Brantley becomes Class 1A dynasty
Brantley coach David Lowery has never professed to be a genius, although he does play one on the football field on Friday nights.
Since Lowery has been at Brantley, his Bulldog football teams have been nothing less than impressive.
Coming into the season Brantley was riding a 25-game regular season game winning streak, and it seemed like the Bulldogs would continue that streak.
Only Class 2A Elba decided to play spoiler and end that streak on the opening week of the high school football season. That loss may have been the wake-up call Brantley needed to serve as a springboard for what was about to come.
Since that loss, the Bulldogs have averaged close to 40 points a ballgame and have given up an average of just eight points in their return trip to the 1A semifinals.
And it just doesn't seem to matter what goes on during the game, Brantley is going to come out on top. This past Friday night in the Bulldogs' 27-0 win at Loachapoka, Brantley had just 17 yards of total offense but still led 21-0.
Loachapoka coach Jerome Tate said felt that everyone was overlooking his team because of the eminent American Christian vs. Brantley matchup was looming.
He may have been right. And his players obviously believed it, too.
The only person who you may have had trouble convincing would be Lowery.
Since the playoffs started, he has preached to his kids that it takes one step at a time to reach the mountaintop.
His kids obviously have bought into that theory, and it shows.
Every week through the playoffs, his kids have been humble and often shy away from the spotlight. In fact most of the players detract the spotlight so it would shine on others around them.
It's that selfless act that is a mark of a championship team.
The all-stars on this team range from their senior quarterback Edgar Walker to every one of their offensive linemen.
It's been a long time since I've seen such a tight-knit group of kids who believe in each other and their coaching staff.
They seem like the equivalent of last year's Auburn team and last year's Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
There is no doubt that Lowery has built a dynasty in Brantley and that dynasty has punched its ticket for a return trip to the Class 1A semifinals.
Typically a Class 1A team will go through highs and lows, but this 1A school has been consistent for the last 10 years. And by the looks of the players returning next year, there's a good chance that we'll be talking about this team again this deep into November again.
Kevin Taylor is sports editor of The Greenville Advocate. Call him at (334) 382-3111 ext. 122 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.