Eagles prep for Monroe

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The downing of undefeated Bessemer was only the beginning. Friday’s match up against the Monroe Volunteers will decide who is worthy of being called the AISA AAA state champions.

Coach James “Speed” Sampley has been rallying the troops, trying to make the best of the rainy weather. Yesterday’s practice had to be moved to the Fort Dale gym, and as Sampley said “practicing football in a gym just doesn’t seem to be a good fit.”

Fort Dale started Tuesday with an appearance at AISA’s media day at Huntingdon College. Sampley, as well as players Hunter Armstrong and Stephen Till, got a chance to hear players and coaches speak in front of television and newspaper crews from across the state.

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But now, the Eagle focus has turned away from the media and from the hype of a championship game to the task at hand;beating a team that dealt an ugly 40-14 loss in October.

“Monroe is solid on both sides of the ball,” Sampley said. “They have some seniors who have been in the program an awful long time.”

They have seniors like Sam Vermilyea, who Sampley said is “as fast as any other runningback in our association.” Vermilyea took the ball 210 yards, scoring 4 touchdowns to get the Volunteers past Pike last week.

Containing Vermilyea will be part of the challenge, but Sampley said the Volunteer offense passes well too, which can keep a defense guessing.

The main goal, however, is to avoid a repeat of the last meeting of the two teams, Sampley said.

“We can’t make mistakes and put ourselves in a hole,” Sampley said.

Play kicks off this Friday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Fort Dale or at the gate. Proceeds from tickets purchased directly from Fort Dale will go back to the school.