Rotarians talk football

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, August 22, 2012

As program leader for the Brundidge Rotary Club’s Wednesday meeting, Cot Wallace took advantage of the opportunity to talk football – not college football. High school football.

Wallace is a longtime fan of high school football and follows it closely all around the state.

Each Thursday, he talks football on local radio with his brother Chip Wallace, Ralph Black and Dave Laliberte and a special guest, usually the coach of a team with a big Friday night game.

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“The Coach’s Connection” on WTBF Radio features the four county high school teams, Charles Henderson, Goshen, Pike County and Pike Liberal Arts. But the coaches also give airtime to area schools, including Zion Chapel, Ariton, Elba, Luverne, Brantley, Crenshaw Christian, Highland Home and South Montgomery County.

Wallace told the Rotarians that the number of schools in the Alabama Independent School Association or private schools has dropped to 40 and that more private schools are opting to compete in the Alabama High School Athletic Association or public school arena.

“One of the reasons is money,” Wallace said. “Money is the reason for a lot of things. Another is travel, which is related to money, too.”

Wallace said PLAS often has to travel long distances to play football. But, if the school elected to play in the AHSAA, its schedule could include schools like Ariton, Goshen, Brantley and Zion Chapel.

“You could leave home and be sitting in the stadium in about 20 minutes,” Wallace said. “That sure beats driving two or more hours to a game. And, it would save the school a lot of money.”

For those two reasons, money and travel, Wallace said more private schools will probably join the AHSAA in the near future.

Wallace said PCHS should stop its downward spiral under the leadership of Fred Holland.

“Brundidge has had six coaches in the last six years,” he said. “Fred Holland is from Brundidge and he’s going to be around. He’ll put his system into place and bring continuity to the program. It won’t be this year but in a couple of years the Bulldogs will be back.”

Wallace said CHHS also has a new coach in Mike Dean.

“He’s a fifth year coach and he’s been successful,” Wallace said. “Charles Henderson should be a team to watch.”

Wayne Grant is making his PLAS head coaching debut with only 17 players and it could be a rough year.

“But Wayne Grant knows how to win. Give him time,” Wallace said.

He said and interesting match up will be when the Patriots and Escambia face off.

Escambia is coached by former CHHS coach Hugh Fountain.

“Grant and Fountain butted heads while in the public schools and now they’ll square off as private school coaches,” Wallace said.

He gave kudos to Goshen’s head football coach Bart Snider, “who’s a good coach with the whole community behind him.”

“And Mike Waters over at Zion Chapel does a good job. The Rebels will be good,” Wallace said. “Julius Head is down at Ariton and he brings 36 years of experience to his team. And Brantley’s good every year, every single year.”

Wallace said high school football generates a lot of excitement and it’s fun to follow teams all around the state.

He didn’t make any predications about playoff hopes for local teams but he did all but guarantee that Hoover will take the 6A crown.

“They’ll win it all,” he said.