Retooling the FDA system

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2005

There comes a time when you just have to back and re-evaluate things. For the Fort Dale Eagle football team, that time may be this spring. The Eagles football team learned a valuable lesson about their offense in the final game of the season against Edgewood Academy-when you can't run throw the ball, your offense becomes one dimensional.

But, to their credit, the Eagles were playing probably the third best team they'd seen all season, with Bessemer and Faith being the other two.

Fort Dale was one of two teams in Butler County to advance to the playoffs but shared the same fate as Georgiana, receiving an unceremonious exit at the hands of Edgewood Academy.

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This off-season, the Eagles are going to have to work on filling the gaps. Fort Dale football is losing a majority of people at the skill positions. They are losing their quarterback, tight end, fullback, receivers and some key defensive talent.

The question is who is going to step up to plate for Speed Sampley and Jimmy Gardner and be the people willing to knock their opponents off the line of scrimmage.

Also, there is a rumor that the Eagles are planning to stray from their ground'n'pound style of smash-mouth football and go the way of the West Coast, spread things out a bit.

Hey, if they can do that they need three things, one of which they already have.

They need a talented running back.

Fort Dale is returning Tim James who averaged over 100 yards rushing in multiple games last season. But they are also going to need a quarterback who can think on the run and who is good at slinging the ball all over the field.

Thirdly, they are going to need a good set of receivers who aren't afraid to go up and get the ball or go across the middle and catch the pass.

If Fort Dale can do that, then they can be very successful in the upcoming season. Another question that will be interesting to see is if Mobile Christian is really jumping ship in order to go to the AHSAA. If they do that, then who will the AISA move into the region or how will the regions get shaken up?

Isn't preseason football great?

It's that simple.

Griffin Pritchard is the sports editor of the Greenville Advocate. He can be reached via email at, or via phone at 382-3111 ext. 122.