Southern seniors a motivated group

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 21, 2005

TROY-To compile a 44-6 career record it takes motivation. For Southern Academy’s nine seniors, motivation hasn’t been hard to find.

It all started with fall practice in brutal Hale County conditions. Before the pads were even taken out the Cougar seniors knew what they wanted to do. Lineman Andy Wheeler reflected on the tough conditions after Friday’s 55-22 state championship win saying all the blood sweat and tears were worth it to gain another state title.

“It all starts with the coaching,” Wheeler said. “Conditioning was a big part of it all last summer. We really worked hard and it paid off.”

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Many teams make or break their season before they even touch a football. Cougar Coach Shaun Bonds knows this as well as anyone. This particular group of seniors also caught on and by the end of August, they were ready. However, in the early stages, getting into shape was not the Cougars only motivation. Several people doubted the Cougars ability to repeat as state champions. Bonds said he also had his skepticism.

“I never thought we would be able to do this,” Bonds said. “I knew we would

have a good team, but to tell you the truth, I don’t think many people thought we could do this again.”

The doubt also lit a fire in the seniors. Through the year it was not difficult to keep the desire for another state title alive. AS the Cougars got closer and closer their hunger for another ring also grew.

This hunger reached epic proportions when junior Chase Compton went down with a season ending injury. The seniors again rallied the team to win one for Chase. Senior lineman Brad McCrory said bringing the team together for Compton was

“You just don’t know how big it was,” McCrory said. “It was huge. We were

really playing hard for him.”

Now, for the Cougar seniors the ride is over. Running Back Wallace Drury said it will be difficult.

“It will be tough,” Drury said. “We have had some good times out here.”

When fall rolls around the seniors will take on a new position in the stands

to let a new generation of leaders take over. But the legacy of their 44-6

record, 25 game winning streak and two state championships will be around

for a while.