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Kiwanians hold annual coaches#039; forum

With only two days until opening day football coaches from all four Butler County teams took time from their busy schedules to address the public.

The coaches attended Tuesday’s Kiwanis meeting to let people know what to expect from their respective squads.

New McKenzie Coach David Kirkland was the first to speak.

Kirkland said he plans to build unity starting with Friday’s matchup at Flomaton.

&uot;I’m very excited to be at McKenzie and be a part of Butler County,&uot; said Kirkland. &uot;I’m really excited about this year. We’ve got a lot to learn and so does the head coach. I hope to show you on Friday night that we are ready.&uot;

Kirkland said even if the team doesn’t light it up it should not be a measurement of the progress they have made.

&uot;Our progress may not be measured with wins,&uot; said Kirkland. &uot;But we will look like more of a football team out there. We are just going to work on doing things right.&uot;

Georgiana High School Head Coach Keith York followed Kirkland.

York said despite a tough region his team had shown a great deal of progress last year. York said this year the door is open to make a run.

&uot;We’re anxious to get going Friday night against Samson,&uot; said York. &uot;We probably play in one of the toughest regions in 2A. There are eight teams in the region and three of them are in the top ten.&uot;

York said the season would be full of challenges.

&uot;We beat two of those teams last year so it can shape up either way,&uot; said York. &uot;We just have to be ready week in and week out. There is no chance for a break or a week off. We just have to be ready every week.&uot;

Greenville High School Coach Alvin Briggs was the next to take the podium. Briggs said he hoped for his team to show steady improvement from last year’s playoff season.

Briggs said the Tigers would depend on underclassmen to get the job done.

&uot;We’re trying to improve with hard work and dedication,&uot; said Briggs. &uot;We only have nine seniors total on our team. We have a lot of sophomores and juniors out. We will be expecting a lot of them as we always do.&uot;

Fort Dale Academy Head Coach James &uot;Speed&uot; Sampley was unavailable due to a personal commitment. Athletic Director Reggie Mantooth stepped in to give an outlook for the 2004 Eagles.

Mantooth said the numbers are there for the Eagles.

&uot;We have 48 tenth, eleventh and twelfth graders dressing out this year,&uot; said Mantooth. &uot;That is the most since I’ve been here.&uot;

Mantooth said there is a lot of leadership on this year’s team.

&uot;Out of that 48 on the team 20 of them are seniors,&uot; said Mantooth. &uot;That is a great number for us.&uot;

Mantooth said like all the other schools the Eagles are ready to get started and hit someone in a different colored jersey.

All four county teams will get the chance to test their progress Friday night.

McKenzie will travel to Flomaton, Georgiana will go to Samson and Greenville will travel to Daleville.

Fort Dale will have the lone home game as they entertain Sparta.