Week 2 brings tests

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 3, 2002

The first week of high school football has come and gone for the teams in Covington County and throughout the state. The teams got mixed results on Thursday and Friday night of last week.

This week, area teams will face tough tests on the gridiron.

The season began with the Straughn Tigers earning a "W" against the visiting Pleasant Home Eagles. The Tigers looked strong in their season opener against the young Eagles. This week, the Tigers will tangle with another breed of Tigers when the striped cats from T.R. Miller visit Straughn Stadium.

The T.R. Miller Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the Class 3A preseason poll and won their season opener against Escambia County. T.R. Miller is playing in Class 3A this season after making the playoffs in Class 4A last season.

Straughn has made the jump from Class 2A a year ago to Class 3A and now find themselves in one of the most talented regions in the state regardless of classification.

Some football fans might expect T.R. Miler to come to town and declaw the Straughn Tigers. Not me. I expect this game to be close and very competitive. When the final horn sounds the Tigers with the win will be on their way to competing for a state title in 2002.

Pleasant Home is a young team without a lot of depth, but if the coaching staff can get the players to keep their heads up they should compete with Zion Chapel on Friday.

The Andalusia Bulldogs travel to Gulf Shores this Friday for their second game of the season and the first region game. Both the Bulldogs and the Dolphins are coming off season-opening losses.

The teams are similar in that they both have some young players playing key roles this season. The Bulldogs' 20-9 loss to Charles Henderson in week one was closer than the score indicates. If the Bulldogs show the same focus this Friday and overcome the long road trip, it should be a long night for the Dolphins.

The Opp Bobcats enter week two after their first win in a long time. The Bobcats broke their losing streak with a win against Luverne on Friday and should continue their winning ways this week against Daleville. This could be the start of a new kind of streak for the Bobcats. The key will be staying focused on playing football and not celebrating last week's win too much.

Red Level got off to a good start with a win on Friday. The win came against a young and hungry Florala squad. Red Level returns to the gridiron this Friday to take on the New Brockton Gamecocks. This should be an interesting game and one the Tigers need to win. This will be the first region game for both squads giving the winner a head start in the chase for a region championship.

The young Florala Wildcats host the Ariton Purple Cats this Friday night. The Purple Cats lost their season opener 15-8 against Class 2A Wicksburg. This game should be another tough test for the Wildcats as they look to end a long losing streak under the direction of first-year Head Coach Doug Vickery. I expect the Wildcats to compete in this game, but they need something positive to happen early.

All in all, it should be an entertaining and important week for high school football teams.

John Wallace is the sports editor of, and columnist for, The Andalusia Star-News.