Gearing up for football season

Published 2:20 pm Monday, August 17, 2009

The Luverne Kiwanis Club held its annual Coaches’ Show on Aug. 11, with all of the area high school coaches as the guest speakers.

Kiwanis member Shaun Wilcox was the program chair for the noon luncheon.

The Luverne Tigers will hit the field this season with 35 players, 14 of those being seniors, according to head coach Les Sanders. Sanders said the Tigers will host a jamboree with Greenville and Daleville this Friday, Aug. 21, at 6:30 p.m.

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“I feel good about our kids,” Sanders said. “We’ve got five with bummed up shoulders right now—we had about 43 to come out in the spring, but we’re down to 35.”

“We have more speed than we’ve been having,” he said.

When it came to wide receivers, Sanders said the Tigers had their most depth there. As for kicking, “we’re still working on that,” he said. “For both sides, offensive and defensive lines, we’re in good shape.”

Another good thing for the Tigers this year will be less traveling time and more time at home.

Highland Home head coach Scott Booth, who is beginning his second year with the Flying Squadron, said that the team was still “very young.” Last year, the Squadron went 0-10.

“Two years ago, they had a tremendous group of 22 seniors, so last year was the first time these guys got some real playing time,” Booth said. “This year, we have six seniors and four juniors, so depth will be a problem for us.”

“We’ve been trying to take care of the little things because if you do that, the bigger things have a way of working themselves out,” he said. “I really believe we’ll get some wins this year.”

Booth said the Squadron was “not very big in the backfield, but we’ve got some speed.”

This summer, the HHS coaches’ office has been remodeled, allowing more room overall for the coaches.

After losing only four seniors last year, even though one of those was Auburn signee Anthony Gulley, Brantley head coach David Lowery had 13 seniors reporting to the field this year, including a new player from Texas.

“You don’t replace an Anthony Gulley very often,” Lowery said.

Quarterback Chase Hall will begin his third year as a starter, along with senior running back Tory Upshaw.

Lowery said his players attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes football camp in Georgia during the summer and got the chance to hear several motivational speakers.

Brantley will host Sweetwater and Maplesville in the pre-season game this Friday at 6 p.m.

Crenshaw Christian Academy head coach Roland Jones has 25 players from grades 10-12 dressing out this season; last year, he had 19 seniors and has been to the semi-final playoffs the last two seasons in a row.

“It’s going to be different this year,” Jones said.

Jones has one returning starter to his offensive line and two returning starters to the defensive line.

“Our offensive line is real youthful,” he said.

“I feel like we’ll be as good as anyone else in our region.”

The Cougars will host their Fall Jamboree Friday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. against Pike Liberal Arts.