Football preview: Homecomings present distractions

Published 6:33 pm Thursday, September 30, 2010

Even under normal circumstances, it is difficult to get a large group of teenage boys to focus on a common goal, such as preparing for an upcoming football game.

Throw in dress up days, parades and pep rallies, and it’s enough to test even the best of coaches.

Three local coaches—Scott Booth at Isabella, Mike Harris at Verbena and Brent Hubbert at Maplesville—this week will try to lead their teams to victory in important region games despite the distractions associated with Homecoming.

Coaches want their players to focus on the task at hand and remember that Homecoming is not quite as enjoyable if there’s no win at the end, but Hubbert at least also wants his team to soak it all in.

“We want our guys to have fun at the pep rally,” Hubbert said. “[Distractions] haven’t been a problem here. We do the same thing every week.”

The week will be slightly different at Isabella because the school will have a Homecoming parade, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday. A pep rally will follow.

Maplesville and Verbena will also have pep rallies.

Isabella will try to pick up its first win in Class 2A, Region 4 as the Mustangs (2-3) host Central-Hayneville (0-4).

Verbena (0-5) will be looking for its first win of the season when Fayetteville (0-5) visits.

And Maplesville (5-0, 3-0 Class 1A, Region 4) will try to stay perfect on the season as John Essex (2-3) comes calling.

Who will win?

Homecomings are special no matter the outcome of the football game, but it takes a win to make the week perfect. The three local teams that have homecomings this week should be able to celebrate late Friday night.

Pick: Isabella, Maplesville and Verbena | Picks record: 16-6

Also Friday night

Billingsley (1-4 overall, 1-3 region) at R.C. Hatch (2-3, 3-2)
Billingsley might be the most talented 1-4 team in the state’s 1A classification, and look for the Bears to start showing it this week. Pick: Billingsley

Chilton Co. (2-3, 1-3) at  Selma (4-1, 3-1)
There were some positives to come from Chilton County’s loss to Marbury last week, such as quarterback Cameron Cummings’ 329 yards of total offense. Unfortunately, this week brings another tough test. Pick: Selma

Jemison (3-2, 3-1) at Southside-Selma (0-5, 0-3)
A win here would almost guarantee Jemison a spot in the Class 4A state playoffs with four games left in the regular season. Pick: Jemison

American Christian (4-1, 3-0) at Thorsby (5-0, 3-0)
This could be the week that Thorsby’s unbeaten run to begin the season comes to an end. Even if it does, the Rebels will still have lots to play for, including their first playoff berth since 2003. Pick: American Christian