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Marengo Academy looks to three-peat

The Marengo Academy Longhorns football team has won the state title the last two years. However, it hasn’t helped head coach Jesse Little add to his roster of 18 players.

A larger roster would allow Little to better simulate an opponent’s offense or defense in practice.

He’s happy with the players he has including the team leaders, seniors Patrick Cannon, Nicholas Averette, Nathan Averette, Daniel Hall, and Jon Michael Stephens. They have the experience from championship seasons to help the team.

Injuries can be devastating to a squad with only 18 players, Little said. The Longhorns have already suffered one problem on the road back to the championship. Fullback Nathan Averette sprained his ankle Friday in the first play of a jamboree game and will likely not play Thursday against the West Alabama Preparatory Titans.

Little will not make any change to his championship philosophy on offense and defense. "If something works you need to stay with it," he said Monday. "You make a few little changes. You don’t make any major changes."

Looking over his schedule coach Little sees improvement in many of the Longhorns’ opponents including Patricia and Wilcox.

He expected Southern Academy to be good as usual, even though they had lost a lot of players.

The championship title didn’t necessarily put a target on the Longhorns’ back. Little said his opponents would be tough regardless, week-to-week.

He didn’t want to leave out Sumter Academy. "They always give us a rough time. in fact, they’ve beaten us in the regular season the last two years (the only team that has done that).

Little gets satisfaction as a coach seeing players improve and then becoming good enough to win a state championship. "You watch them geting better every practice and every game," he said. They develop a lot of confidence.

MA will host the WAP Titans Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Linden Athletic Field. "They are going to be better than they were last year &045; no doubt….(WAP coach) Will Tutt will do a good job with them. He knows his football."