Just hours away…
See our 2005 prep football review on the Features link
Local teams kickoff their seasons this weekend
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
Weeks of practice and workouts will finally pay off for local area football teams as they start their seasons this weekend. Falkville and Danville meet for a match-up of county rivals Thursday, while the other teams are all on the road in action Friday night. Hartselle travels to 6A Austin, Brewer takes on Madison County and Priceville opens its season with Hanceville.
Hartselle at Austin
Bob Godsey's young Tigers managed just two offensive series in their jamboree last Thursday after the game was rained out, but one of those series netted a long touchdown. Hartselle will look for similar potency on offense as they travel to Decatur to take on the Black Bears of Austin.
Austin's head coach David Norwood has quite the history with Hartselle, after playing football for the Tigers, including a trip to the state championship in 1981.
"It's always special when you play Hartselle because I still have a lot of fond memories and friends back there," Norwood said. "(Hartselle) is going to be good offensively and defensively up front. Our kids are going to have to be ready to play, because you know that Godsey is going to have (the Tigers) ready to play."
Last season, the Tigers defeated Austin 35-30 in a shootout at J.P. Cain Stadium. This year, Norwood has a chance for revenge at Austin's home field – Ogle Stadium.
Norwood's Black Bears are led on offense by senior quarterback Bailey Hardwick, who served as a backup signal caller last year but has been handed the reins to this year's Austin team.
Falkville at Danville
The Blue Devils are coming off an 0-10 season, while the Danville Hawks were 9-2 in 2004. On paper, this looks like a mismatch, but Danville coach Joey Burch has a lot of respect for the Hawks' county rival.
"The Falkville game has always been tough as long as I've been here," Burch said in an earlier interview. "With a new coach this year you don't really know what to expect."
Danville is led on offense by senior running back Jeremy Orr, who hopes to break the Danville record for rushing yards this season. He has already collected over 3,000 yards for his career.
Falkville coach Neil Estes said the key to this game for the Blue Devils is to keep Orr in check.
"I think they're going to run the football until you can stop it," he said. "Their passing game has improved, but I think will take our chances with that aspect of their offense (if we can stop their run)."
Priceville at Hanceville
Coach Marty Chambers is entering his fourth season at the helm of the Priceville program with high hopes for the team. They open their season on the road against Hanceville Friday night at 7 p.m.
The 3A Hanceville Bulldogs were 5-6 in 2004, and Priceville gave the Bulldogs one of those losses as it won its first-ever home game against Hanceville 33-14.
Brewer at Madison County
The Brewer Patriots enter their second season under head coach Billy Coleman with a newfound enthusiasm after closing the 2004 season with two straight wins. Before those wins, the Patriots had lost an astounding 21 games in a row.
Madison County was 1-9 in 2004, with their only victory coming against the Patriots in a close 21-14 win in Florette. The Patriots look for their revenge against the Tigers in Gurley Friday at 7 p.m.