8 pleasant surprises in the 2021 Alabama high school football season
This is a thought provoking article.
As we approach the final three weeks of the high school football regular season, I thought it would be interesting to look at eight teams that have surprised us or at least surprised me in 2021.
As we approach Week 9, well look at one in each of the seven AHSAA classifications, one within the Alabama Independent School Association, and one honorable mention for each classification.
James Clemens, Class 7A, C.C. Clements
The Jets are the most surprising of the remaining unbeaten teams in Class 7A. Thompson, Hoover, and Central-Phenix City are the other traditional powers. James Clemens opened the season with a 32-0 victory over Murphy in Mobile, and hasnt looked back since in Chad McGehees first season. The Jets are 8-0 heading into Fridays Region 4 matchup at Sparkman. In the previous season, they were 8-3, falling in the first round to Hewitt-Trussville.
Honorable mention Baker (5-2)
Helena, class 6A: Helene
The Huskies are also 8-0 following last weeks 31-21 victory over Alabama WR commit Kobe Prentice and Calera. Richie Busbys team will travel to Stanhope Elmore on Friday. Helena has endured several close games to stay unbeaten, including a 37-34 victory over. Pelham and, 41-35 double overtime victory against McAdory. The team was 7-5 a year ago, losing to Spanish Fort (40-7) in the second round of the playoffs.
Honorable mention: Hartselle (8-0)
Alexandria, Alexandria (class 5A)
I guess I should never be surprised when the Valley Cubs are good. They almost always are. However, the success of this years competition has been impressive, particularly considering that Ronnie Royal III, national freshman of the year, left following the 2020 season and moved to Gulf Shores. It doesnt matter, it seems. Todd Ginns team is 7-0 and has outscored the competition 312-77. The Valley Cubs will play at Moody this week, before hosting Leeds (October 22) and traveling to Piedmont (Oct. 29) to close the regular season.
Honorable mention Russellville (6-1) Russelltown (6-1 Russellburg (6-2 Russell) Russell (7-2) Russell (6-4 Russellbourg (6-5 Russell Village (6-11 Russell City (6-12 Russell
Vigor Class 4A: Vigour
In John McKenzies second season, I wasnt sure what to expect from the Wolves. I didnt expect an unbeaten season. Vigor is 7-0 heading into a crucial Region 1 game with rival Williamson on Friday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Anthony Mix Jr. has found a home at quarterback for the Wolves, who are clearly favored in the state title race.
Honorable mention Brooks (7-0)
Montgomery Catholic School Class 3A:
Im not surprised that the Knights are 8-0 heading into Fridays game against Trinity. But I have been surprised at their dominance in those games. Catholic has outscored its opponents 393-13 with six shutouts. The first-team defense hasnt allowed a point in eight games. The Knights lost to Fyffe in the 3A title game a year ago and appear to be in for rematch.
Honorable mention Winfield (8-0)
Ariton, class 2A: Aritoon
The Purple Cats are 8-0 for the first time since 2004. They've outscored the competition 334-88 and held five opponents to six points or less with three shutouts. Steven Kilcrease is now 48-20 in his sixth season as head coach. Ariton will be facing a big challenge at Elba on Friday, 7-1.
Honorable mention Orange Beach (5-2)
Wadley, Class 1A: Waddington, Warrington,
During their 8-0 start to the season, the Bulldogs are averaging 40 points p.m. Its the team s best start since Ken Fordham 2017 team went 12-1 and lost to Sweet Water in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs, led by Shenan Motley, will play at Donoho on Friday.
Honorable mention Sumiton Christian (6-1) Sumitomo Christian (5-1). Sumnite Christian (7-2) Suminto (6-1 Summiton Christ (6-2 Sumilto Christian 6-2).
Sparta Academy: Sparto Academy is a premier academy that teaches at Spartica.
The Warriors are 6-0 this year and 3-0 AISA-A Region 2. In a 78-78 win over Meadowview Christian, they scored 74 points and 57 in securing 58-57 victory over Fort Dale Academy. The Tigers travel to Snook Christian on Friday and then travel home to Jackson Academy and Coosa Valley to close out the regular season.
Honorable mention Jackson Academy (6-1) is a seven-day academy that is located in Jackson, Mississippi.