LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — Some small town schools were forced to merge — when a school in Lawrence County closed down. Students at R.A. Hubbard High School had the option to transfer to two high schools in the district.
News 19 swung by practice today at Hatton High School where the students are working together as one football team.
“So you sit here and you see all these people that want this to fail, they wanted it to fail all the people that said it wasn’t going to work,” said Hatton Head Coach Denton Bowling. “Granted there’s been a challenge since day one.”
When R.A. Hubbard High School closed, several student-athletes found their spot on the team of a neighboring school.
“And you know, a lot of people look at it like it’s a black-white issue because this has traditionally been the white school,” Bowling explained. “As far as coaching it is still football. I hear a saying long ago, we all bleed red.”
Bowling says the kids are adapting to having new teammates just fine.
“But you know, from the beginning, I said all along, the kids are going to be fine because kids are kids,” he stated. “Kids are only products when adults put into their minds.”
Kaden Porter, a junior, says changing positions was a learning curve.
“Last year at Hubbard I played middle linebacker,” Porter said. “This is my first year to play d end.”
But other teammates are making the new guys feel welcome.
“They are younger and just moving in and not used to what we are doing and I’ve been doing it for four years now so just teaching them to push through the pain,” said Briley Kerby, a senior quarterback.
Bowling says the team’s theme this year is brotherhood.
“A lot of people are going to watch this newscast, tonight and still can’t fathom how special it is to come out here and take a group of kids to mind one concept, and then ultimately try to achieve one goal,” Bowling said.
The goal is to create a brotherhood — and win. Hatton’s football team is on a by-week, but the players and coaches are preparing to play Tharptown next Friday.