PLAS Patriots host ‘Speed’ Sampley’s Eagles tonight

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Sports Editor

DeWight Ward said should the Patriots suffer an injury tonight against Fort Dale Academy there will be a scramble on the sidelines to find replacements.

"We’ve been working during the summer trying to get our players used to playing a number of different positions," Ward said. "We don’t have a lot of depth in any one area of the team."

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Eagles, however, have plenty of depth.

And speed.

And size.

"They have an excellent running attack and they can throw the ball well when they have to," Ward said. They’ve got 12 seniors and plenty of experience."

They also have good coaching.

Eagles’ head coach James "Speed" Sampley is regarded by many as one of the best coaches to ever coach in the Alabama Independent School Association. Sampley led Lowndes Academy to a state title in 1997 before moving on to Fort Dale in Greenville. Last year’s squad spent a majority of the time in the AISA Top Ten, but stumbled later on in the season, falling to 5-5 in 1999 and failing to reach the playoffs.

Ward said the Patriots’ game plan for tonight is in place and the team had spent this week working to perfect it.

"It just all a matter of execution," he said.

Junior Layton Sanders will line up under center as the Patriots’ starting quarterback. Junior Scott Kirby will lead the charge at running back with Will Williams and Bill Hughes at the wingback spots.

"We’ll also rotate some people in like Justin Stallings and Dusty Kimbrow to keep our running game fresh," said Ward.

Ward said a number of freshmen could see playing time tonight. They include linemen Wiley Dees and Lance Wheeler. Both players possess good size, but are young.

"They’re going to be thrown in the fire pretty quickly, so they’ll have to grow up in a hurry," said Ward.