Cougars fall in first round of playoffs
By: Railey Ayers
Thursday, the Crenshaw Christian Academy Cougars fell to the defending state champion and number one seed Marengo Academy Longhorns by a score of 53-7 to cap off a 4-7 season.
In a playoff week littered with shut outs across the state, the Cougars managed to reach the end zone one time in the late third quarter. Numerous turnovers once again contributed to the Cougars’ demise.
Crenshaw said goodbye to seven seniors, and look to fill in their leadership roles next year with seven current juniors, some of whom also played pivotal roles in this season.
Most seniors didn’t think their record was representative enough of the season, especially senior quarterback Cole Roper.
“Despite the record, honestly, this was the best season I’ve ever had. We actually buckled down and worked hard and Coach Sims made sure we really learned the game,” said Roper.
With the absence of Roper and the other seniors next year, CCA will rely heavily on junior wide receiver Clayton Hester, who garnered a nomination for AISA player of the week in week three of the season.
“It hurt to come up short the way we did this year; we had some great seniors who really put a lot into this program that deserve more than being out in the first round,” said Hester.
“But this goes to show that if we really want to end up with a ring next year it’s going to take more. We have got to get in the weight room and get bigger and stronger and faster, and we have got to show people what we are really capable of doing.”
Not only are the Cougars shedding the negative stigma of this past season mentally, but they’re shedding the remains on campus, too.
“We’ve got to use this year solely as a reminder and a motivator to give the perfect effort in everything we do, because this year didn’t turn out the way we wanted,” said junior specialist and wide receiver Sam Barksdale.
“But for the most part, we’re tearing everything down and rebuilding from the ground up and working hard at that this offseason.”
Barksdale meant that quite literally. Crenshaw has plans to actually demolish the field house and locker room that they used this year and replace it with a two story building with a weight room on the bottom and locker room on the top. Construction will begin as soon as the current building is gone.