FDA focused on improving

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fort Dale Academy is looking to duplicate last year’s convincing victory over Pike Liberal Arts School, and the Eagles are hoping to do so largely by pretending it never happened in the first place.

It’s a different season and a different Friday night and, despite the fact that the Patriots are struggling at 1-5 on the year thus far, it’s just business as usual for FDA head coach James “Speed” Sampley.

“We’re going to spend a great deal of time working on us as much as we are Pike,” Sampley said. “We’re going to spend a good bit of time working on defensive pass coverage, because that’s the thing we need to work on the most at this time. I don’t really know that they will throw it, but we need to work on it.”

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Despite posting nearly 43 points per game, the Eagles allow nearly as many with 38.5, and tightening things up defensively moving down the stretch is one of the keys to a successful postseason.

But there are improvements to make on the other side of the ball, as well.

“We need to get back to making sure that we fully understand our offense. We had a few blown assignments last Friday night that cost us,” Sampley said. “It’s just that we’ve got to make sure that we understand what we’re trying to do.”

Though Pike Liberal Arts is the final regional opponent of the season for FDA, the Patriots are just one step on a rough road ahead to the postseason.

There is a strong chance that the Eagles may face next week’s opponent, Bessemer, in the playoffs, and Edgewood Academy proves a difficult test for the Eagles each year.

Lastly Wilcox Academy has turned around from being a relatively low-key team at the beginning of the year to becoming a region favorite.

“You want to build some momentum going into the playoffs, for sure,” Sampley said.

“The only way you’re going to be successful in the playoffs is if you get better as the year goes on.  We want to get better through the months of September and October so that we’ll be ready to play in November.”

The Eagles face the Patriots at home on Friday night at 7 p.m.