addison (92) 27, Collinsville (11-2) 17, GenevaCo. (6-6) 15, St. Jude (9-2) 7, Pleasant Home (8-4) 6, Winterboro (10-2) 6, Parrish (4-6) 5, Hackleburg (7-4) 3, McKenzie (6-4) 3. The Alabama Sports Writers Association prep committee members are: Paul Beaudry, Chairman, Alabama Media Group; Andrew Garner, Andalusia Star-News; Johnathan Deal, Athens News Courier; Nick Birdsong, Anniston Star; Jeff Sentell, Birmingham News; Adam Robinson, Brewton Standard; Rob Rice, Blount Countian; Shannon Fagan, Cherokee Herald; Ross Wood, Clarke Co. Democrat; Rob Ketcham, Cullman Times; Jonathon Bentley, Daily Mountain Eagle; Jason Bowen, Daily Sentinel; Justin Graves, Decatur Daily; David Mundee, Dothan Eagle; Lee Peacock, Evergreen Courant; by Alabama Sports Newton Peters, Florala News; Gregg Writers Association Dewalt, Florence TimesDaily; Lew Gilliland, Fort Payne Times-Journal; Class 2A Dennis Victory, Freelance 1. Elba (22) (15-0) 339 (Birmingham); Chris McCarthy, Gads2. Fultondale (4) (10-3) 272 den Messenger; Kim Craft, Gadsden 3. Tanner (1) (14-1) 252 Times; Davis Potter, Hamilton Record; 4. Sweet Water-** (2) (10-4) 196 Mike Easterling, Huntsville Times; 5. Washington Co.-* (2) (9-3) 188 Josh Bean, Mobile Press-Register; Stacy 6. Reeltown (8-4) 123 Long, Montgomery Advertiser; Robert 7. Fyffe (11-1) 105 Carter, North Jefferson News; Jason 8. Vincent (9-3) 56 Galloway, Opelika-Auburn News; 9. Sheffield-* (9-3) 55 Shannon Allen, Sand Mountain Re10. G.W. Long (9-2) 48 porter; Lavonte Young, Talladega Others receiving votes: Oakman (8- Daily Home; Andrew Carroll, Tusca4) 39, N. Sand Mountain (9-2) 32, loosa News; Griffin Pritchard, WeFlomaton (11-2) 18, Woodland (8-5) 13, tumpka Herald Walter Wellborn-* (9-3) 9, LaFayette (7-
Preseason Top 10
Friday night life 79
Friday Night Li A&E Heating & Air
Dr. Michael Edwards
Affordable Tire & Repair
Emergency Medical Transport (Handley)
Emergency Medical Transport (Wadley)
Bank of Wedowee
Emerging Home Care
Farmers Insurance, Laraine Anglin
Benefield Funeral Home (Clay County)
Benefield Funeral Home (Randolph County) 79
First Baptist Church Roanoke
Benefield Momument Company
First Capital Insurance
Brian Morris Fishing
First State Bank
Ft. McLellan Credit Union
Central Family Care
Hall's Propane (Central)
Chad Lee, Attorney at Law
Hall's Propane (Handley)
Charles Thompson Construction
Hall's Propane (Randolph County)
Hall's Propane (Wadley)
Chester Wortham Construction
Hall's Propane (Woodland)
Circuit Clerk Chris May
Jackson Bonner for Probate Judge
City Auto Parts & Electronics
Jeff Colburn for Circuit Clerk
City of Ashland
Jeff Fetner for Mayor of Roanoke
City of Lineville
Lake Wedowee Auto Parts (NAPA)
Clay County Tire and Retreading
Lake Wedowee Bait and Tackle
Lakeside Market and Grill
Corson Tree Service
Lakeview Auto Service
Lineville Clinic Pharmacy
Dixie Heating & Air Conditioning
Mainstreet Animal Hospital
Docks Plus More
Mayor Mike Fisher
80 Friday night life
ife Advertisers Mayor Tim Coe
Megan Miller Yates, Attorney at Law
Southern Union State Community College
Mike Fields Body Shop
State Representative Richard Laird
Modern Woodmen, Stephen Dedman
State Senator Gerald Dial
Statefarm, Ken Seiffert
Statefarm, Mike Coleman
New's Tree Service
Steele Chiropractic Life Center
Superior Gas (Central)
Superior Gas (Handley)
Superior Gas (Randolph County)
Superior Gas (Wadley)
Randolph County COOP
Superior Gas (Woodland)
Randolph County Insurance
Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative
Randolph County Sheriff David Cofield
RE/MAX Lakefront, Caldwell Team
RE/MAX Lakefront, Linda & Grady Stone
Re-Elect Diane Branch Probate Judge
Re-Elect Probate Judge George Diamond
Revenue Commissioner Josh Burns
Roanoke Ace Hardware
Wedowee Building Supplies
Roanoke City Schools
Roanoke Quarterback Club
Scott Hewitt, Attorney at Law
Young's Drug Store
Small Town Bank
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Ode to the Texas Mancows In the Seventh grade (which was many a year ago), I had to make a choice. Continue to play football and the other sports I was involved with or stay in the band. Up to then, I could do both. It wasn’t a difficult decision. I chose band, of course. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy hitting other kids without getting in trouble with my parents. It was the fact that drums had a cool factor and there were a lot of pretty girls in the band where the football guys had a few cheerleaders they weren’t allowed to talk to during the game and rode in separate busses. From that year on I went to every game with the band. But truth be known, I don’t think I spent more than 5 minutes actually watching any given event. That was simply because my time was spent cutting up with my friends, showing off and putting my patented and largely ineffective moves on any female that made the mistake of giving me a second glance. Not long after school, I joined the Air Force and went to England for a couple years. There wasn’t much football there other than a few Dallas Cowboy games the BBC would televise, mostly so they could spout insults about American Football. They called American football players pansies because they wore pads and had so many rules limiting what damage they could inflict on another player. This went on for a while until a savvy American promoter sug-
gested they arrange an exhibition game between an American football team and Britons best football team (totally different game) which I think was in Liverpool at the time. It was much anticipated. The Dallas Cowboys, which was a fascination to the Brits, probably because of the cheerleaders, were invited to the match. They had heard what the British television had said about them and were more than willing to come. The game was sold out instantly so we
in the end, the score represented them to be closely matched but it was obvious that the game was rigged like a pro wrestling event which was good because there was only one team being represented in the stands and it would probably have gotten pretty ugly if they watched their favorite team leave the game in ambulances. It’s only now that I’ve come to appreciate the game and feel the excitement of watching these young men do battle on the field. In a small town, there aren’t many big things that happen where so many people can congregate and by Charley Norton have fun. Football as well as all the other sports fill that need. I admit watched the game on the TV in the that I still only know enough about day room in our barracks. the game to make me look stupid The English team came out when talking about it (I’ve learned wearing American style uniforms to limit what I say), but I still cheer with pads. It was obvious they them on. I love the banter between were making fun of the American sides and I still laugh when I hear attire, both on the field and the parents yell to their son on the through narration. They were hav- field to kill someone. And when ing a great time prancing around the coach grabs a players facemask until the Cowboys came on to the so he will focus on what he’s telling field and then it went very silent. him, I think how effective that After a few seconds past we heard would be on my daughter. But it the announcer say under his will never happen because there breath, “oh my god”. are things they can do on the field Only then did they realize why that would put you in jail if you we wear pads. On the field, the tried it at home or at work. Still, it’s British team looked like 6 graders fun to think about it. next to the giant Texas Mancows Charley Norton is the co-owner and at that very moment and from of Norton’s Flooring with his then on, nary a word was ever said brother Tom. The company was about pansy American football founded by his parents more than 35 other than “Bloody el’ them boys years ago. are huge”! The game went on and
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