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Florala coach Gooden hoping to see ‘improvement’

The Florala Wildcats are eager to use their youthful experience this season to try and come out with a successful year.

Second-year head coach Stan Gooden said the team has the experience, but still are very young in spots.

“Our thing is going to be youthful experience,” Gooden said. “We had so many young kids that played last year. We’ve got the experience but we’re just still real young in a lot of areas.”

The Wildcats will face McKenzie, Brantley, Kinston, Providence Christian, Geneva County, Ariton and Pleasant Home in Class 1A, Region 2 play this year.

Gooden said another aspect of the team that will be different this season compared to 2008, will be the amount of “competitiveness” on the team.

“I think we’re going to be better in a lot of areas and are going to improve,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s going to improve more wins than losses, but I think we’re going to be more competitive throughout the course of the season.”

With small school football, teams will consist of players filling many different positions.

“We’ll have lot of kids that will go both ways on both sides of the ball,” Gooden said. “On the special teams there will probably be some that won’t leave the field. With our numbers, we’re looking at between 25-30 kids on the roster and that’s ninth through 12th grade.”

Gooden said he has especially seen drastic improvement on the team’s defense.

“I think the areas overall we need to improve on are in defense,” he said. “We’ve made some big strides in that. I see a lot of positive things, but I think we’re still a year away to compete for a big playoff spot, but if things go our way without any injuries we may have that chance this year.”

Gooden said making the playoffs is a team goal this year. He also said getting two wins would be a big improvement as well — Florala was 1-8 in the 2008 season.

As far as season expectations, Gooden said he just wants to “see improvement.”

“I’d like us to be better than last year and just make improvements week to week,” he said.