A season to remember

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Andalusia Bulldogs came up one game short of the Class 4A state championship, but Andalusia head coach Trent Taylor said the players have nothing to hang their heads about.

“It was just a great year,” Taylor said. “I’m very proud of what these kids accomplished.”

Taylor said that community played a big part the Bulldogs’ successful season.

“We have been so grateful to the community for all of their support,” Taylor said. “Not just for the way they showed on Friday night, but the way they traveled to Leeds and Tallassee. It was really neat to see the community turn out to support these kids the way they did.”

Taylor said that the community involvement helped to motivate the team.

“From the pep rallies that you guys at the Star-News had a big hand in to the people who showed up to cheer for them on Friday nights, it really meant a lot to these kids to know that they had he full support of the community,” Taylor said. “These kids make a lot of sacrifices to get to this point, and there are a lot more things for them to do besides football. It’s not like it was when I was growing up and you were expected to play football.”

Taylor said that the expectation is starting to come back.

“I think it there are a lot of young kids that are seeing what these guys have done and they are going to want to be a part of it,” Taylor said. “I like think we are getting back to that point where the kids in elementary school are going to grow up wanting to become Bulldogs.”

Aside from the crowd that motivated the Bulldogs, Taylor said his 23 seniors played huge roles on the team, regardless of playing time.

“We are going to miss those 23 seniors from this year’s team,” Taylor said. “There really wasn’t any particular one that was more of a leader than then next, but the came to work every day and did what was asked of them.”

Taylor said that the senior class was truly a special group of players.

“This group has a great deal of unselfishness,” Taylor said. “That will be the thing that I miss the most about this group. Even the guys who might not have gotten the most playing time knew what important roles they played at practice. I told them Friday that I know this hurts now, but one day you will wake up and realize how special of a season this was. This group didn’t even make the playoffs as sophomores, but they played seven playoff games as juniors and seniors. That is something that a lot of graduating seniors around the state can’t say.”

With all of the impressive moments throughout the season, Taylor pointed to the first game of the season against Brooks as the most memorable moment.

“Just having the opportunity to play in Montgomery in the Champions Challenge, was really huge for these kids,” Taylor said. “To get a chance to play on that kind of stage against a team like Brooks, and then to perform the way we did was really something special. It became apparent that night that these kids had their sights set on something special, and it turned out to be a really good year for us.”