Page 1

Table of Contents 7 Letter from the Editor 8 Handley Football History 9 2011 Schedule 19 Memorable Moments 21 Tiger Seniors 22 vs. Heard County 24 vs. BB Comer 26 vs. Beulah 28 vs. Clay County (Region) 30 vs. Sweet Water 32 vs. Marbury 34 vs. Coosa Central 36 vs. Walter Wellborn 38 vs. Leeds 40 vs. Lineville 42-43 State Champions 45 vs. Slocomb 46 vs. TR Miller 48 vs. Washington County 50 Handley Anthem Part I 52 vs. Clay County (Semifinals) 54 Tigers Make it to T-Town 58 Handley Anthem Part II 60 vs Madison Academy 66 Handley Anthem Part III 68 21 years in the ‘Handley Family’ 70 2011Handley Tiger Roster 73 Tennants full of Handley Heart 78 Congratulations from the Handley Nation


Advertising Sales LAVOY CALDWELL (334) 863-0737

Editor KELLY CALDWELL (256) 276-7959

Social Media Manager AMANDA CAUSEY


Neighborhood Publishing 18285 Highway 431 Wedowee, AL 36278 Friday Night Life is produced by Neighborhood Publishing. 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. Š 2008-2011 Neighborhood Publishing

For the love of Handley Football I have had family members walk the halls of Handley High School for every decade since the 1930s so the phrase Handley Family rings very true to us. We have had football players, cheerleaders, band members and fans through those years. And, even though my dad didn’t graduate from Handley you probably won’t find a bigger fan than him. So, when the Tigers played for the state title on December 1, the family was definitely well represented to include three players, a cheerleader, a manager, a cheerleader sponsor and a photographer on the sidelines not to mention lots of fans in the stands. We all cheered on the Tigers, and when Handley finally won a state championship we were thrilled. Nearly two hours later, we were looking over pictures at a restaurant in Tuscaloosa when the decision was made to do this magazine. And, by the time we returned to Roanoke, our game plan was set. We hit the ground running and in three short days our magazine exploded from a 52-page commemorative issue to 84 pages (the same size of our preseason magazine that covers six schools). We have worked countless hours in two very short weeks to get this magazine to you in time for Christmas and to say it takes a village to publish this issue is an understatement. There are a few people that this magazine would never have seen the light of day if it had not been for their help. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Christy Fordham, Mike Fisher, Wes Kinsey and Merredith Sears not to mention the administration at Handley High School for letting us visit every day for a week. Handley Tiger football celebrated its 90th anniversary this season and Friday Night Life: Handley State Champion Edition not only highlights the events of this season but also pays tribute to teams that paved the way for the 2011 Tigers. I have many fond memories of Handley Tigers over the years as I am sure all reading this do, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a man that for more than 50 years was the voice of Handley Tiger football at Wright Field. This current class of players probably don’t know him other than his name is on the press box, but Col. Worth “Pappy” Jordan loved Handley football. And, I know he is smiling down on this team saying Way to Go Handley Tigers!

Enjoy Friday Night Life! Kelly Caldwell

handley football history To appreciate what this season's Tigers accomplished on Dec. 1, 2011, you must take a look back at the history of Handley Tiger Football. Coach Mike Fisher, known to most simply as Coach Fish, generously comprised this brief history.

1920s 1921 - The team of 1921 was the first to represent Handley High on the gridiron. Lewis Yates was the first captain. The team went 2-5 on the year with wins against Randolph County High School (207) and LaGrange, GA (7-0). Yates was a triple-threat back, being the punter, fullback and quarterback at times. He also became the first AllState player for the Tigers 1922 – The team represented Handley with sportsmanship and added a few more wins with a 2-6 record. The Tigers defeated Lanett 33-0 and Opelika 13-0. 1923 – Experience helped this season's squad and Iverson Wright was the captain. The Tigers won five games and lost two. Bob Rowe was the coach and Conner Owens was the athletic director. 1924 – Luther Judge Bevis led a strong Handley team in 1924 holding six opponents scoreless and losing its last game of the season to Opelika. 1925 – Handley was sensational recording its first undefeated season. Big wins came against Opelika, and Sylacauga. Fuller Jones was voted captain and Bob Rowe continued as the coach. 1926 – It was a down year for the Tigers going 2-5. James Slappy was voted team captain. 1927 – Coach E.G. Samuels took over athletics at Handley with very little experience on the football field. Handley's lone win came against Wedowee 13-6. Ben

McDonald was the captain. 1928 – Johny Henry Pate was voted captain with Frank Mink Stevenson serving as co-captain. Wins were recorded against Wedowee, Milltown and Five Points. Members of the team were John Pate, Frank Stevenson, Jr. Mitchum, Fred Wade, Pete Camp, M.H. Radney, Robert Mashburn, Hoyt Mann, Joe Danielly, Freeman Cooper, Curtis Bartlett, T.G. Bowen, Mutt Enloe, Millard Stevens, Vernon Harlin, Woodie Caldwell and Laude Slay. 1929 – The Handley Tigers marched through the season undefeated recording seven wins and one tie. Coach Hugh Stevensons line averaged 165 pounds and the fleet footed backfield averaged 150 pounds. The biggest win of the season came against Alex City 12-7. The winning touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a pass from Monk Stevenson to Frank Waid.

1930s 1930 – The team was led by captain Woody Caldwell who guided the team to a stellar seven wins and one loss. The loss came at the hands of Alex City 6-0 The paper states to all citizens to get there early due to seating being limited to 250 people. Coach Stevensons record is 14 wins, one loss and one tie in two short years. 1931 – Handley lost a lot to graduation and the record reflected it. The Tigers went 3-6. Handley did manage to defeat two county rivals Wadley 6-2 and Randolph County 9-7. BB Cofield made All State. 1932 – Penny Carver was selected to lead the team into the season as captain. The squad recorded a 5-2-1 season. Coach Stevenson continued on as Handley's coach. 1933 – The squad is a little

smaller than usual, but it managed to elect Perry Jones and Lawrence Huey to lead the team. They opened with a win against Milltown 13-0, tied RCHS 0-0 and beat Lafayette 266 before losing to a strong Opelika squad 12-2. The team finished the season with a loss to LaGrange 31-0 for a record of 4-3-1. 1934 - Fred Hodges was elected captain of a team that had very little depth. The team won three games but lost five. The big win of the season came against Opelika (7-6). 1935 – Bill McCurray and Fred Pate were co-captains of the team. The squad posted a 7-2 season and scored 194 points while giving up only 54. The big wins were against Oxford 26-6 and LaGrange 27-6. 1936 – This team is the first Tiger squad to go undefeated and untied recording nine wins. The defense gave up only 46 points while scoring 235. 1937 – Coach Stevensons squad started off with 54 men reporting for practice but with no experience, the team could manage only two wins. Buster Estees, Wesley Wood, Tom McCurray and James Sharman made the All-County team. 1938 – October 14, the lights came on at Wright Field for the first time and the Tigers defeated Woodland 33-0. The Tigers finished the season 8-1. James Sharman, quarterback, and Buster Estes, center, are the co-captains. Two of Handley's former players join the Alabama Crimson Tide. John Hanson and Bill McCurray. 1939 – William Hanvey was named captain and Herman Wilkins served as captain alternate for the quad. The Tigers have several key injuries early in the season but manage to win four games while losing five. The highlight was beat-

Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley Handley

48 Heard County 43 BB Comer 51 Beulah 20 Clay Co. 48 Sweet Water 29 Marbury 48 Central Coosa 43 Walter Wellborn 46 Leeds 35 Lineville CLASS 3A PLAYOFFS 28 Slocomb 21 TR Miller 26 Washington Co. 13 Clay Co. 20 Madison Academy

13 14 13 13 27 14 12 21 0 14 0 19 7 6 14

It’s Great to Be A Handley Tiger! Friday night life 9

ing Auburn 6-0.

1940s 1941 – Coach Stevenson leaves Handley and a new era begins with coach Clayton Hudson. James Baird is elected captain and Fred Camp and Will Huey are alternate captains. The Tigers lose the first game to a strong Lanett team 19-0, but win or tie the remainder of the games for the season to finish with a 7-1-1 record. Handley won the county championship by beating RCHS 26-0, Woodland 20-7 and Wadley 19-7. 1942 – James Baid is elected captain again and leads the Tigers to a 5-3 record. Key wins were over Auburn (7-0) and Opelika (7-6). 1943 – The Tigers post a 5-2 season and the game of the year was Handley defeating Lanett 32-6. 1944 – Jack Hanson and Earl Parker were voted team captains and Fuller Jones is hired to be Hand-

10 Friday night life

ley's coach. The Tigers lose their first four games before tying Lanett 13-13 to finish the season 2-5-1. 1945 – Allen Burkhalter and Sanford Pete George are elected captains. Claude Walker is hired to coach at Handley. The Tigers finish the season blasting Lafayette 32-0 while posting a 4-4-1 record. 1946 – The Board of Education: PJ Hooton, WP Enloe, Dr. WW Stevenson, JM Schuessler and IW Wright vote to keep Claude Walker as coach. The Tigers finish the season 5-4. Sanford Pete George is voted All State. Allen Burkhalter (1945 graduate) is a member of the first class at the United States Naval Academy. He played in the backfield and the team went undefeated. Lon Mitchum and James Fisher were named All State Honorable Mention. 1947 – Claude Walker says 20 players from last season were lost to graduation, but the squad man-

aged a winning record at 5-4. Buford Chase and Donald Anthony were elected captains. Bentley Barnes and Sanford Pete George accept four-year scholarships to Ole Miss. Claude Walker ends his era with 14 wins, 12 losses and one tie in his three year stint. 1948 – A.M. Hinson and Elbert Couch will be the new coaches at Handley. A new 10 game schedule is announced. Woodland, playing its first season of football since the beginning of the war, is added to the schedule. The Tigers maul Wedowee in the last game of the season 31-0 to finish the season 3-6-1. Bobby Sudduth and Tucker Brown were elected captains. 1949 – Elbert Couch is promoted to head coach and the Tigers finish the year 5-5. Hookie Young , halfback, scores three touchdowns in a 33-0 win against county rival Woodland. Bobby Messer, Bob Daniel and Carey Patteson were

named All County.

1950s 1950 – The Handley Tigers will open up the 1950 season with five players with varsity experience. Floyd Fetner, Bill Widner, Herbert Taylor, Charles Burson and Charlie Hookie Young. Hugh Lee Morris, the starting quarterback, has been ill. The Tigers open up with losses to RCHS and Valley before winning its only game of the season against Lafayette 27-0. Coach Couch's record is 1-9. 1951 – RCHS defeats Handley in the opening game 19-0 but the Tigers end the season in fashion beating Heflin 44-7. Coach William T. Frazier's first-year record is 3-6-1. 1952 – Coach Frazier's second year at Handley proves to be a little more successful with a 5-5 record. The Tigers open with a 12-0 win against RCHS and ends the season with a 38-12 win over Wadley. Cap-

tains were David Cauthen, Wayne Wallace and Mac Schussler. 1953 – Coach Bob Jordan is hired as Handley's new coach and guided the Tigers to a 5-4-1 record. The Tigers opened up with a 38-0 win over Wadley. Carey Gantt and Donald Bassett are the captains. Terrell and Ferrell Gilham were voted most outstanding players for the 1953 season. 1954 – Billy Jackson and Carey Baker are the captains. Coach Oliver Woodard is hired as the new coach with Thomas Ziglar and Mac Schussler servving as assistants. Handley opens with a 21-7 win over Hogansville. Billy Prestridge is the Handley quarterback after transferring from Double Springs, GA. The Tigers finish the season with a 4-6 record. 1955- The Handley Tigers open the season with five straight wins before losing to AAA Alex City 7-0 They close the season with another four wins to finish with a 9-1 record. Bill Prestridge, Max Allen, Richard

Pike and Tommy Hill lead the Tigers to the number 1 ranking in the state voted by the Birmingham News. The News Trophy will be awarded January 6, 1956 to the High School. Billy Jordan is voted Most Valuable Player. 1956 – New Stadium ready for the first game. Concession stand built on north end and wooden bleachers on the home and cement bleachers on the visitors side greet fans to a new Wright Field in 1956. Seating capacity grows to 1,500. Handley opens up the season beating arch rival Alex City 14-0. The Tigers lose only two games, 14-0 to Lanett and 25-20 to Auburn. The team finishes 7-2 on the year. Oliver Woodard leaves Handley with a three-year record of 20-9. 1957 – Merle West and James Cannon are hired to direct the Tigers. The Tigers finish with a 1-9 record. The lone win was a 20-6 victory against ASD.

1958 – Coach Roy Mann is hired as Handley's new coach. The Tigers open with a 13-6 loss to Alex City. Several key players were out for the second game but the Tigers did manage a 31-7 win over ASD. With key players injured for the season, the Tigers finish the year at 4-6. 1959 – The Tigers started at 1-3 but managed to end the season 5-5. Handley's starting line of John Harmon, Ronald Traylor, Travis Moon, Larry Benefield, Jack Kitchens, James Fincher and Richard Cole opened up holes for the Tigers all year.

Alex City, Lineville and Auburn, but manage to defeat RCHS, Lafayette and Dadeville to finish the season 54-1. Anchoring the line for the Tigers were Gary Daniel, Ronnie Lester, Bill Burdette, Danny Belyeu and Frank Carden. Jerry Duke and Waymon Hodges anchor the backfield. Waymon Hodges and Danny Belyeu are voted captains. 1962 -The Tigers open up with a 14-6 loss to Alex City, but manage to wind up at -1-1 at the half way point. Handley manages to go 3-1-1 in the second half losing only to Lineville 14-7. 1963 – Roy Mann leaves Handley 1960s with a 27-20-3 record after a five year 1960 – The Tigers began the decrun. Alton Shell is hired and the Tiade 7-3. Key wins were against Augers finish 3-7. Wins came over Pell burn, Lanett and RCHS. The three City, Auburn and Opelika. Handley losses were to Alex City, Lineville and Opelika. Stadium wooden seats co-captains were Gary Daniel, Bill Burdette and Don Cotney. are added to the visitors side of the 1964 – Donald Summers is hired field. 1961 – The Tigers are pounded by as Handley's new coach. He wins only one game in his lone season


with the Tigers. The Tigers only score 31 points all season. 1965 – Coach Bill Tucker is hired as Handley's new coach and finishes the season 2-6-2. The wins came against Clay County and Lafayette. Mike Cumbee and David Vinson are the Handley captains. 1966 – Head Coach Bill Tucker and his assistants Tommy Cato, Tommy Maddox and Tommy Hill turn the Tigers around to a winning season with a 6-2-2 record. Handley's big win came against the Valley Rams 28-27 on a last second field goal by Charles Caldwell. After a upset win by Clay County 17-10, the Tigers went on to win their last four games. Bill Ragle signs a scholarship to play for the University of Alabama. Danny Whaley and Jimmy Duke are co-captains. 1967 – In his last season with the Tigers, Coach Tucker leads the team to a 3-5-2 record. The Tigers play a tough border conference slate.

Handley beats Heflin, Lineville and Pell City but loses to Eufaula, Valley and Auburn in conference play. 1968 – Hugh Lee Morris returns to his alma mater as head coach. Tommy Cato will serve as assistant. The Tigers manage to beat Heflin, Pell City, Lineville and Lafayette to finish 4-6. 1969 – Handley finishes the season with a winning record of 5-4-1. Paul Caldwell has 14 carries for 150 yards while Mike Whaley carries 12 times for 86 yards and the Tigers throttle Dadeville 40-6. Handley places three players in border conference stats, Caldwell, Whaley and Steve Daniel. This will be the last winning record for the Tigers until 1975.

coaching changes during this time. Wayne Freeman, Rick Rhodes and Paul Wooley. Wright Field saw improvements however...The Quarterback Club added four steel tower light systems . Team captains of note were Jere Adcock and Benny Woody (1972) 1975 – The Handley Tigers entered the season on a 23-game losing streak. The Roanoke Quarterback Club improves the field with some needed work and membership grows to 233 members. Roy Reeves is the Captain. Everything is looking up for the Coach Wooley and the Tigers. Handley finishes the season with a winning record as well as a berth in the state playoffs for the first time in school history. The Tigers win 28-18 over St. Jude in the first 1970s round, but lost to Hokes Bluff in the 1970-74 The early 70s were not kind to the Handley Tigers. During second round. Bob Farrior and the five seasons, the Tigers managed Jimmy Peoples are the assistant only five wins. There were also three coaches. 1976 – Coach Wooley starts the

year off with a 28-7 win over RCHS and finishes the regular season with a 34-8 win over Ranburne. The Tigers lose in the first round of the playoffs to Elmore County 39-14. The Tigers finish the year with a 9-2 record. 1977 – The Handley Tigers make it all the way to the State Championship before losing 17-16 to Stevenson. The Tigers other loss of the season came against Lanett (24-13). Jimmy Peoples, John Houge and Amache Phipps are the assistant coaches. The Tigers were ranked number 1 in the state until the Lanett loss. 1978 – The Tigers started off the season with a big win over Dadeville 33-0 but in the second game lost a heart breaker to Weaver 15-14. The Tigers made it to the first round of the playoffs but lost to Elmore County 42-7. They finished the season with a 5-6 record. 1979 – Handley lost its first three

games to Dadeville, Lanett and Weaver before winning over Clay County 6-3 in the fourth game of the year. The team finished the season 4-6 and coach Wooley leaves Handley with 37 wins in seven years.

1980s 1980 – Bill Ragle returns to his roots to coach the Handley Tigers. The Tigers are short on experience and can only manage two wins. Ragle hires Steve Calabro and James Richards as assistants. 1981 – The Tigers lose the first three games before turning it around and winning six of the last seven. Big wins came over Opelika 31-18 and Elmore County 3534. Doug Moore and former Tiger captain Jere Adock are hired as assistants. 1982 – The Tigers reel off five straight wins before losing to Lanett 41-6. The Tigers play 5A Opelika down to the wire before losing 9-7 and finish the season with a 7-3 record. 1983 – The people of Roanoke have high expectations for the Handley Tigers this year, and the team doesn't disappoint by finishing the year with a 11-2 record. The lone loss in the regular season came against Opelika 34-7. The Tigers make it all the way to the quarterfinals but lose to Cottonwood 32-23. The Tigers were led by senior standouts Steve Battle, Jackie Tucker, Richard French and Stacy Brooks. 1984 – The Tigers shock no one finishing 9-3. The only regular season losses came against 5A Smiths Station and Opelika. The Tigers make it to the second round of the AHSAA state playoffs losing to Tallassee 28-21. In regular season, the Tigers defeated Tallassee 34-20. 1985 – Coach Bill Ragle takes the Tigers to the state playoffs for the third straight season. Handley wins its first five games before losing to Lanett, Opelika and Smiths Station. Handley makes it to the third round before losing to Hillcrest, Tuscaloosa 13-0. Captains for the year were Stanford Brooks, Walter Collins and Mark Farmer. The Auburn newspaper voted Brooks along with Eric Phillips and Reginald Winston to the All Star Team. 1986 – This team enters the season with very little experience and finishes with a 4-6 record. The Tigers manage to win its first two games over Cherokee County and Tallassee before losing five of the next six games. Handley finishes on a winning note beating Beauregard 37-16. 1987 – Ragle hires assistants Larry Strain and Keith Howard. The Tigers open with Cherokee County losing big 34-0. The Tigers rebound with a 14-0 win over Tallassee but can only manage to break even for the season at 5-5. The Tigers beat Beauregard 32-0 to end

the season and what would be Bill Ragle's last game as head coach at Handley. He finishes his eight year run with the Tigers with a 53-35 record and three trips to the state playoffs. 1988 – Ron Swann is hired as the new head coach for Handley and finishes the year with one win. The Tigers win the last game of the season against Beauregard 20-12. 1989 – The Tigers open the season with a 63-22 loss to Munford followed by losses to Tallassee and Alexandria before besting RCHS 28-7. The Tigers can manage only on more win and finish the season at 2-8. Swann leaves Handley with a 3-17 record.

1990s 1990 – Mike Parker takes the helm at Handley. The coaching staff of Chuck Marcum, Alan Garner, Randy Hamilton and Larry Strain. The Tigers surprise everybody fin-

ishing 9-4 and making it to the third round of the playoffs. Stacy Garrett, Chris May and Jon Overton are named to the Alabama Sportswriters Associations All State Team and Mike Parker is named Class 4A Coach of the Year. The playoff run is ended with a 22-9 loss to BB Comer. 1991 – The Tigers make it to the semifinals of the Class 4A State Playoffs before losing to TR Miller 39-20 in a game known as “The Night the Lights went out at Handley.” The Tigers lost only two regular season games to Alexandria and Reeltown before moving on to the state playoffs. Six Handley players were named to the ASWA All State Team. Chris May, Stacy Garrett, Chris Davis, Darrell Sanders, Lewis Battle and Ryan Condy. May was chosen to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All Star Game and Garrett was named a Super 12 Athlete by the ASWA. Three players signed football scholarships to Southeastern

Conference Schools. May went to Ole Miss (where he started as a true freshman), Sanders signed with Auburn and Davis signed with Kentucky. 1992 – The Tigers played their hearts out and reached the semifinals once again before falling to Daleville 14-12. New assistant coaches for the season were Jeff Smith, Merritt Bowden and Randy Reeves. The Tigers ring up 11 wins and only three losses. Handley outscored its opponents 305-89. Making the All State team were Joe Trammell, Lewis Battle, Calmease McCray, Tommy Neighbors and Brian Huey. Battle was named a Super 12 by the ASWA and invited to play in the Alabama-Mississippi All Star Game. He signed with Auburn. 1993 – Coach Park hires two new assistants Kevin Rose and Paul Bishop. The Tigers start off 2-6 before winning the last two region games to make the playoffs. The Ti-

gers lose in the opening round 22-8 to Lanett. Jody Pike, Earnest Jones and Tom Landers were named to the All State Team. Mike Parker leaves Handley with a 35-17 record in four years. 1994 – Tony Motley takes the helm for the Tigers. He hires assistants Paul Gay, Chris Cagle and Blaine Hathcock. The Tigers lose their first seven games before winning its last two over Tallassee and Lafayette. 1995 – The Tigers win only one game this season. The season opener against Munford. 1996 – The Tigers are Region Champs and make the playoffs for the first time in three years. The Tigers start off 5-0 before losing to Tallassee 28-14. Handley loses in the first round of the playoffs to TR Miller 54-20. 1997 – Coach Motley hires Roger McDonald, Don Turner and Jimmy Holley as assistants. The Tigers win

six of the first seven games before making the state playoffs. In the third-round the TR Miller curse strikes again and Handley loses on a last second field goal. John Elliot makes the All State team. Handley finishes 9-3. Motley leaves Handley. 1998 – Jimmy Holley is hired as the new coach. Assistants are Earnest Hill, Scottie Ward, Chuck Marcum, Paul Gay and Roger McDonald. The Tigers win their first two games before losing the next three. Handley digs deep and wins the final four games of the regular season to make the state playoffs. Handley wins the region but loses to TR Miller 42-21 in the first round of the playoffs. 1999 – Handley loses its first game and reels off five straight wins, barely missing the playoffs. The team finishes the season with a 6-4 record. Cedric Phillips and Jonathan Rowland are named to the All State team. Phillips signs a scholar-

ship to Troy State University. Rowland goes on to play at Alabama A&M University. The big win of the year was a thriller over Lanett 33-26.

2000s 2000 – Handley starts off with a big 20-14 win against Valley, then adds two more wins before losing to region foe Coosa Central. The Tigers end the season at the .500 mark. 2001 – Holley hires Patrick Henderson and Tim Ward. The Tigers win three of its first four games before losing to Lineville 26-7. The Tigers come back and win three out of four region games to make the playoffs for the first time in three years. In the first round, the Tigers beat Andalusia 31-7 at home before falling to Dale County 41-20 in the second round. 2002 – The Tigers win five of its first six games and the rivalry with RCHS is renewed. Handley

beats RCHS 10-0. The Tigers make it to the second round of the state playoffs before losing to UMS Wright 36-0. Handley has a good season and ends with a 9-3 record. 2003 – Handley loses its first game to Valley 46-15 and its last game to RCHS 33-0. The Tigers manage only three wins the entire season. Holley is hired as principal at Handley and finishes his tenure with the football team with a 36-28 record and one region championship. 2004 – Mike Battles, Sr. is hired as Handley's new head coach. The Tigers lose their first two games by one point each before winning their next three. Handley makes the playoffs winning its first game against Andalusia 28-13 before losing to Trinity 38-8 in the second round. 2005 – The Tigers reel off four straight wins before losing to Lineville 24-6. The Tigers make the

playoffs but lose 48-7 to Demopolis in the first round. 2007 – Handley goes undefeated in region play and finally beats TR Miller in the playoffs 34-14. The second round goes Handley's way as well with a 28-14 win over Trinity. Handley travels to Thomasville in the third round and falls short 49-12. 2008 – Handley goes 6-1 in region play losing only to Lincoln 3834. The Tigers make the playoffs with a first round 21-7 win over Calera which set up a rematch with Lincoln. The Tigers skin the Bears 47-13 before falling to UMS Wright 38-12. 2009 – Coach Mike Battles, Sr. and the Tigers make history by posting their first 13-win season. (At that point the most in school history) The Tigers enter the playoffs ranked third in the state. Handley defeats Greensboro 49-8 in the first round and Saks 43-14 in

the second round. The Tigers travel to UMS Wright with a thirst for revenge and beats the team 13-10. The Tigers make a long road trip again the following week to face Jackson and fall 31-14 to end the season 13-1. Cory Smith, Ladarius Phillips, Taylon Hunter and Xavier Brooks make the All State Team. Phillips signs with Auburn.

2010s 2010 - The Handley Tigers are talking about a state championship. Handley wins its first six games before losing to eventual state champion Leeds 14-3 on the road. The Tigers make the playoffs finishing as region runner up. With key players out, Handley wins in the first round 49-0 over Aliceville. Handley travels to Gordo for the second round and falls short 20-14 in a defensive battle. Breyon Deberry is named All State honorable mention and the Tigers finish the season 10-2.

Tiger Memorable Moments of 2011 that moment. The HandAnd we were ley Tigers have going to win. made history this season, but it also started Chris with a day they Dillard will never forI have get. During two...First, in spring workthe preseason outs on March against Bow23, Quentin don, I was Pitts earned a chasing an new nickname offensive in what could player. He have been a kept going devastating Quentin Pitts was the center of one of the most memorable moments before the sea- and I ran to the blow, but has son ever started when he fell 20 feet or more into a sinkhole during practice. wall and left a since become big dent in the one of the funniest moments for stadium. Second against Sweetthe team. water. We just got the ball and “It was crazy,” Pitts told teamHerbert Staples took off down the mate Breyon Deberry in a recent field untouched. I thought to myinterview. self that with talent like that we While Pitts was practicing on can win a state title. the field between Wright Field and the Hugh Lee Morris Little League Field, a sinkhole opened Anthony Foster up and Pitts fell about 20 feet into First time playing Clay County. the hole. That was the biggest game and fixing to put you on facebook,” “We were over in groups and this season was my first season as Dejion Williams said. the next thing we know everyone a starter. I was nervous at first, is surrounding this little hole in but we got out there and played, This remarkable season for the that's when I knew we could play the ground,” Dexter Reese said. Handley Tigers is filled with “And, they are saying Caveman is with anyone. memories and recently the seniors at the bottom of it.” sat down with Friday Night Life's Once Coach Mike Battles disZack Hall Kelly Caldwell to give some of covered what happened, he First time starting on defense their favorite moments of the 2011 cleared the team from the field and then the Lineville game when season. and went to his house (which is I kicked a 55 yard punt. nearby) and got a ladder. Breyon Deberry “He crawled over to make sure Demetris Foster he was alright,” Reese said. “Then When we played Leeds, it was When the helicopter dropped he went and got the ladder.” the most talked about game. It down before the Heard County Another coach crawled over to was the most intense coin toss I game and Keimon went out to get check on him. have ever been a part of. Also “Coach Drummond crawled when Clay County called their last the game ball. That was pretty special. over there and looked down at time out in the semifinals. I knew Pitts and said 'Hey Pitts, Smile I'm we were going to the title game at

Quay Hunter Coach Fordham asking how is the Big Three going to finish...

Caleb Kinsey Second time we beat Clay County and I realized that we were actually going to the state title game. And, everyone rushing onto the field after the game.

Eric Phillips When Breyon went down with the ankle injury and Quay had to put the team on his back on offense. In that Slocomb game, it was up to Quay to run it because Breyon couldn't. He didn't let up the whole game.

Dexter Reese In the regular season against Leeds, everyone had a good game and I remember pulling down a

20 Friday night life

jump ball and Coach Henderson had a look on his face like he could have done that. Also, I was more happy when we beat Clay County and got over that hump to make it to the state title game. And, we got to do it at Wright Field with all of our fans and my family there.

Quinton Rowland First played Heard County and scored three times in a row on the same play.

Keimon Sanders My first practice back (during Sweetwater week) after getting cleared from breaking my leg. Duran breaking that 80-yard run against Clay County in the regular season.

Herbert Staples When I broke the long kickoff

return against Clay County in the region game.

Doug Tucker In the Championship game, when Duran broke loose. He hit me on the back and the other guy tried to grab him and he kept going... The other one was against Slocomb, When Quay couldn't be stopped. He just kept scoring and scoring and scoring.

Dejion Williams Against Heard County it took about four players to bring me down. When I got up, I was alive then. My other most memorable moment came in the fourth round against Clay County. Breyon gave us a little speech when we were in a timeout. He kept saying “Two minutes to State, Two minutes to State... Can you feel the Ring coming... Two minutes to State.�

Demetris “Meatball” Foster

Eric Phillips

Anthony Foster

Quay Hunter

Zack Hall

Keimon Sanders

Dexter Reese

Herbert Staples Jr.

Quinton Rowland

Doug Tucker

Quentin Pitts

Caleb Kinsey

Chris Dillard

Dejion Williams

Breyon Deberry

Handley 48 vs. Heard Co. 13 Heard County May Think They're Hot But the HHS Tigers Own the #1 Spot! The much anticipated 2011 and preseason #4 Handley Tigers took Wright Field in week one to battle the Heard County Braves from Franklin, Georgia. Five players combined for seven touchdowns as Handley rolled up 449 yards of offense to beat the Braves 48-13. Breyon Deberry had 130 yards rushing and two touchdowns on only 6 carries. Duran Zachary also added two rushing scores. (Recap by Wes Kinsey)

22 Friday night life

Handley 43 vs. BB Comer 14 I am a Tiger Fan to the Core Watch me Yell , Hear me Roar! Week two brought the opening of region play at B.B. Comer. The Handley Tigers and their fans poured into Sylacauga to watch as the Tigers from Roanoke roll over the home team Comer Tigers 43-14. Wadley transfer Quay Hunter scored twice on only five carries and Trae Kyles tossed a touchdown pass to Tevin Cook as Handley dominated. (Recap by Wes Kinsey)

Photos by Christy Fordham 24 Friday night life

Handley 51 vs. Beulah 13 Want to see what Champions look like? Give us 4 Quarters Week three saw Clay County break into the Alabama Sports Writers Association Top 10 poll in Class 3A. The Panthers entered at no. 7 while Handley remained no. 4 behind the defending champion Leeds Green Wave at no. 1. Meanwhile, Trae Kyles threw for three touchdowns and the Tigers rushed for four more. Handley even returned a muffed punt for a touchdown as the Tigers clobbered the Bobcats 51-13 at Beulah. (Recap by Wes Kinsey)

Handley 20 vs. Clay Co. 13 The Red and White are colors of success. The One and Only...OH YES! Tigers! Week four and Clay County moves to no. 4 with a 14-7 win over then no. 1 Leeds. The Handley Tigers had moved up to the no. 3 spot. The hills were covered with fans from both sides. Even the Executive Director of the AHSAA, Steve Savarese, was on hand as two titans in 3A squared off in a Region 3 showdown. The game lived up to the hype. After returning the opening kickoff, the Tigers looked poised to go up quick but the Panthers intercepted a pass at their own 5. After Handley forced a Clay County punt, the Tigers set up at the Panther 29. Six plays later Chris Dillard powered in from the 2-yard line for Handley's first touchdown of the night. Connor Boyd added the point after kick as HHS went up 7-0 with 6:39 to go in the first quarter. The score remained that way until CCHS capped off a drive with a Shawncey Simmons pass to Jamari Staples for the score at 10:04 left in the first half. Breyon Deberry dashed to the end zone on an 11 yard run with 7:30 remaining and Boyd's PAT made it 14-6 with 7:33 remaining. Handley again drove deep into Panther territory but a 41yard field goal attempt was no good, and the half ended 14-6. Handley again moved deep into Clay County territory midway in the third but turned the ball over at the 15-yard line. Then in the final stanza, fullback DeJuan Clark bolted 80 yards for a Handley touchdown with 8:40 left in the game. The extra point attempt failed, but Handley took a 206 advantage. The Panthers never quit and scored again on a Simmons to Staples pass with 2:47 to go in the game. Simmons added the extra point to make it 20-13. The ensuing onside kick failed to go the required 10 yards and the Tigers went into the victory formation to end the game. Handley moves to 4-0 and 3-0 in the region. The Tigers were in the driver’s seat for the Class 3A region 3 championship. (Recap by Wes Kinsey)

Handley 48 vs. Sweet Water 27 If you even DREAM about beating us you better wake up and APOLOGIZE! In week 5, after leading only 14-7 at the half, Handley exploded for four third quarter touchdowns to beat visiting, Class 1A No. 6 Sweet Water 48-27 Friday night. Back to back scoring drives with runs of 26-yards and five-yards by Quay Hunter made it 28-7 as the Tigers totaled most of its 449 rushing yards in the third quarter. Hunter finished with 100 yards on nine carries and scored two touchdowns. Breyon Deberry carried the ball 14 times for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Handley held the Bulldogs to 170 yards on the ground and 59 through the air. Handley reaches the regular season midway mark at 5-0.

Great Job Tigers!

Handley 29 vs. Marbury 14 The battle has begun, get out of our way, there's only room for one! Tigers! In week 6, Handley remains at no. 3 in this week's ASWA Poll. Leeds is no. 5 while Clay County is no. 7. Handley travels to take on the Marbury Bulldogs is a class 3A region 3 game. Logan Taylor ,in just his second start at quarterback, tosses a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Cook and a 23-yard pass to Connor Smith as the Tigers took its record to 6-0 overall with a 4-0 region mark.

Handley 48 vs. Coosa Central 12 Determined...Believe it! We Will Achieve It! (Happy Homecoming 2011) In Week 7, Handley remains at no. 3 while Leeds moves to no. 4 and Clay County to no. 6 in the ASWA Class 3A Football Poll. It was homecoming for the Tigers as they rolled over the Cougars 48-12. Fourteen different Tigers carried the ball amassing 339 rushing yards and seven touchdowns including a 74 -yard kickoff return by Herbert Staples to start the second half. Handley moves to 7-0 and 5-0 in region play as three tough regular season games remain.

Handley 43 vs. Walter Wellborn 21 Headed to the Top and we'll take nothing less! Handley, We are the Best! In week 8, Handley Head Coach Mike Battles returns to a previous stop to hand the Panthers a 43-21 loss. Handley scored on three of its first four plays from scrimmage and built a 36-0 lead by 10:05 of the third quarter . The Tigers outgained Wellborn 369 yards to 253. The Tigers scored on their first play from scrimmage, Breyon Deberry’s 50-yard run. On Handley’s third possession quarterback Trae Kyles ran it in from 43 yards . The next time Handley touched the ball, Herbert Staples broke a 45-yard touchdown run. Handley went to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in region 3 and prepared to meet the Leeds Green Wave.

Handley 46 vs. Leeds 0 PROTECT THIS HOUSE! In week 9, it was a match between no. 3 Handley and no. 4 Leeds. Those who had watched this football team felt it was coming. Handley seemed to keep its complete game in a back pocket all season long doing just what it took to win but holding something back. Against the defending Class 3A state champion Leeds Green Wave, the Tigers opened the flood gates: 381 yards rushing, 65 yards passing, one defensive touchdown, a number of defensive stops on fourth down and short, and a shutout. The wave rolling at Wright field in Roanoke that night was all cardinal. The scoring began with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Trae Kyles to Quay Hunter near the end of first quarter capping off a 90-yard drive that included a 61yard run by Breyon Deberry. Connor Boyd added the point after and Handley led 7-0. The Tigers scored again on an 88-yard drive in the second quarter as Kyles executed a 9-yard jump pass to Connor Smith. The PAT failed and Handley led 13-0. Handley went back to the air late in the second aided by a 37-yard run by Duran Zachery to the Green Wave 34 when Kyles hit Dexter Reese for another touchdown. Handley went to the locker room leading 20-0. The Tigers went up 27-0 with 10:16 to go in the third on a 30-yard Duran Zachery scoring run. Tailback Quay Hunter added a 23-yard score with 6:20 to go, and Handley went up 33-0. With only seconds remaining in the third and the Green Wave on their own 15, Kenny Seiffert blitzed and blasted the quarterback causing a fumble. DeJuan Clark scooped it up and ran it in for the score. Handley went up 40-0 headed into the fourth. Duran Zachery added another touchdown in the fourth on a 41 yard run to end the scoring. Mike Battles notches his 67th Handley head coaching win. The Tigers went to 9-0 on the year and claimed the Class3A Region 3 title. (Recap by Wes Kinsey)

Handley 35 vs. Lineville 14 On the road to success, the Handley Tigers are the BEST! Nothing more and Nothing less! In the final week of the regular season, Handley finished with their second 10 win season in three years with a 35-14 win over the Lineville Aggies. Quay Hunter rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns and Chris Dillard and Duran Zachery added scores as the Tigers dominated the game with its longest running rival. This marked the last meeting of the two teams as Lineville will merge with Clay County to form one consolidated school (Central High School of Clay County) in the fall. Handley ends the series against Lineville with a 32-24-3 record. Handley ends the year ranked no. 3 in the final ASWA poll and prepares for the playoffs. (Recap by Wes Kinsey)


2011 class 3a s

42 Friday night life

y tigers

state champions Friday night life 43

Handley 28 vs. Slocomb 0 T-Town will be Tiger Town. 1st Round State Bound Handley beats Slocomb at Wright Field in Round 1 of the playoffs 28-0. The 11-0 Tigers now host TR Miller next week. On offense, it was the Quay Hunter show as the senior tailback scored three touchdowns. Herbert Staples scored the final touchdown in the fourth quarter. Coach Mike Battles is now tied for most wins as a Handley Head Coach with 69 wins. Handley extends it's home win streak to 32 games. (Recap by Wes Kinsey)

Handley 21 vs. T.R. Miller 19 We are the Best Tigers, oh Yes! Second Round State Bound The Handley Tigers rolled up 18 first downs and 344 yards on offense as they ousted six-time state champion T.R. Miller at Wright Field 21-19. The Tigers had to overcome seven penalties for 63 yards in the first half en route to the win. Quay Hunter capped a 59-yard drive on the Tigers first possession with a 15-yard sprint into the end zone. The point after attempt by Connor Boyd was good and Handley took a 7-0 lead with 9:58 remaining in the first quarter. On Handley's next possession, Trae Kyles hit an open Anthony Foster for a 16yard touchdown. Boyd's kick was good and Handley led 14-0 with 5:28 to go in the first quarter. Miller got its highly talented offense going in the second quarter on a 16- yard run by Darrion Salter. The point after attempt failed and Handley led 14-6 with 9:08 to go in the first half. Handley answered with a 51-yard scoring drive ending with Hunter scoring on a 2-yard run. Boyd’s kick was again perfect, and Handley went up 21-6 with 2:15 to go in the half. Darrion Salter added an 18-yard touchdown with 5:56 to go in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed and Handley led 21-12. T.R. Miller added a another touchdown with 6:24 left in the game, but the Handley offense practiced clock management for the remainder of the game. Hunter had 21 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns, Breyon Deberry added 17 key carries for 127 while Duran Zachery and Herbert Staples added 28 and 35 yards respectively to seal the win for the Tigers. Mike Battles now holds the most wins as a Handley head coach with 70 while the seniors became the winningest class with 45. The home winning streak extended to 33 games.

Friday night life 47

Handley 26 vs. Washington Co. 7 Day by Day We get Better and Better, 'til we Can't be Beat, Won't be Beat! The Tigers relied on a tough and gutsy defense and spectacular special teams play to whip the Bulldogs in Chatom 26-7. A swarming Handley defense held the Dogs to just 67 yards rushing and forced two interceptions. Handley blocked a punt in the second quarter, and Breyon DeBerry scooped it up and sprinted into the end zone for a touchdown. The win made the Tigers 13-0 and set up a show down with the Clay County Panthers at Wright Field in Roanoke to determine the South Champion.

Handley Anthem Part 1 Prior to the semifinal matchup against Clay County, D.J. Foster and Ziggy Moss, two former Handley High School students, wrote the Handley Anthem Part I. The song was shared over and over on the week leading up to the game. Here are the lyrics.

Who the best that ever did it? Who the best now? do his job perfect player, all aspects. The starters out Who the legends still reppin? And who the vets now? the game and it ain’t even reached the half yet Who the soldiers on the field battling for the ring? To land they spot in history the 3A kings! Eye of the tiger (Chorus) we fighters we ain’t going down! So when you fit us I talked to Coach Battles, he said he’s confident; for a ring, fit us for a crown! Hard hitters tell the com- The former players said get it; they send their complipetition have some! Ziggy YB DJ giving y’all the ments. A lot of people envy our speed, plus want the Handley Anthem! strength; We all great, top players to those on the Since 08 we been grinding to the playoffs bench; Eric Phillips stay bucking that’s little Cat-Man. Now in 11 it looks like it finally paid off Demetris Foster hit you, you gone need a cat scan. Quay Hunter joined the team to give the team an The band live, swag surfin like it’s 09 extra boost; When Herbert Staples in he’s breaking The competition can’t keep up, they need more getting extra loose; Chris Dillard hit you once you’ll time. probably need surgery. Who really want it? I wanna see you grind Bradley Bozeman blocking three guys that’s cerWith a ring around your finger you can draw the tainly; Anthony Foster a genius, a top safety line. Never question greatness, if you do you’re Going to T-Town, bringing the trophy home safely; probably hating Now go and get the ring, the whole Dejuan Clark is up and coming and so stunning. Dexcity waiting ter Reese small but the kid stay head hunting; Dejion (Chorus)

50 Friday night life

Friday night life 51

South Semifinals

Handley 13 vs. Clay Co. 6 10% Luck, 20% Skill, 15% concentrated power of Will, 5% pleasure, 50% Pain and 100% reason to Remember the Name! The Handley Tigers moved to 14-0 and secured a date in the Class 3A AHSAA state championship game with a 13-6 win over Clay County at Wright Field. The Tigers earned the right to take on Madison Academy for the championship at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. After a scoreless first period, Quay Hunter capped a 63 yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with the 31 seconds remaining in the half. Connor Boyd's kick was good and the Tigers took a 7-0 lead into halftime. But, the Panthers answered with a 15-yard touchdown run by quarterback Shawncey Simmons. The extra point attempt failed and the Tigers led 7-6 with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter. Handley came roaring right back with a 50-yard scamper by Duran Zachery into the end zone with only 59 ticks left in the third. The extra point kick failed, and Handley went up 13-6. Handley held on with a drive late in the game securing a first and goal at the Clay County 5-yard line with about a minute to play. The Panthers, out of time outs, could only watch as Handley went into the victory formation to secure the win. Coach Mike Battles gets his 72nd win as head coach and the seniors become the second consecutive class having never lost a game at Wright Field. The home winning streak goes to 34 games. The 14-win season marks the most ever by a Handley team. The previous posted best was a 13-1 record in 2009. 52 Friday night life Friday night life 53

Tigers make it to T-Town the playoff When the system was Handley Ticreated. gers defeated “We have Clay County the most in the semifisupportive nal round of fans,” Keithe Class 3A mon SandState Playoffs, ers said. they knew “Every time things would we go out, be different we know its the next going to be week. For packed and starters the Bryant team played Denny was for the title on no different. a Thursday There were and in the people morning so it every where. They created a very short week for support us where preparation, but there were ever we go.” some things they didn't quite The Handley Fans anticipate. showed up more The game was played at than two hours prior Bryant Denny Stadium at the to kickoff in order to University of Alabama in welcome the team Tuscaloosa and prior to the and waited in long game, the team participated lines to enter the stain the Walk of Champions. dium on the morning “We got off the bus at the of December 1 and Walk of Champions and I some business owndidn't think we would have ers even closed up that many people there The Tiger Walk on the Walk of Champions took place one hour shop for the day to atscreaming for us. I felt like I and 45 minutes prior to kick off. The Handley Family repretend. was playing for Alabama,” sented the town well in Tuscaloosa welcoming the Tigers to “We have been told Eric Phillips said. Bryant-Denny Stadium. that several businesses The Handley Family made had signs in the winthe 160 mile trip by the thoudow saying closed... gone to the sands and were there in force son Academy. It was great to see when the team unloaded the tradi- all those people come out and sup- game,” Demetris “Meatball” Foster said. “That means a lot to me contional yellow buses to take the port us.” sidering the economy is in the walk to the stadium. It has been estimated that more shape it is in for the businesses to “First thing I noticed were the than 4,000 Handley fans traveled close to support us. I am proud to fans,” Zack Hall said. “We had to Tuscaloosa to be part of the Tibe a Handley Tiger!” about twice as many fans as Madigers first state championship since 54 Friday night life

While the thousands of fans waited to enter the stadium, the Tigers were preparing for the biggest game of their lives on a field that most have dreamed about playing on. “When I stepped onto the field, it hit me that we were playing for a state championship on the same field that Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, Donta Hightower and all the other great Alabama players have played on,” Phillips said. However, for all the excitement playing at Bryant Denny Stadium brought to the players, there was a job to do.

“When they introduced us, our names and pictures were up on the big screen and all the fans were going wild,” Dejion Williams said. “That was big for me. But, a football field is a football field it is still 100 yards no matter where you are.” “I really respect that it was Bry-

ant Denny Stadium, but when I stepped onto the field I wasn't looking at it like that,” Chris Dillard said. “I was thinking about the reason we were there. I looked into the stands and saw all our fans. It wasn't about being in Bryant Denny. It was about Handley for me. After we won state, I got to enjoy the fact that we won the state title at Bryant Denny.” While the team won the state title, the players understand it is a victory enjoyed by many more than themselves and coaches. “I have had the best high school football experience ever,” Dexter Reese said. “I feed off the energy of the crowd. They cheer us on. We

Friday night life 55

won this state title for our fans!” “We have the best fans in the state,” Breyon Deberry said. “When you come to Wright Field it's a hard place to play and they are big reason for that. I joined the

56 Friday night life

team as an eighth grader and I can happily say that I never lost in the red jersey and didn't lose to many in the white one.” The Handley Tigers currently possess the longest home winning

streak in the state. The last time the Tigers lost at home was October 27, 2006 against Cleburne County. This group of seniors mark the second consecutive class to never lose at Wright Field.

Friday night life 57

Handley Anthem Part ii After the win against Clay County, D.J. Foster and Ziggy Moss, two former Handley High School students, went back to the studio for the Handley Anthem Part II. The song was shared over and over on the week leading up to the game. Here are the lyrics.

You ready for the game? It’s time to make a name! Your picture in a frame! The Handley Hall of Fame! So much that you can gain! But you must maintain! The pressure is insane! But so far we’ve overcame! We the best that ever did it, we the best now! We surpassed all the greats we the vets now! We the soldiers that brought the victory home! So when you give us this ring give us the throne! We ain’t going down without a fight never! Us laying down the competition know better! Going in for years and we finally bout to land one! DJ, YB, ZIGGY, REMIX OF THE HANDLEY ANTHEM!!! Finally on the stage Let’s see how you get paid For this road you have made This road you have paved Trae Kyles is a sage Stay cool never afraid Historic games he has played Breyon out his cage Duran running hard Defense playing hard Kenny Seiffert got the heart Handleys work of art The journey they embark Key players play their parts The fans provide a spark While the coaches leave their marks…

58 Friday night life

Conner Smith touchdown then Tevin Cook We need an instant replay I need a second look Conner Boyd snap the ball so we can get started Erick Velazquez hit someone they will get carted After we win, Wright Field we should celebrate But first storm Bryant-Denny Stadium don’t hesitate And whoever wanna talk trash let um hate! Because December 1st, 011 we won the state! (Chorus) Slocomb was the first team we had to get past! They hit hard but we were the team to hit last! Next round T.R. Miller it came to the wire! They wanted it but in the end we had more fire! 3rd round Washington County they came strong! But 2nd half we fought harder and we came home! 4th Clay County, it was a classic! But in the end for the Panthers it was tragic! Some of those teammates sure did talk static! But in the end just proved to be average! But it’s not about what you did in the past! It’s tomorrow that counts, no questions asked! Create history by causing teams misery! Pity the fools that try us like Mr.T! We breed survivors, champions, and fighters! MAN IT FEELS REAL GOOD TO BE A HANDLEY TIGER!!! (Chorus)

Friday night life 59

Handley 20, Mad

Hold on to a Winner! We m TUSCALOOSA – Winning a state title is the goal for every high school athlete and coach regardless of the sport or classification. On December 1, the Handley Tigers accomplished just that in a 20-14 win over the Madison Academy Mustangs to become the first state title football team for Handley High School since the Alabama High School Athletic Association instituted the playoff system. The road to the state title was a bumpy one for the Tigers and the championship game proved to be just as intense. Madison Academy scored on the opening drive that spanned 60 yards on 12 plays. “After seeing them score on the

session of the game, Handley went to work. With 2:45 remaining in the first quarter, the Tigers mounted a touchdown scoring drive that spanned 55yards on 11 plays and was capped with a Duran Zachery twoyard run. Breyon Deberry, Quay Hunter Trae Kyles and DeJuan Clark all rushed first drive, I knew we had to show for yardage on the drive including up and play hard,” Senior Dexter Clark for 21 yards on a fourthReese said. “I didn't have my best and-four situation to end the first individual game, but it wasn't quarter. about me.” Connor Boyd added the extra point to tie the game with 10:22 remaining in the first half. “The team played the game that by Kelly Caldwell we needed to play,” Reese said. The Tigers didn't respond im“DeJaun Clark and Duran Zachery mediately but on their second pos- were two underclassmen that

Title Game

dison Academy 14

made it. We're Here. It’s On. really stepped up and played their hearts out.” The remainder of the first half was a defensive battle for the two teams and included Handley's Kenny Seiffert recording a quarterback sack for a loss of nine yards as well as a Reese forced fumble and recovery. “Every time we would have a three-and-out possession, Trae Kyles would send booming punts to Madison Academy to give our defense a chance to stop them which would give our offense better field position,” Dejion Williams said. Kyles recorded four punts for

“When we were down, I looked around and no one was panicking,” Demetris “Meatball” Foster said. “I saw my team and we were determined and focused.” The Tigers mounted several drives in the third and fourth quarters but weren't able to find the end an average of 45 yards. Handley failed to get a first down to open the second half and Madison Academy took over on their own 14-yard line after Kyles 41-yard punt. The Mustangs used that possession to take a 14-7 lead scoring on a 86-yard drive that spanned eight plays.

zone. “The momentum kept shifting and when they said Quay didn't get the first down, (on a fourth and four situation at the 8 yard line) I thought for a split second that we were going to end the season 14-1,” Deberry said. “But then I thought there was no way. Some-

thing was about to happen and we were going to get this ring.” The Tigers held the Mustangs to a three-and-out possession on the next drive with tackles recorded by Foster, Clark, Hunter, Chris Dillard and Bradley Bozeman. The Tigers took over on the Mustangs' 31-yard line and after two plays, Kyles handed off to Zachery on third down with six yards to go. “I was really looking for the first down,” Zachery said. “But my guys created an opening for me and I kept running.” Zachery scored on a 27-yard run. “We were going for it and down by seven,” Doug Tucker said. “Every time I pulled, I was determined to hit somebody. When Duran broke, they could have put a diesel truck in front of us, and we would have tried to take that out too. We just kept pounding and pounding the ball at the end.” The Tigers used their last time out to decide to go for the twopoint conversion. “It was like it was out of a movie,” Deberry said. “Coach (Ron) Watters told us that he had faith in us, He said Clear Eyes, Full Heart, Can't Lose. Watters said he had faith in us and said 'Guys go be men and do what you have to do.'” The two-point conversion failed and the Tigers trailed 14-13 with 3:53 remaining in the game. Madison Academy prepared for the kickoff, but the Tigers weren't going to give the ball back easily. “It was supposed to be a desperation kick where its on the tee and angle it toward the sidelines,” Kyles said. “But ,they only had two people in the middle and we went for it.”

Friday night life 63

The onside kick was recovered by Handley's Clark on the Mustangs' 43yard line. “When DeJaun Clark recovered the onside kick, it surprised everybody, but we knew anything is possible,” Dillard said. “We were determined to drive down the field. There wasn't a doubt in anyone's mind that we were going to win that game.” The Tigers proved to be champions on their final drive of the game that lasted 10 plays and was capped by Dillard's 1yard run for a touchdown. Boyd added the extra point and the Tigers gained the lead for the first time of the game. Madison Academy didn't give up, however, and with 42 seconds remaining in the game, the Mustangs mounted its own comeback. The Mustangs got to the Handley 12-yard line and lofted a pass into 64 Friday night life

he was out of bounds.” For his efforts, Zachery was named Most Valuable Player of the Class 3A State Title game and led the team in scoring on 12 touches for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Hunter led the team in rushing yards with 83 yards on 19 carries. Others rushing for the Tigers include Herbert Staples four carries for 27 yards, Clark two runs for 22 yards and Kyles seven carries for 21 yards. The defense was led by Dillard the end zone as time expired. “On the last play of the game, it with four solo tackles and four aswas a jump ball and it was me and sists, Bozeman with three solos number 1 (for Madison Academy) and five assists; Hunter with three going for it,” Reese said. “We were solo tackles and three assists, Seifheaded to the sidelines and I kept fert with three solo tackles and two assists. pushing. He caught the ball, but

We Are

HANDLEY! Friday night life 65

Handley Anthem Part III Following the 20-14 win over Madison Academy for Handley’s first state title in the playoff system, D.J. Foster and Ziggy Moss, two former Handley High School students, wrote the Handley Anthem Part III. The song was shared over and over on the week leading up to the game. Here are the lyrics.

Handley Tigers stand up cause we finally won it all! Stepped up to battle left nothing, we brung it all! 3A state champions, that’s what we answer too And stepping in our path know it’s possible we’ll handle you! Handley Tigers stand up cause we finally won it all! Stepped up to Battle left nothing we brung it all! 3A state champions, that’s what we answer too And stepping in our path know it’s a possible we’ll handle you!

Bradley Bozeman played his first game on his home field! These boys never lost at home I guess home kills! I SAID IT ONCE SAY IT AGAIN WE ALL FIGHTERS! MAN IT FEELS REAL GOOD TO BE A HANDLEY TIGER!!!

Handley Tigers stand up cause we finally won it all! Stepped up to Battle left nothing we brung it all! 3A state champions, that’s what we answer too And stepping in our path know it’s a possible we’ll handle you! Handley Tigers stand up cause Breyon DeBerry got the whole we finally won it all! city cooking! Stepped up to Battle left nothing Quay came and amazed now got we brung it all! the whole city looking! 3A state champions, that’s what we Coach Battles lead the team to a answer too dream season! And stepping in our path know Duran trucking everybody 3 been it’s a possible we’ll handle you! beastin! Chris Dillard for the game and HEY…We did it for real now we winning! Class of 12 the finest way that Herbert and Dexter defending, you can end a career the perfect ending! I ain’t never seen a trophy that Trae Kyles the captain he relaxing had so much meaning while passing! Demetris and Kenny tackling, The clock ran to zero the whole playing with passion! state start screaming

66 Friday night life

Coby Floyd said he heard me on his mp3 And it motivated Duran to win the MVP A lot of teams envy y’all and plus they envy me BUT WE ON TOP! TELL UM ALL IT WAS MEANT TO BE!! Bryant-Denny Stadium was our field for one day We had to make ourselves known, remembered one way Handley Tiger pride home of the greatest football! The story is over, we the best close the book yall!!! Handley Tigers stand up cause we finally won it all! Stepped up to Battle left nothing we brung it all! 3A state champions, that’s what we answer too And stepping in our path know it’s a possible we’ll handle you! Handley Tigers stand up cause we finally won it all! Stepped up to Battle left nothing we brung it all! 3A state champions, that’s what we answer too And stepping in our path know it’s possible we’ll handle you!

Friday night life 67

21 years in the ‘Handley Family’ I moved to Roanoke in June of 1990 to start my first job after graduating from the University of North Alabama. I must admit the reason that I accepted the job was because it one of only two job offers that I had and the other was from a school in Texas. My plans were to stay here one year and move back to Northwest Alabama. Little did I know 21 years later not only would I still be in Roanoke, but be blessed to serve as the superintendent of Roanoke City Schools. I have served as classroom teacher, coach, principal and now as superintendent. My wife Kippie Taylor Marcum is a Handley graduate of the class of ’89, and we also have two children in the school system. These factors give me a unique perspective of what it means to be

68 Friday night life

part of the “Handley Family.” I can honestly attest to the fact that a lot of places talk about “family,” but in Roanoke it is more than just talk.

Handley Family by Chuck Marcum One example of what makes Roanoke special is the tremendous following we always have every time our Tigers take the field. This is one thing that stood out to me when I first arrived in Roanoke and still holds true. This was obvious by the number of people who lined the “Walk of Champions” for the “Tiger Walk” at 9:15 on the day of the state championship to welcome our players to Bryant-Denny Stadium. It was a memory that I will never forget. As with all “families” there are

good and bad times to experience. During my time in Roanoke we had made it to the semi-finals on four other occasions (1991, 1992, 2008 & 2009) only to come up short of our goal of winning the state championship. The most disappointing one for me was the 1992 game in Daleville. I was the defensive coordinator of the team that lost 14-12. Our guys played a great game against a great team, but things did not go our way. It would be over a year before I could make myself watch the game film. One of the first messages I received after our guys defeated Madison County, was a text message from a member of the 1992 team that simply said “Coach- it took us 19 years, but we did it!” I think that was the feeling of all Handley fans-

that WE FINALLY DID IT! I doubt that our 2011 Tigers really knew how many former players, cheerleaders, band members and fans were living vicariously through them. I could feel it outside the stadium, in the stands and especially when I walked down to the sidelines to watch the 4th quarter. What best describes the “Handley Family” to me ironically comes from someone who was watching his first Handley game the

day we played for the state championship - my step dad. He told me later that night- “I did not know a player or a coach on the team, but by the end of the game I was as nervous & excited as anyone there. I was very impressed with how Handley players played the game and the support & class shown by the fans. It is easy to see that these are good people.” Our “family” is made up of “good people” and it’s what makes Friday nights in the Fall so special

for Tiger Fans. Mrs. Merredith Sears said it best earlier this year in one of the motivational videos that she produced for the team when she said “Small towns have big hearts.” In conclusion, my favorite memory was being down on the field celebrating with our team after the game and looking back into the stands hearing our fans shout “We Are --- HANDLEY!” Yes we are and I am glad to be a small part of the family.

Emerging home Healt Care

Friday night life 69

2011 handley tigers Jersey Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 21 22 23 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 36 39 40 41


Jersey Number 42 45 50 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 83 84


Grade 11 9 10 11 10 9 12 12 12 10 9 9 10 12 9 8 11 11 12 9 10 9 10 9 9 11 11 10 11 12 10 9 9 11

Friday night life 71

72 Friday night life

Tennants full of Handley Heart The Handley Tiger football team is more than a group of players. They are friends, classmates and while the majority are not related by blood, they consider themselves family. A big part of that bond is due to another family with strong Handley ties. Johnny and Teri Tennant, both graduated from Handley and their son Will would have been a starter on the 2011 team, if he had not fallen to an ankle injury in spring training or been involved in an auto accident in June. Although their natural born son did not play a down in the 2011 state title run, the Tennants had other “sons” that played their hearts out. “Since peewee football Johnny has been a coach to these boys,” Jean Webb, Johnny's sister-in-law, said. “He would take the boys home and give them the shirt off his back if he thought they needed it. “He has the biggest heart of anyone I know,” she said. Through the years the bond continued to grow between the Tennants and the players, and a few years ago Will began bringing

some of his friends to his house as well as his aunt's home.

Handley Family by Kelly Caldwell “We watch Alabama football on Saturdays at GG's (Jean),” Demetricas “Meatball” Foster said. “They make us feel at home.” Through football, the bond was formed and has continued to grow so much that the players often refer to Johnny and Teri as

Pops and Mama T. “I am one of the 'sons,'” Breyon Deberry said. “They welcome anyone into their home. It's unbelievable how much they can care about us.” While football is the common ground, there is more to it for the players. “They have always been there for us,” Dexter Reese, another “son,” said. “We have fun when we are down there, but you are also learning lessons and morals. They teach us how we need to live our lives. “As long as we show them respect, they show us respect,” he said. That respect hasn't come without sacrifice according to Reese. “In the south area there are some racial problems, but the Tennants are teaching us that color doesn't matter. We are all people,” he said. “Boss (Johnny) is a construction worker and has lost some contracts because we come to his house. But, he will not speak bad about us or disown us. He tells us the world will see there is no black or white, there is no color. We are all people. I know he has given up a lot but he always shows us the same love and affection.” Friday night life 73

very grateful The to them beTennants cause there have only have been one child of times that I their own but have strugthrough the gled and I years their know that I “children” can always have multitalk to them plied, but it is or escape not limited to from (the Johnny and struggles) at Teri. Webb their house or also has Miss Jean's opened her house.” home and “Yeah, you heart to the can’t forget players. GG,” Doug “I am like The Tennant Construction (TC) Boys (Photo by Patricia Guinn) Tucker said. the nephew to The players Pops and Momma T because Miss Jean ever since I was in ninth grade. She also offered support to the Tennants when Will had his acci(Teri's sister) is like my mom,” Fos- would get me and take me to dent in June. ter said. “She has been there for me school (and she still does). I am

74 Friday night life

“He was in a hurry to get home to tell his Daddy Happy Father's Day...” Webb said. “He hit a a pine tree with his truck and suffered broken ribs, concussions in the front and back of his skull, a ruptured spleen, broken left arm, crushed right femur. “Those boys went to the hospital that night with my daughter Aleigha,” she said. “They love him like Will is their brother. That

group is so special to my family and we all would do anything for them.” The core group, nicknamed the Tennant Construction (or TC) Boys, include Breyon Deberry, Chris Dillard, Demetris (Meatball) Foster, Dexter Reese, Connor Boyd, Keimon Sanders, Trae Kyles, Duran Zachery, ShaQuan Glass, Bradley Bozeman, Kenny Sieffert and Will Tennant.

But its not limited to those 12 players. “They really have opened their doors and hearts to us,” Dillard said. “They are genuinely good people and that's kind of rare in this day and time. “The Tennants pulled us together,” Bozeman said. “Anyway they can help they have always helped.”

Friday night life 75

76 Friday night life

Friday night life 77

Congratulations from Handley Nation Leading up to the game and for days following, social media exploded with messages of good will and congratulations for the Handley Tigers. Here is a selection from former Handley Students and supporters.

Jonathan Rowland Special S/O To the HHS Tigers From a Super Bowl Champion/Pro-Bowler! Robert Mathis of The Indianapolis Colts: Shoutout to my Good friend, Frat bruh and College Football teammate Jonathan Rowland 's high school squad Handley Tigers for their 3A Alabama Football Championship! Congrats Lil Brothers!

Marcus A. Ware

bring that Championship home! See ya there....can't wait!

Woke up this morning smiling, knowing that my alma mater will Chuck May soon win its first state championship in years! Very proud of all the I REALLY wish I could be in players, coaches, cheerleaders, and Tuscaloosa today to cheer on the band members. Play like champiHandley Tigers. However, I will be ons and bring that trophy home! cheering from up here in Madison Academy territory. Go Handley.

Jerri Gabriel Remember Handley are not only playing for yourselves, but for every student, cheerleader, band member, and football player that have walked the halls of Handley High School. We are all living our dreams through you! As long as you do your best, you will always be a winner. Channel the energy from all these supporters....and you should have no problems! Now

Fred Williams Congratulations to Handley High School in Roanoke, AL for winning the 2011 3A Football Championship! From the players & coaches, to the band, the cheerleaders, and the fans, you did it. 15 - 0, the perfect season. You are number 1. Hat's off to the Tigers, for an outstanding job well done! God bless and best wishes. 0:-)

Many others have tried it before, Gettin' to the semi-finals but left Great Day To Be A Handley Tistarving for more, ger! There's been many other seasons that we considered great, Jodi Mitchum Parmer All they lacked was a chance to Hard to believe but I'm so ready be champions of this state, to walk thru the doors of HANDDec. 1 is a day some have LEY HIGH SCHOOL tomorrow waited on for many years, and see all the 3A State Champ It's the reason it was worth all football players!!!! HANDLEY the blood, sweat & tears, FAMILY is the best‌ It won't showcase faces of any of the former teams, Kannyetta S. Ammons Though it will be fighting for So tired but it was so worth it. the exact same dreams, Went to the football game in TOn Thursday, the entire city of Town. I am so proud of the Hand- Roanoke, not just the schools, ley Tigers - 3A state football needs to be shut down, champs. I saw so many people I Because we have long awaited had not seen in a long time. I bebusiness to handle in T-Town!!!! lieve Roanoke was shut down today cause everyone was at the Daffie Dillard game. Wearing my old band jacket How 'bout them TItomorrow at work. Go Tigers! GERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been so busy celebrating and thanking the Lord Susan Irvin for us winning the State Champi-

Chuck Marcum

Mike Fields


onship.....Hats off to the coaches, the team, cheerleaders, the band and the band directors, the fans, and all the organizations that helped support this BIG WIN.....we all worked together to show that it takes all of us to get things done......"WE WON".....and the Handley Tigers are the reason because of their dedication and hard work......Thank you "TIGERS"!!!!!! We love you. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOOOOOO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20-14

Keith McDow Proud to be a Handley Tiger today, 3A State Champions.

Shermeka Terry Handley High School = STATE CHAMPS!!! I'm about to pull out my old cheerleader uniform lol...Once a Tiger, always a Tiger!!! #proudalumna.

Friday night life 81

82 Friday night life

Friday Night Life State Champion Edition  
Friday Night Life State Champion Edition  

Friday Night Life State Champion Edition is a special issue of Friday Night Life magazine. This issue was created to celebrate the state cha...