Coaches: It is what it is

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Andalusia-Straughn rivalry began in 1994. AHS holds a 7-3 record advantage over SHS. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

“It is what it is.”

That’s what Andalusia head coach Brian Seymore and Straughn head coach Trent Taylor said about their teams’ rivalry game this Friday night as they meet for the 11th time on the gridiron at SHS to battle for bragging rights for the next 364 days and a winning start to the 2012 season.

AHS will bring with it a strong defense, while SHS will bring a more experienced bunch on the offensive line.

Currently, the Bulldogs hold a 7-3 advantage over the Tigers from 1994, according to the Alabama High School Football Historical Society.

Even though AHS may have a four-game win advantage in the rivalry, both teams are starting the season 0-0.

However, Taylor was quick to point out that both teams are 0-0, undefeated.

“I don’t think you’ll see Alabama and Auburn play week one,” Taylor quipped. “I think certainly, it adds a little zest to (the rivalry).

“Even if we’re bad or they’re bad, nobody knows it yet,” he said. “I think the biggest thing we told our kids on Sunday afternoon is the only thing you have to be careful of about in playing a rival game is that you don’t allow the game to define you.”

Seymore said the atmosphere Friday night will be contagious.

“I believe the atmosphere will be like it was the last time we were there,” Seymore said. “Come 7 o’clock, it will be two teams who had the whole summer to prepare and teams looking to execute and whoever makes the least mistakes will win the football game. I think our coaches and players have a lot of respect for Staughn. It’s going to be a four-quarter battle. You hope you can make a few more plays than your opponent. That’s what it’s all about. It is what it is.”

The last time AHS and SHS met at Tigers Stadium was during the 2010 season. Andalusia defeated Straughn and went on to claim the region championship after a victory over Ashford the next week. SHS went on to beat Headland the next week and finished in the second round of the playoffs.

Seymore said it’s important to get the game in on Friday because of the quick turn around to week two if the game is either played on Saturday or Monday.

“Hopefully by Friday it’ll move through because we’ve got to play,” he said. “We don’t want to postpone the game.

“We’re both moving into area play, and that’s a big deal,” he said. “You don’t want to be stacking up two games in one week. As big as the game is for both communities, it’s not near as big as the game is next week, as far as making the playoffs is concerned.”

With the Andalusia-Straughn rivalry going at full speed on Friday night, a “W” in the win column is a goal for both teams.

“Of course, everybody wants to start with a win, and everybody wants to have those bragging rights,” Seymore said. “In the grand scheme of things, is it going to make or break one of our seasons? Probably not.

“It’s going to be some big time football Friday night,” he said. “It’s going to be a packed house on both sides and I think it’s definitely worth the $6 to get in.”

Kick off is at 7 p.m. Friday.