As we gear up for the high school football season, News 19 will be previewing more than 40 of our Tennessee Valley programs in On the Road with Olivia and Claudia.
Episode eight features the Guntersville Wildcats and Albertville Aggies.
The Wildcats are coming off back-to-back Region championships and a 9-1 regular season with their second loss of the year coming in round one of the playoffs.
The Wildcats will look pretty different this season since they lost seven starters on both sides of the ball, but head coach Lance Reese says you have to be able to adapt to the new year and new team that’s in front of you.
“It’s our jobs as coaches to take the guys we do have back and kind of tweak the offense and defense to what bests meets their talents, so you might see some different stuff we haven’t seen at Guntersville in the past but it’s because we know that there’s more than one way to win football games and we’re gonna try to do what these guys do best,” Reese said.
Even though the starting lineups might look a little different, Guntersville still has plenty of guys who have taken the field under the Friday night lights.
“The young guys coming up have been able to see what it takes to win and what the level of expectation is at Guntersville, so the guys that we’ve got in there some of them are seniors that are first-year starters but they all know the expectation.”
The second team in the state’s oldest rivalry, the Albertville Aggies, is coming off a 1-9 record in their first season in Class 7A Region 4.
Head coach Chip English is gearing up for year two out in Albertville; with one year in the books, how much has English seen the program grow since he arrived in Marshall County?
“They’ve come a long way we’re definitely on track. Year two is gonna be better than year one,” English said. “I tell my team this all the time each team has a recipe for success, it’s a different recipe and ours is going to look different than everybody else’s but it’s ours and we’re gonna take ownership of that. Our progression is there. We’re not all of a sudden going to be an excellent football team. It doesn’t mean we can’t get there but we have to take the next step.”
As they get set for year two in a tough region in the state’s highest classification, what’s the biggest progression English hopes to see from his team?
“How do we compete in the second half? We’ve found out how to compete, but how we can compete in the second half? We wanna grow our depth and grow our knowledge,” English said.
The Wildcats open the season on the road at Southside Gadsden, while the Aggies will get things stated under the Thursday night lights against Arab on August 18.