AMS Bulldogs prep for 2002 season
Practice has been fun and educational for the 2002 edition of the Andalusia Middle School football team.
The players have been working hard for their season-opener against Opp on Sept. 5 when they host the Bobcats with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m.
AMS Head Coach Tommy Wright said the first practice was spent going over the basics due to the lack of experience on this season's unit.
"Football practice has been hot," Wright said. "The kids have worked hard. We have about 40 out for football and only four played middle school football last year.
"Matt Mellown is the only returning starter," he added. "We spent the first practice learning how to put the shoulder pads on."
Wright said the players have showed enthusiasm.
"We have a long way to go, but we are headed in the right direction," Wright said.
One reason for the progress the program is making can be attributed to the support Wright and the team have received from Superintendent Pete Kelley, Principal Neal Dansby, Assistant Principal Cindy Alverson and Andalusia High School Head Coach Paul Woolley.
Wright said these individuals have "poured in time and effort to make the program go."
Mellown is the only returning starter and has impressed Wright with his character.
"Matt Mellown is playing quarterback and he has played a strong leadership role," Wright said. "He has a positive attitude. I've really been impressed with his leadership on the field."
Wright said the running back position is one of the strengths of this year's team and the offensive line is big, especially for middle school football.
"Our offensive line averages 230 pounds and that is pretty good for middle school football," Wright said.
The receivers and tight ends have also been impressive at times, especially with their ability to block down field, Wright said.
On defense, Wright said the Bulldogs have a strong secondary and a crop of talent at linebacker.
The defensive linemen are "eager to learn" and Wright said he hopes to have some speed on the defensive front.
The goal for the Bulldogs is to learn, have fun and participate in 2002.
"If a child practices he will play," Wright said. "Our goal is for every child who practices to get on the field and play in every game."
The members of the 2002 Andalusia Middle School Bulldogs are lineman Ronnie Anderson, receiver Sam Bass, lineman Lederryus Benson, running back Michael Berry, receiver Wes Boatwright, fullback Tyler Bolling, tight end Jay Brabner, fullback Brannon Bryan, running back Oddesius Bryant, receiver Marquis Byrd, lineman Taylor Culbreth, running back Terrell Curry, lineman Justin Dewrell, lineman Corey Dukes, tight end Wesley Glisson, running back Mathew Jernigan, running back Ibrahim Johns, quarterback Bilyon Jones, tight end Zack Jones, quarterback Dustin Kindred, lineman Trae Lawson, lineman Michael Lockhart, lineman Al-Wan Lyons, running back Ladarrius McNeil, quarterback Matt Mellown, lineman Billy Bob Moody, receiver Nicholas Obenhofer, lineman Donnie Odom, lineman Bryan Peoples, lineman Clayton Posey, lineman Mitch Pugh, receiver Blake Ramirez, receiver Brian Ricks, lineman Josh Smithart, lineman Dewarren Stallworth, receiver James Tillman, lineman Ryan Worley, tight end Tom Wright and running back De'Andra Wright.