Florala jr. high football team are champions

Published 12:03 am Thursday, October 13, 2011

Florala’s junior high football team beat Red Level 22-18 Tuesday night, ending a season a couple team parents say was a sight to see.

The Wildcats’ junior high team crowned themselves “county champions” with the win over the Tigers because earlier this season, they beat rival Pleasant Home 36-8.

“I have to give a shout out to our junior high bunch,” FHS head football coach Justin Jones said. “Of the small schools in the county, we would consider ourselves the champions.

“It was a good ball game (Thursday night), and at any level, it’s a good ball game to watch,” he said.

In fact, the Wildcats, who finished the season with a 3-3 record, came back from trailing by two touchdowns to get the win, lineman Jaret Oswald’s mother, Deann said.

“They were very ecstatic afterward,” she said about the conclusion of the game. “They came together as a united team and came out victorious.”

Additionally, Deann said her son told her the coaches didn’t let the team know until after the win that they were county champions.

“We have had several years where our students have not had a successful season,” she said. “This was a big deal. I know that all of the other parents feel that way, too.”

None could be more proud of the team than Florala tight end Ellis McDaniel’s father, Mike.

Mike said the team looks as if it is “building for a future.”

“They have a long way to go, but the future of the Florala football program starts with these young guys,” he said. “It’s a lot better than it has been.”

In the last three seasons, the Wildcats’ varsity football team has won only three games.

Mike said he thinks the coaches realize there is a lot of talent coming up through the ranks, starting with the junior high team.

“The future is definitely with these younger guys,” he said. “They’re definitely headed in the right direction.”

Jaret will be a freshman at FHS next year, and Deann said additionally, she has two younger children that will play not only football, but basketball and baseball for the Wildcats’ program.

She said she knows the future is bright.

“Overall, everybody had the same excitement,” she said about the game. “They (the Florala coaching staff) were proud for the boys because they worked hard. I think they have something to build on for next year and the years to come.”