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FDA faces final region test in Hooper

A single region opponent lies before Fort Dale Academy, and it’s a familiar foe.

The Eagles will hit the road in an effort to wrangle in the Hooper Academy Colts Friday. And though the Colts have seen little success in 2016–the team is still on the hunt for its first region win–that’s never mattered much when it comes to playing the Eagles, according to FDA head football coach James “Speed” Sampley.

“I can’t explain it,” We’ve played Hooper 17 times since I’ve been here, and its always been a tight game, whether we were better than them or not.  It didn’t make any difference.

“I don’t expect anything different this time.  I don’t know why it’s that way, but it is.”

The Eagles are in the playoff hunt regardless of the outcome with the Colts but, depending upon how other games around the region play out, Fort Dale’s future could be drastically altered.

The most likely scenario, according to Sampley, sees Pike Liberal Arts prevailing over Morgan Academy and Monroe Academy defeating Northside Methodist, which would leave the Eagles at third place after the dust settles.

In that case, Fort Dale’s first-round opponent would be Glenwood School.  That is, of course, unless Tuscaloosa beats Lee-Scott Academy.

“There’s no point in worrying about it,” Sampley said. “Just play who you play this week and go from there.”

And though the Eagles face a Colts team that struggled early and often this season to put points on the board (Hooper averages just 12.8 points per game), Sampley insists that they are still a threat.

“I think they’ve got a little more foot speed than we do at the skill positions, which always scares me,” Sampley said.

“And then, of course, they’re playing at home.  And they don’t have anything to lose.  They can try every trick play in the world because their season is two more games and that’s it.  You just have to line up and play, and do the best you can.”

The Eagles have been mostly healthy, despite suffering a few injuries late in the season.  Despite it all, Sampley and the Eagles are looking to give it 100 percent in the final two weeks of the regular season.

“Dakota Berry and Sawyer Hennis are both still out,” Sampley said. “I think they may be back in a week or so.  Clay Mansmann got a concussion last week, but he’s going through concussion protocol this week and we’ll see what happens with that.  “Everybody’s beat up and banged up this time of year.  If they aren’t, they haven’t been playing very hard.”

The Eagles travel to face the Colts Friday.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.