FYFFE, Ala.- In order for a team to win a state championship in class 2A, it's almost inevitable they'll have to get through Fyffe first. The Red Devils have become the gold standard. Since 2011, they've win five region titles, advanced to three state championship games and hoisted two blue maps. Head coach Paul Benefield knows continuing that success won't be easy.
"They know everyone is out to get them. We're on everyone's schedule to be the bulls eye," said Benefield.
Senior defensive end Daniel Martin agrees.
"I don't wanna say we got used to it," said Martin. "But we got used to it but we see it and try to ignore it and move on and do the best we can."
Fyffe is a small town with roughly 1,000 people but it's a football factory. There could be something in the water because every year, the Red Devils replace and reload to make another run.
"Families let me coach their kids in a tough way. Tough love as we call it," Benefield joked. "We're not always going to be at the top of the mountain but we can work to be."
This year, the team is a bit younger and less experienced. They lost five starters on the line and the bulldozer behind them in all-state running back Dilan Kilpatrick.
"Everybody just has to step up and play harder," said Benefield. "Our seniors have to be better than they were as juniors, sophomores have to be better than they were last year. You know, we lost good players and we hope some good players step up, some of our young guys. Don't ever know until you get into battle."
THIS YEAR, THE TEAM IS A BIT YOUNGER AND LESS EXPERIENCED. THEY LOST FIVE STARTERS ON THE LINE AND THE BULLDOZER BEHIND THEM--ALL-STATE RUNNINGBACK DILAN KILPATRICK.
PAUL BENEFIELD: "Everybody just has to step up and play harder our seniors have to be better than they were as juniors. sophomores have to be better than they were last year. you know we lost good players we hope some good players step up, some of our young guys. But you don't ever know until you you get into battle."
Battle begins on August 25th against Maplesville. They are facing off in the Champions Challenge at Montgomery's Crampton Bowl. It's a new season but the expectation is the same.
"We wanna win the region, we wanna win a state but you know if we don't, if we play the best we can play, then that's what will happen."