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Varsity coaches take interest in youth players

Brent Hubbert has plenty of football players to worry about at Maplesville. Chilton County High coach Brian Carter is responsible for even more players.

There are the varsity and junior varsity teams, and football isn’t the end of it. Coaches see to it that their players show up at school, make good grades and practice good behavior.

With all that to do, why are Hubbert and Carter taking an interest in even more, and younger, players? Because these coaches know those players are the future of their programs.

CCHS on Aug. 15 held its second Tiger Day, where every Clanton and Chilton County High football player competed at Tiger Stadium. The two youth programs, Clanton Tiger Blue and Clanton Tiger Orange, sent their teams of Mites, Midgets, Minors and Majors against each other for exhibition games. The Clanton Middle School and the high school’s junior varsity and varsity teams scrimmaged. The day before, Maplesville held the same kind of event.

Carter and his staff even spent the evening of Aug. 6 coaching those youth league players while their regular coaches watched. The idea is simple: build connections between the youth leagues and the high school program so that the transition from the former to the latter is seamless. As Carter put it, “…the better these players are at this age, the better they will be when they get to high school.”

Think of it as like Major League Baseball’s farm system, and it’s the next logical step in building a successful program. Year-round workouts and summer passing/lineman camps are old news when it comes to the never-ending quest to build better high school football players. The new strategy: start the construction before they get to high school.