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Hartselle Enquirer
The River City Python’s quarterback works through drills while the Python’s coach looks on during a practice last week at Austin High School. | Caleb Suggs

River City Pythons making a huge splash

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

If you’re unfamiliar with the River City Pythons, you wouldn’t be the only one in this area. The Pythons are very new to this area, but that hasn’t stopped them from making a splash. The Pythons are a semi-pro developmental football team based out of Decatur that is currently in it’s second year. The team was started by Derrick Baker, who also serves as the team’s head coach. “I started the team because It was just something I wanted to do,” Baker said. “I played for the Rocket City Titans so I knew the league.” Baker played football at Decatur’s Austin High School.

The Pythons play in the Gridiron Football league, which consists of 32 teams from Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma among other places. The Python’s division consists of four teams and their team consists of 35 players mostly from the surrounding areas of Decatur. “The players can come from anywhere,” Baker said. “But most are close by.” Some of the players include Desmond Lavelle, Jaylin Strong, Tariq Baugh and Jay Zdonek. The team held tryouts to decide the new team.

The first season was rough for the Pythons as it had to end after four games because some of the teams on the schedule fell apart. However, the second season has been going very well as they are currently 3-1. The team pays for their expenses by fundraising. Their next fundraiser is scheduled for July 7 at Wilson Morgan Park and it is a meet and greet with the players. People who attend can buy raffle tickets for $1 a piece and have a chance to win a prize out of 144 prizes. The Pythons next home game is July 8 against East Alabama Predators at 7 p.m. They play their games at West Morgan High School.

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