An ‘expected’ 2011

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Andalusia’s Zach Ward (14) celebrates after the Bulldogs beat rival Opp last week, and finished the regular season 10-0. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia has come away with another win.

The Bulldogs have their team meeting with head coach Brian Seymore, break it down and line up to sing the AHS alma mater toward to the hometown crowd.

The marching band begins the recognizable tune and players, cheerleaders and fans young and old sing together in unison.

This has been the routine every week for the sixth-ranked Bulldogs, who finished the regular season last week with a spotless 10-0 record going into the Class 4A state playoffs this week.

For AHS Booster Club president Donna Raines, the team’s accomplishments this season were expected some time ago.

“We’ve always known that these boys had the ability to do what they’ve done to have a 10-0 season,” Raines said. “We’ve known that since they were young. We’ve all prepared ourselves for these four years, which was with equipment, with money, with food and whatever they needed.”

The AHS Booster Club covers every sport at the high school, not just football.

The football team has a quarterback club, which is made up of parents who see to the needs of the head coach and his support staff.

Every game, the booster club provides food for the players, which costs around $300 per game, Raines said.

“If we go to out-of-town games, we have to charter buses,” she said. “That’s an extra $2,500 per game.”

Finding the money to provide for the football team is a “labor of love,” Raines said.

“We prepare for that,” she said about the possibility of having playoff games. “We try and prepare at the first of the year for playoff games and make sure we’ve got enough money to handle what we need.

“We spend the rest of the year (off season) restoring our pot — so to speak — to make sure we have enough to handle the next season,” she said.

Other than what the school provided, the AHS quarterback club furnished about $50,000 to the school for new equipment, and meals and everything that was needed, Raines said.

AHS quarterback club vice president and secretary Jeff Hopkins said the group, which is basically comprised of a bunch of football parents, have raised more than $80-$85,000 in the past three years.

Most of the money raised goes to new equipment, post-game meals for away games and several lunches for the team, he said.

Every year, the quarterback club raises money to allow the seniors to take home their home jerseys from the season.

“After the Hillcrest(-Evergreen) game, the boys ate fried chicken, and they realized the more we win, the better we eat,” Hopkins quipped. “We (the quarterback club) meet every Tuesday night and go over (AHS head football coach) Brian’s (Seymore) needs.”

Hopkins equated the QB club as being the “right arm” for the coaching staff, also helping with assistant coaches at the school.

“It’s fun,” he said.

As to the undefeated season and earning a playoffs berth, Hopkins said the club “expected” it just as the booster club did.

“We expected it, and Brian expected it,” he said. “We want Coach Seymore and his staff to expect that each year.”