MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — 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 six features the James Clemens Jets and Bob Jones Patriots.
The Jets are looking to soar into 2022 and head coach Chad McGehee says this year’s group is locked in.
“They love being here, they love being at football, they’re here on time which around here means being early,” McGehee said. “The comradery and just being relentless teammates spending time with each other and just the leadership aspect of accountability and holding each other accountable has been very impressive to me.”
Last year, the Jets rolled through Class 7A Region 4 finishing the regular season with an undefeated record for the first time in program history; however the postseason was a different story where James Clemens fell in the first round.
“We know what’s ahead of us. Every year we know what region you’re going to play and we’ve got to take the next step,” McGehee said. “That’s been a big focus for us this offseason is how do we prepare to line up against Birmingham in the playoffs in the first round because that’s ultimately what you’ve got to go through but I like where we’re at.”
Onto the second half of the Madison Bowl: the Bob Jones Patriots.
Bob Jones went 5-5 in the regular season and fell in the first week of the playoffs in 2021; since that loss, head coach Kelvis White says his guys have just continued to get better all throughout their offseason.
The majority of the Patriots’ offense is returning so how confident is Coach White now that he has a veteran group on that side of the ball?
“It’s important you know nothing makes up for experience for playing, so those guys have played a lot of snaps,” White said. “Even defensively we have some guys back not as many as offensively but we have high expectations for both groups.”
Using 2021 to pull some takeaways for areas of improvement, a main focus for Bob Jones heading into the 2022 season is consistency as well as the ability to finish those close ballgames.
“We won some close ones and we lost some close ones, so we’ve just got to find a way to finish,” White said. “Sometimes we did but towards the end of the season we didn’t so that’s been one of the things we’ve concentrated on is just finishing strong, finishing the game strong and finishing the season strong.”
The Patriots host Muscle Shoals on Thursday, August 18 and the Jets will be at Madison City Stadium the next night welcoming Gardendale to town.