Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bully's mid terms!!

Now that the season is half over, it is time to pass out some Bully midterm grades based on what I have seen, read or heard now that we have completed the half-way point of the season. I expect some of these teams may move on the bully scale by end of the year but the below listed grades are based on performance to date.

Excellent - A's

Bob Jones - Is there any doubt that BJ would be in this category. People have always wondered why a school this large would not put a winning product on the field year after year. They may now have the right coaches/system in place for that to happen. Marque wins over a tough Decatur team and on the road at Florence have been impressive to date.

Madison Academy - Everyone knew they had talent at skill position going in but there were some unknowns especially at the QB position. Impressive wins over Elkmont and Lauderdale County have propelled this team to a 5-0 record. Tough 2nd half of the season coming up with some physical football teams, including this week’s game against Colbert Heights, but impressive so far.

Hartselle - Was supposed to be a rebuilding year but apparently not so. Tough game this week with Athens but they have already slayed one dragon in Russellville. I should get my first look at Hartselle this week and if they can weather this areal storm from Rivers, watch out!

Cullman - Currently ranked number 1 in 5a Region 6. Huge game this week against Erwin in the region will decide how legit they really are. This is a revenge game from one of 2 regular season loses from last year. Coach Britton has this team playing extremely well over the last several years. This year could be the year. This region is competitive so if you go unbeaten thru week 5, your good!

Good - B's

Arab - After years of 2 to 4 win seasons, this Arab team maybe ready to start a new tradition. Currently sitting at 3-2 with 2 close loses to Oneonta and Fort Payne. Tough upcoming region game with Boaz will go a long way in determine how successful this year will be.

Guntersville - Was on my "must see" list until last week's loss to Arab. That was out of region and I still think this team will be a factor in winning their region. My bucket list has a visit to Guntersville to see a game so hopefully before the year is over, I can see first hand.

Boaz - Probably should be on the A list but with a season opening loss to Guntersville, I'll keep them here. Coach Noles has this program getting better in the last few years and this year's team, may be special. Fort Payne this week and Arab in a few weeks will determine how special.

Athens - 2007-08 were tough years for a town that loves its High School football. With the addition of Rivers at QB, this team has that one player that can change a game. Can't figure out what happened for the season opener against Clay Chalkville but the rumor is that a change in who is calling the plays has occurred after that loss. Whatever it is, it is working! Tough game this week against Hartselle and later on at Russellville.

Colbert Heights - Big physical football team. Seem to always struggle with team that have speed. This year's team is playing well except for the loss to Colbert County. A win this week and help from someone like MA to beat Colbert County will get them the region.

Decatur - Coach Adcock always has a tough team and they play hard. Last week's loss to BJ was tough but Decatur had their chances to win. Even though they may not have a lot of play makers on offense, they do have a good defense and a tough little QB. Still have to go to Florence and end the year out of the region against Hartselle but with their defense, will be in any game.

Lexington - Would be an "A" listed team if not for last week's hard to imagine loss to Lauderdale County. Not downing LCHS but how do you beat Tanner then lose to a team that might not make the playoffs. Schedule is favorable the rest of the way and will not be surprised to see them end the year at 9-1.

West Limestone - No coach in our area has a better coaching pedigree than WL's Coach Arnsparger. After a couple of tough years, this may be the year that folks are smiling again in Salem. No surprise that they loss to Tanner and Elkmont (well maybe surprised at how bad Elkmont beat them) but the early season win over Colbert County is a "hat hanger".

Tanner – A “B” list candidate by virtue of their loss at Lexington. That being the case, this is probably the most over looked program in North Alabama. Tanner has not had but 1 season with less than double digit wins since 2004. Now at 4-1, I expect they will finish the regular season at 9-1.

Average - C's

Elkmont - Probably could be listed in the "B" category sitting 3-2 after all the players they graduated from last years team. Loss last Friday to Clements keeps them on the "C" list. Tough 2nd half of the schedule still to play but Don Jacobs has brought new life to the little community in Northeast Limestone County.

Colbert County - No one plays a tougher out of region schedule than CC. So, no one is shocked with the 2 losses to Muscle Shoals and Deshler. The loss to West Limestone, however, is what makes this team "C" worthy. Rumor has it they have gone back to what they know on offense so the 2nd half of the season may be a different CC team. Will not be surprised if they win the next 4 and win the region. Game 10 is with Russellville though!

Grissom - This school hasn't had a winning season since 2002. I don't expect them to have one this year but 5-5 is realistic. I give Grissom a "C" based on the victory over Huntsville. They should win this week over Hazel Green to even their record to 3-3.

Buckhorn - Sitting at 3-2 give this team a "C". But, the hardest part of their schedule is still ahead. Wouldn't surprise me, based on the way they have played for Buckhorn not to win another game this year. Things haven't been the same in New Market since that magical season back in 2005.

East Limestone – Coming off a disappointing 2008 season of 4 wins, the Indians may be headed back in the right direction. With two losses that were not unexpected, this team could finish 6-4.

Westminister – A young football program that is a diamond in the rough when you look at their new facilities and their potential. Now at 2-3 with a brutal last 5 ball games may not yield another win this year. But, they have all the pieces in place to build a great program including their Head Coach.

DAR – Just like Westminister above, this is a young football program sitting at 2-3 for the year. DAR has come a long way in 4a since their first season in 2006. In fact, they had a winning season last year. Don’t think they will get above .500 for the year but you have to respect what they have done in a short amount of time. If they ever get this football thing figured out consistently on the mountain, watch out. Those Grant folks love their Patriots!

Below average (D's and F's)

Lauderdale County - Showed signs of live but is giving up way too many points. Sitting 2-3 with some tough teams left, leads me to believe that this team may win 1 or 2 more at the most.

Russellville - Each year this team just re-loads. But, losing 2 straight ain't sitting well for the golden tiger fans. They should win at least 4 of the last 5 with Athens being the only toss up right now. This team went to the finals last year but if they don't figure out why they're not scoring the last few weeks, may not go to deep this year.

Huntsville - Coming off 9 and 10 win seasons the last few years has folks scratching their heads on this year’s team. After winning the first week, they have lost the last 4. Too good an offensive line and defense makes you wonder what has happened. Based on performance to date, may only win 2 more games.

Sparkman – Coming off of back-to-back 3 win seasons and now sitting half way with only 1 win makes you wonder how a school this large, can’t find football players. Looking down the road, they may only get 1 more win for the year.

Ardmore – Sitting 0-5 under first year coach Shannon Brown. 2005 was the last winning season so it’s not like they have a recent winning tradition. That being the case, you figure that they could find a way to win at least a few games. Sparkman and Ardmore, could be the curse of Hwy 53.

Madison County – Following 10 and 11 win seasons the last few years, the Tigers have returned to earth. Sitting at 2-3, this team is not the same MC team of the last few year. New Coach so things could change but you got to figure folks in eastern Madison County are missing Coach Poole.

New Hope – 2006 was the last year for a winning season. This year doesn’t look good. Thru mid season, they only have 1 win and that was over Brindley Mountain. Possibly 2 more wins in the last 5 will probably be as good as it gets down on the Paint Rock.

Headed to Athens/Hartselle game this week, should be a good'un! The day I truly understand any of this stuff, I will be an expert! Bully out!!

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