Going into the 2009 season it is really hard to know which one of our area teams will be in the AHSAA or the AISA playoffs. While getting ready to do our previews for the season I was able to get some insight on some the strengths and the weaknesses of area teams. With these season predictions I give an explanation on why or why not teams will make it to the post season. Alabama School for the Deaf is not eligible for the AHSAA or AISAA playoffs. With that being said here are my picks for the 2009 season:
Pell City - For the first time in Jay Brown’s tenure at Pell City, he will have a young team and that will hurt them this season. The majority of the Panthers players are sophomores this season and they also have a freshman under center. I believe the Panthers will struggle this season and they will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Sylacauga - The Aggies have the potential to run the table this season. The strength of the Aggies football team is in their backfield. Quarterback Kelsey Pope and running back Josh Crowe combined for over 2,000 rushing yards last season. If the Aggies can stay healthy, and the lineman can control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, look for Sylacauga to make it deep into the AHSAA playoffs in 2009.
Talladega – The 2009 Talladega Tigers will be a much better team this season under head coach Chris Mahand. With Mahand at helm at THS I believe the Tigers will improve by four games from last season and get into the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
Lincoln – Lincoln lost several key players off their 11-2 team from last year, which includes both of their quarterbacks. The Golden Bears have one of the top prospects in the state in the backfield in D.J. Howard. Howard has game-changing ability on both sides of the football. If Howard stays relatively healthy, and other playmakers emerge, look for the Golden Bears to make it to the playoffs for their third consecutive season.
Munford - The young Munford Lions will have an uphill battle trying to earn one of the top four spots in their tough region. The Lions lost several playmakers from last season to graduation. Being in a tough region will hurt the Lions chances of making the post season.
Childersburg - The Tigers will make a lot of steps in the right direction under new head coach Matt Brooks this season. Offensively with running back Fabian Garrett and Cole Limbaugh leading the way the Tigers will have a solid offense. Defensively I believe the Tigers will have a hard time again this season.
I believe the Tigers offense will be good enough to keep them in the hunt, but they will not make it this season.
Central Coosa - The Cougars going into the 2009 season with their third coach in as many years. Being in one of the toughest regions in 4A makes it nearly impossible for Central to get into the post season.
B.B. Comer – The B.B. Comer Tigers emphasis on finishing it will help them get into the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Tigers will have a solid ground attack that will be difficult to defend.
Fayetteville - The Fayetteville Wolves will have an uphill battle to make the playoffs. The Wolves will have to defeat TC Central, Winterboro, Wadley and Loachapoka to make playoffs. I think they have no chance to make the playoffs.
Ragland - The Purple Devils are in a water weak region again this season, which means they’re going to the post season. The Purple Devils are really young this season and I believe they will finish third in the region behind Appalachian and Victory Christian.
Talladega County Central - First year head coach DeShon Burney inherited a strong senior class that is hungry to make a name for themselves. The Fighting Tigers are loaded with talented skill players and they have basically the same defense from last year. If the Tigers are able to stay healthy they have a chance to make a run in the playoffs.
Winterboro - The Winterboro Bulldogs will be one of those teams that you will have to keep your eye on this season. The Bulldogs return almost all their starters from last season, including Barcardy McClendon. If the key players can make plays the Bulldogs will be a dangerous three seed in their region when the playoffs come around.
Victory Christian – The Lions have all the tools for really making a run for the region championship this season. With third year starter Michael Kirby running the spread look for the Lions to be hard to defend. The Lions will also have a much-improved defense with their new defensive coordinator. I believe Victory will make school history again this season by getting out the first round of the playoffs.
Coosa Valley Academy – With the CVA Rebels it is always hard to know what to expect from them going into the season. The Rebels have transfer Will Bullen who made some big plays for the Childersburg Tigers last season. With Bullen on board it still will be difficult for the Rebels to make the post season.
Welcome to my inaugural prep sports and college sports blog. With this being my first first full season as a sports reporter (started Oct, 1 2008) at The Daily Home, readers will be able see my thoughts on prep sports and Talladega College sports. My goal for this blog is to provide readers with insight that they might not see in The Daily Home. Readers will be able to follow their favorite high school sports teams in East Central Alabama such as Alabama School for the Deaf, B.B.Comer, Central Coosa, Childersburg, Fayetteville, Lincoln, Munford, Pell City, Ragland, Sylacauga, Talladega, Talladega County Central, Victory Christian and Winterboro. I will also try to keep readers updated on local players that are playing on the collegiate and professional level.