Thanks to al.com for pictures.
Throughout the state of Alabama, high school football teams were a part of media days over the past couple of weeks. Newspapers, radio and television stations will come and interview the coaches, and most of them bring some players with them to the event. It is an exciting event that has caught fire and there seem to be more media days each season. This year, everyone was excited to get to participate after missing media days in 2020 because of the Covid virus.
Here are some of the quotes from the Mobile area and southwest part of the state from coaches and players as we approach the 2021 high school football season in Alabama.
Second year head coach Ed Brown feels better about his 2021 Washington County squad. In his first season last year, the Bulldogs only scored 32 points. “We are going to run the ball and rely on our offensive line. We are going to build it back to the way it used to be and should be at Washington County,”
T.R. Miller quarterback Miller Hart, whose father John led the Tigers to a 15-0 state championship season at quarterback in 1994, said that the goal this season was pretty simple. “Go 15-0.”
Leroy coach Jason Massey (pictured) has former Leroy and Jackson head coach Danny Powell working with the offense. “It’s been a good time getting him back there at Leroy,” Massey said.
New W.S. Neal head coach Brandon Wilcox talked about rebuilding the Blue Eagle program and his offense. "Morale was pretty low when I took over, but I think we have turned the corner there. I think we are going to score some points this year, I really do."
Escambia County coach Scott Mason is in his third year with the Blue Devils who are in 4A, Region 1. "Our region is a free for all. We may win one, we may win 10. I’m proud of what we are building because it’s coming,” he said.
Flomaton coach Doug Vickery's team was a victim of Covid last year. “It was a tough year. We were sitting at 7-0 and looking to our last 2 region games and hoping to get back-to-back region championships and contact tracing hit. We had to forfeit the next two weeks."
Clarke County coach Stacy Luker on recovering from Hurricane Zeta last fall. “It was tough on us. A lot of damage. It caused us to lose the Thomasville game, which is big in these parts. But I thought as a community and school we really banded together and tried to make the best of the situation. I had kids who didn’t have power for more than a week."
“I think this is a goldmine,” said LeFlore coach Shon Burney (pictured). “With the direction of the administration, we can do anything we want to do and be successful in academics and on the athletic fields. I couldn’t wait to get started. This is a sleeping giant. When my tenure is over here, I want this to be not a stepping-stone program, but a destination program.”
McGill Toolen running back Braylon McReynolds doesn't lack for confidence. "There's a reason that people label me as the best. I feel like I've proven myself over and over again, and I really don't see any competition when it comes to that. I would like to go for more than 3,000 yards this year."
UMS Wright Coach Terry when questioned about retirement. “I don’t do anything else. I hate golf and I’m not sure my wife likes me that much.”
Second year coach John McKenzie expects his Vigor team to be very good. "Anthony Mix Jr. is a tremendous talent. He has no excuse for not taking us to Birmingham in Week 15,” according to McKenzie.
St. Paul's coach Steve Mask on whether the Saints can compete for another 5A title. “I think we are in the conversation.”
Foley Head Coach Deric Scott (pictured) is in his second year with the Lions said, “I try to build our own reputation, but also tie back in to our past success. The guys understand that and understand they are part of something that has been good in the past.”
Saraland Coach Jeff Kelly on his success with the Spartans. “There is no secret sauce. We’ve been pretty good for a long time. We try to be our best every day and, if you can stack good days after good days, you will be in good shape."
Baker coach Steve Normand on his Baker team being in quarantine for a week. “I was kind of hoping that it was over with and that it (the pandemic) was in the rearview mirror and then a situation like this happens,” he said. “But it’s starting to kind of creep around a little bit with the new (Delta) variant that is around. I’m just hoping it’s not going to be nearly as severe as it goes through.”
Citronelle linebacker Lathan Farmer on a small town like Citronelle moving up into 6A. “If you got a Wal-Mart, that’s a pretty big town. Our biggest thing is Citronelle Market Place.”
Mark Hudspeth of Gulf Shores on his national freshman of the year transfer Ronnie Royal. “He is a guy who can go all day long. His tank is never empty. He’ll also play corner. He can play receiver. He can do it all.”
New St. Michael's head coach Phillip Rivers (pictured) on his first team. "We will have a chance to win every Friday night. There won’t be any Fridays where we’ve traveled knowing we don’t have a chance.”
Tim Carter, head coach at Fairhope on dealing with Covid last year. "I think it would have retired me if it had continued."
Orange Beach Coach Chase Smith on hiring Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning, former DC at West Virginia and Troy, as well as head coach at Wyoming. “Fantastic. My staff as a whole is fantastic. It’s another aspect of the city that has come on to help us. His experience and wealth of knowledge at the Division 1 level has been amazing. I can’t speak highly enough about my staff.”