Hartselle-Decatur, rivalry and respect
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
Because only 15 miles separate the rivals, the loser will hear about the loss for some time to come.
But unlike some rivalries, the coaches have ample respect for each other.
"Coach Godsey and I have lots of respect for one another," Decatur head coach Jere Adcock said. "I know he's a great coach who will make the Hartselle program better each year."
"I know those guys (the Decatur coaching staff) well," Godsey said. "They are like brothers to me."
Adcock and Godsey were members of the Decatur coaching staff from 1990 to 1997. Adcock coached the offensive and defensive lines from 1990-95, while Godsey coached quarterbacks, running backs and defensive backs.
They both worked under Steve Rivers at the time. Then in 1996, Rivers left to take a job in North Carolina and Adcock was named Decatur head coach. Godsey then began serving as the Red Raider offensive coordinator
He would move to Brooks High School beginning with the 1998 season as head coach, before taking over the Hartselle program in May of 2003.
The time spent together just makes the rivalry all the bigger.
"I don't know if the Hartselle-Decatur rivalry needed any more fire, but having worked there just makes it bigger," Godsey said.
"I know I want to beat my brothers. It's like when you played against your brothers in the back yard. You still wanted to win."
"I know I want to beat my friends," Adcock said. "You always want to win those games. If you don't you have to hear about who won last time."
Both coaches agree the game will rest on battle between the Decatur defense and the Hartselle offense.
"Their defense will be the best we've played against this year," Godsey said. "They've only given up eight points in three games. We've got our work cut out for us.
"They're solid all the way through. They have a great secondary and an active front seven that's very aggressive.
"That defense whipped us good last year (A Decatur 23-0 victory)."
"Our defense needs to play well," Adcock said. "Hartselle has been making big plays this year. Their quarterback (Seth Watson) doesn't make mistakes.
"(Chris) Wiley is a big play guy at receiver and the running back (Justin Youngblood) is a special player. The last time I saw a runner that good was Kenneth Darby, and he's playing for Alabama now.
"Those three guys jump out at you. They have made all the key plays in every game.
"Our defense will be tested this week. This is the best offense by far, that we've faced this year."
The Red Raider offense features several key performers, which will test the Tiger defense according to Godsey.
"Everyone knows how good (Steve) Shackelford is," Godsey said. "But (Brandon) French is the best fullback we've seen.
"Their offensive line is a dominating unit. This will be the best team we've played. I think they're right on Russellville's level, but maybe a little better."
Adcock feels the Hartselle defense is one of the better stop units his team will see this year.
"Hartselle's defense is very aggressive," Adcock said. "They put pressure on you. I think they have more speed than any defense we've seen so far this season."
Despite the fact the game does not bear on the region standings for either Class 6A Decatur or Class 5A Hartselle, or have playoff implications, it's still a giant matchup for both schools.
"This is a pretty big game," Adcock said. "When Hartselle and Decatur get together, it is always huge."
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Ogle Stadium in Decatur.