NORTHWEST ALABAMA – Episode four of Road Trippin’ With Rocco & Olivia featured four teams from Northwest Alabama.
In this edition, we preview the Phil Campbell Bobcats, Russellville Golden Tigers, Muscle Shoals Trojans, and Deshler Tigers.
Phil Campbell Bobcats
2020 record: 6-5
Head Coach: Kevin Barnwell
In 2020, head coach Kevin Barnwell led Phil Campbell to its first playoff appearance since 2015, so you can imagine that the spirits in Bobcat country are high. Heading into 2021, this Phil Campbell team will look to build off of that, and the mentality is to “win the day.”
“That means every day you got to do the little things,” said senior tight end John Herring. “Work hard every rep, every practice, whatever you’re doing and win that thing little by little and slowly win the day to win a game.”
“You know in the weight room on the field you got to win every rep and you can’t let things overwhelm you or bother you,” added senior linebacker Boone Swinney.
We’re gonna take it day by day, we’re gonna continue to work hard and let the cards fall where they may,” said head coach Kevin Barnwell. “We’re just gonna try to do our best every single day.”
The Bobcats open the 2021 season on August 20th against Phillips.
Russellville Golden Tigers
2020 record: 10-3
Head Coach: John Ritter
In three years under head coach John Ritter, the Russellville Football team has seen a ton of success. Last year the team went 10-3 en route to its first region title in five years. Head coach John Ritter hopes that his team goes out on the field every Friday night while embracing the motto, “Leave no meat on the bone.”
“When you’ve been somewhere for four years these seniors have been ours since day one,” said Ritter. “The way we practice is all they know, the way we work is all they know, so you know the expectations at Russellville are the same. That’s to be the best that we can be and compete for championships whether that be region whether that be state it doesn’t matter it’s go out and play at a real high level.”
Russellville opens the 2021 season on August 19th against Decatur.
Muscle Shoals Trojans
2020 record: 6-5
Head Coach: Scott Basden
In 2020, Muscle Shoals extended its playoff appearance streak to 12 straight but lost in the first round to Mountain Brook. Head coach Scott Basden and his team love getting to the postseason, but for them, getting there isn’t good enough. In 2021 the Trojans will look to embrace to “play like champions” mentality.
“You know getting beat in the first round is not acceptable,” said Basden. “We played a lot of tenth graders last year and got some valuable experience coming back with young guys, so we’re looking forward to this season and going further obviously than we did last year.”
Muscle Shoals opens the 2021 season on August 19th against Deshler.
2020 record: 6-5
Head Coach: Randall Martin
In 2019, Randall Martin’s first year as Deshler head coach, the Tigers won the region crown. In 2020, the team saw its fourth consecutive playoff appearance. In 2021, the group made up of experienced and inexperienced hopes to come together and compete for a region title once again.
“We’ve had a good offseason, a good first week of practice but we just got to keep progressing and work on being consistent each and every day,” said Martin. “I think we work really hard some days and then we come in the next day and maybe not start out as well as we should and that’s something we got to learn how to do we got to bring it every day.”
Deshler opens the 2021 season on August 19th against Muscle Shoals.