(WHNT) – We take a trip to Morgan County for Episode 16 of On the Road with Olivia and Claudia, checking in with the Priceville Bulldogs and Falkville Blue Devils.
The Bulldogs are coming off their best season in program history, their first undefeated regular season, going 11-1 overall, and winning the program’s second-ever region title.
Priceville lost some key pieces, especially on the offensive side of the ball which set scoring records but head coach Chris Foster feels that there are a lot of things that this year’s team can take from that group.
“For us, it starts with the physicality up front, we want to make sure we’re playing the game with a certain attitude. And then one of the things that we’ve been preaching, that we thought the group last year did a great job of – was just being consistent. Coming in day in and day out, working hard and wanting to improve on the small things and techniques, body position, things like that and I felt like our guys have done a great job of working on that this summer,” Foster said.
Although there will be some new faces starting in the black and gold, Foster has been working with these younger guys for a while and he’s excited to see them get their chance to step up.
“This group is probably the group of unknowns for me, but it’s exciting for us because it’s a group that I’ve seen since they were in junior high, there’s a lot of guys that have been with the program for a long time that’s put in the work – and hopefully we’ll get to see how productive that work has been. Some of them might not have a ton of starting experience, but they have a lot of game experience that they were able to filter in throughout the year. It’s a lot of guys that have been fortunate to be under good leadership in the past, so they’re great guys as far as working out and leading by example, and then we’ve had to push them to be more vocal leaders but they’ve done a good job answering the challenge of that,” Foster added.
The Falkville Blue Devils had a pretty successful season in year two under Seth Ward: a 7-5 overall record where they advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Now Ward says the bar has been raised for the program.
“That type of season is the expectation. Your standard is to compete in your region and host a playoff game and that’s what you want to do every year, and that was awesome getting to do that. Getting to have our community experience that together, the first round was a really good experience for us and then get to go to the second round game and compete in that game and we felt like we had chances to win. So that’s our expectation now, is to compete in our region at a level where we have a chance to host and make a run,” Ward said.
Ward says he feels good about his senior class because they’re a fun group that also has the leadership experience, saying they really stepped up last season and now he’s ready for them to do it again so they have similar success.
“We gave them the opportunity last year to lead as juniors, to lead some cleaning and some of those kinds of things, and they enjoyed it, and they asked for it. They take responsibility themselves without asking, do things that you don’t have to ask, it’s nice as a coach that those things are going to get taken care of. You give them opportunities to lead, you can’t expect it to happen on accident. This senior class is a pretty tight group. They like working and they like having fun so they’re my type of people,” Ward added.
Falkville will open the 2023 season hosting Vinemont, while Priceville will kick off at Plainview.