Jackson has everything to lose in game with WAP

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 7, 2003

After a disappointing 35-21 loss Friday night to the Sumter Academy Eagles, West Alabama Prep Titans head coach Webb Tutt went home thinking his Titans’ football season was over but awoke Sunday morning, flipped to the sports section of The Demopolis Times and surprisingly read how his (4-6) Titans were headed to the AISA playoffs.

After going (0-10) in 2002 as the Demopolis Academy Generals, the school changed everything from their school name and mascot to their head football coach. Less than one year later, the Titans have come full circle and are in the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

And for first year coach Tutt, this season has been one he may never forget.

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I know our record doesn’t indicate it, but we have been in every game except a couple and our losses have been to teams that are just probably better than we are," Tutt said.

The Titans have drawn the (10-0) Jackson Academy Eagles for their first round match-up. The Eagles shredded the Titans earlier this season 56-0 and this rematch has many worried.

But the Titans learned their lesson and according to Titans senior full back Joe Magro, they now know that they hold the upper hand come Friday night. "We should play them a lot closer this time around. While they have everything to lose, we have everything to win," Magro said.

Titans quarterback Kevin May also feels the same way and would like to see the term playoffs become apart of the Titans vocabulary from here on out. "The team is very excited about this opportunity and want to make it a habit," May said. Making winning a habit at West Alabama Prep lies in the hands of younger players like eighth grader Mathew Bouler who will be staring Friday night on defense for the Titans.

Bouler has managed to earn a certain level of respect form his senior teammates on the football field and while Bouler himself may not understand it all, Magro and May know that players like him are the future of this team. "Going to the playoffs means a great deal to me and I’m glad to see our younger players get this opportunity also." Magro said. May, who was apart of the (0-10) team last year knows that no matter what happens Friday night, his senior year will end on a good note. "We have definitely come a long way from last year. This will be my first time playing in a playoff game and I’m just happy that we are in this position," May said. Coach Tutt praised his seniors this week for a job well done and believes that things are just starting to take shape at WAP. "These seniors, and I told them Friday night that you are all going to look back twenty years from now and see that you were the start of turning this thing around and they have got to feel good about that. And win, loose or draw I’m proud of these kids they have worked hard, we couldn’t necessarily do all the things we wanted to do but hopefully we will be better next year.