Showdown in Tiger territory

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 31, 2012

SHS players ‘excited’ to play AHS tonight

Hanging just past the door in Straughn’s field house is a countdown clock, ticking away the seconds, minutes and hours to the start of the Tigers’ football season.

Tonight at 7, the clock will strike zero and junior fullback and linebacker Johnny Owens, senior wide receiver Cody Crowell and junior offensive linemen Dalton Watson and Conner Livings will be in their element as the Tigers take on rival Andalusia for bragging rights.

“I don’t mind the (countdown) clock,” Owens said. “It means the game will get here quicker.”

The juniors said they are “excited” about tonight’s game.

“We’re excited,” Watson said. “We’re preparing for it just like any other game on the schedule.”

Andalusia holds a 7-3 winning record over SHS and playing the game itself has been on the minds of Owens and Crowell, along with the rest of the team. The Tigers fell to AHS 37-3 last year.

“We’ve been thinking about it for a while,” Owens said. “We want to get revenge from last year.”

Leading up to the game, Watson said the school has done a good job of getting everybody ready for the game.

“You can tell the whole school is excited,” he said. “Everybody’s trying to pump you up.”

Cody Crowell (left) and Johnny Owens. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

For Crowell, the game will be extra special this year because it’s his last year. He said he believes the Tigers will win.

“I hope we will,” he said.

Owens said the team will be “ready.”

“We’ve just got to stay focused on the game,” he said.

And focus has been the No. 1 thing stressed by SHS coaches this week, both said.

“I just hope we pull it out and come out on top,” Crowell said.

Livings said this year’s team is special and that it has a lot of “potential.”

“We see where we are and we see that we have potential,” Livings said. “We see where we try to be leaders and go in that direction.”

Crowell is the son of Phillip and Angie Crowell, Owens is the son of Manuel and Sherri Owens; Livings is the son of Tricia and Scott Livings; and Watson is the son of Kelly and Penney Watson.


Bulldogs ready for rival

Andalusia senior defensive end Sam Byrd can’t believe that the start of the 2012 high school football season is here.

In fact, he said “it’s crazy.”

The Bulldogs will begin their season on the road at rival Straughn tonight and both Byrd and senior wide receiver/tight end Will Parker said they love a good rivalry game.

“I like the rivalry,” Parker said. “Everybody always gets up for the Andalusia-Straughn game.”

Byrd said practice leading up to tonight’s game has been good.

“It was intense,” he said, adding that “we can’t lose to Straughn.”

Will Parker practices Thursday afternoon. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Though it may be the first game of their last season, it still is an important one, both said.

“It’s probably one of the biggest games of the year,” Parker said.

Byrd said he likes the game being held at the beginning of the year, the way it used to be.

“It’s something new,” he said.

This will be Byrd’s third game as a varsity starter against SHS, and Parker’s second.

Byrd has played football since he was in the eighth grade, while Parker has played since he was in the sixth grade.

Going into tonight’s game, Andalusia holds a 7-3 all-time record over Straughn.

Both said they want to make it 8-3.

“We don’t want to lose to somebody we see everyday,” Byrd said.

Byrd is the son of Beverly Byrd and William Adams. Parker is the son of Joe and Candy Parker.

Kick off tonight in Straughn is at 7.