Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Miss Daisy says, goes!

I got a comment from Ms. Daisy last week that said my blog was too long. What Ms. Daisy says goes! So, I will try to cut down the length! The problem I have is that I have so much to cover and people that know me, a lot to say. Well, to use an old entertainment adage, "always leave’em wanting more"! Besides, Ms. Daisy is a whole lot better cook than I am a writer and I like to eat.

Some regions winners have already been determined with still a week left in region play. Congrats to R.A Hubbard for 1A Region 8, Lexington (had did you lose to LCHS anyway) for 2A Region 8, MA for 3A Region 8, Pisgah for 3A Region 6, Cullman for 5A Region 6, Hartselle for 5A Region 8, and Bob Jones for 6A Region 8. Some of these could lose this week but will not matter due to head to head over the 2nd place teams in the region.

Games to watch this week that will affect who wins their region are; Vinemont at Hamilton for 3A Region 7, North Jackson at Fairview for 4A Region 7, Brooks at Deshler for 4A Region 8, Clay-Chalkville at Gadsden City for 6A Region 7, and Sardis at Pisgah for 3A Region 6. These games will either decide the region winners or help to decide. If Sardis can beat Pisgah, this will force a 3-way tie for the region winner.

I have told you what we know, now to what we don’t know. Who’s going to win this 4A Region 7? Talk about topsey-turvey! I wrote a few weeks back that this region could look different in a few weeks and does it ever. Guntersville woke up after 2 straight loses and is now tied with Fairview for the lead. Meanwhile, North Jackson has lost 3 out the last 4. The problem for Fairview is they host North Jackson this week. NJ could be a very dangerous team that, if they play like their capable, can beat anyone. A lose by Fairview and a probable win by Guntersville over Priceville will result in a 3-way tie for 2nd thru 4th in this region between Plainview, Fairview, and NJ. Out of region play will determine the tie breaker. Fairview may be in good shape here but their season opening win over Vinemont may not be counted because Vinemont is 3A.

Talk about having your post season chances hanging on one week. Both Buckhorn and Lauderdale County went from being in the playoffs this time last week to most likely being left out. Buckhorn would have been in great shape had they not gotten upset by Huntsville last week. Now, Huntsville should get the 4th spot in 6A Region 8 with a win this Friday over Hazel Green. A great turn of the season for the Panthers who have left a few scratching their head this season. The Buckhorn-Austin game should be a good one but will not matter with a Huntsville win since they have head-to-head over both. Lauderdale County is another team that is just too hard to figure out. They were alone in 3rd place a week ago and went to Colbert County last Friday and played poorly in the 2nd half which all but eliminated them from post-season play. It is not hard to understand how you lose to CC at CT Manley, but the earlier loss to Colbert Heights and MA at home have really put a huge dent in LCHS post season plans. Will be interesting to see how they perform this Friday as they host Elkmont, one of the hottest teams in N. Alabama. They have to win and hope Sheffield beats Colbert Heights which is not likely since Sheffield is 0-6 in region play.

Let me mention a top coach in N. Alabama. How can you not be impressed with Coach Jacobs at Elkmont? He graduated a great bunch of seniors last year and really only had a few returning starters from last year’s Region 8 championship season. Yet, his Red Devils are sitting at 6-2 and will earn 2nd in the region and home field advantage. Jacobs has proven over the last 3 years to be one of the most consistent coaches in North Alabama. Remember, at places like Elkmont, you generally don’t have a lot of “move ins” so you basically have to play the hand your dealt each year and grow your talent from within the community. A lot of times, coaches don’t get enough credit for this. Some of the best coaching jobs year in and year out are in rural community schools.

Talking about coaches! Hey Colbert County, still ready to run Coach Gross off over there? If so, I know a bunch of schools that would love to have him. Here is a coach that has brought much needed discipline to one of the most tradition rich programs in the state. Lost some to graduation, ran a few off and his team has taken their lumps this year. But, look out now as they’re 4-2 in the region with a game against MA game this Friday. Don’t know if CC can win and this may be one of those rare opportunities MA would have to get a win at CT Manley, but it looks like they are starting to play a lot better over in Leighton. Baring injuries, CC will be battle tested for the playoffs due to their out of region schedule. No one plays a tougher one.

What about Hoover losing to Vestavia Hills last week? Looks like the Bucs will now finish 2nd in 6A Region 6. For those that count, that is the first region loss for Hoover in over 6 years, not counting forfeits that occurred in Rush’s last year.

Congrats to Hazel Green for snapping the state’s longest losing streak (26 games) by beating Chelsea last week. HG is one of those communities that is hard to figure. As good of athletes that live in north Madison County, and due to their proximity to Huntsville they have “move ins” each year, why can’t they field a decent football team?

Welcome to the party! How about Catholic of Huntsville announcing they will establish a football program at the new High School that is going to be built by Indian Creek. Following the same plan of Decatur Heritage by bringing in the sport to coincide with the building of a new school just adds more excitement to N. Alabama High School Football. With this announcement and Westminster getting serious about football, exciting times ahead for private schools athletics in the Huntsville/Decatur area. Competition of those athletes wanting to attend private schools may heat up.

Key Games to watch this week: Clay-Chalkville at Gadsden City, Athens at Russellville, Etowah at Boaz, Mountain Brook at Cullman, Brooks at Deshler, North Jackson at Fairview, Vinemont at Hamiliton, Sardis at Pisgah, and Lamar County at Winston County.

Upset alert games: Hartselle at Muscle Shoals and Madison Academy at Colbert County. MS has the best linebackers in 5A Region 8 and a good defense can keep you in games. MA has to play at CT Manley and have never won there.

A little hardwood news. As official practices begins for the upcoming season, word out of Bob Jones is they have lost one of their returning starters from last year’s state runner up team, for the upcoming season or at least until post season with a torn ACL. Expect BJ to potentially struggle early with this key loss and due to some players still participating in football by the time basketball tips off.

Food: I had a sweet young lady tell me I left off a good pizza joint in my “bully’s best of” last week. I agree that Sam and Greg’s, downtown on north side of the courthouse does have a good pie and I will put them in with a tie with Big Eds as number 3 on my bully best pizza around list. By the way, looking for a good sandwich for lunch, go to Redstone Arsenal Golf Course grill and get the prime rib sandwich. It is the special for the month of October so hurry and get one before the month is over. It’s a good’un!

Get out and catch some football Friday night. Weather should clear by kick off time. Best value for your dollar is High School athletics. Just Saying…..!!!

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