Southern looks to four-peat

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 13, 2007

TROY &8212; The Southern Academy head football coach Shaun Bonds isn&8217;t as sold as everyone else that his team is a shoe in for their fourth consecutive Alabama Independent School Association state championship.

Not that he doesn&8217;t think his team is up to the challenge or doesn&8217;t have the tools and know-how. Bonds sees the signs pointing to an inevitable championship &8212; three state championships in a row for this senior class already, a 10-1 season with seven shutouts, the No. 3 rusher and scorer in AISA (Matt Bouler) and the fact that his team has already beaten their opponent in the championship game, while it was at home, 44-12. But it is those same signs that have him worried.

Along with the &8216;we&8217;ve done it before&8217; attitude, Bonds said players

tend to remember the easy things from a game, not the specifics important to a rematch &8212; mismatches, blown assignments and tendencies.

Then there is the pressure from the school, parents and the community on his players to perform up to the caliber of the three previous teams. The Cougar program is looking at tying the AISA state record for consecutive state championships with a win at the Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium at Troy University on Friday, which will give this year&8217;s seniors a ring for every finger on their hand.

Bonds said the seniors, while winning three prior, have yet to get their marquee championship their senior year. He said he is trying to get the group to put aside other distractions this week as they prepare for the game.