Barry keeps students, players away

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 7, 2001

Sports Editor

Tropical Storm Barry kept much of Pike County and south central Alabama off balance on Monday and it left Goshen head coach Joe Thornton searching for players as the official start of fall practice began for AHSAA member schools.

Thornton and about 15 of the Eagles’ varsity players held a light workout on Monday afternoon. The threat of thunderstorms and tornadoes generated by Barry kept many Goshen students from attending the first day of school.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

After a successful 10-2 campaign in 2000, you would think fielding a competitive football team would come a bit easier for the third-year head coach. After a 4-6 record in 1999, Thornton and the Eagles turned things around in a hurry, advancing to the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs.

"The storm kept a lot of our kids away," said Thornton. "But not many of them."

Goshen heads into fall practice with just 20 players ready to suit up in the Purple and Gold. Those numbers are down from last season when the Eagles fielded a roster of 29.

Thornton shrugs off the depth problems that always seem to plague small schools such as Goshen.

"We’re just going to have to buckle up and play ‘ironman’ football," he said. "We’ll probably only have about seven lineman to play both ways, so we can’t afford any injuries."

Lack of depth aside though, this is the same Goshen team that throttled this year’s preseason No. 10 in Class 1A, the Brantley Bulldogs, 24-0 in a scrimmage held during the spring.