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Linden aiming to improve in first round

The numbers are impressive for Linden (10-0, 8-0). The Patriots have outscored opponents 469-27 this season. Only two teams, Maplesville and Class 3A Cottage Hill, have scored against the Linden defense. The Pats’ first team offense has committed only two turnovers, both of which came against Maplesville. In three years at Linden, head coach Andro Williams is 33-4. Of his losses, two have come to Sweet Water, one to Maplesville and one to Class 6A Fairhope.

Still, Williams remains cautious as Linden heads into its first round playoff matchup with Wadley (4-6, 4-3).

“We are going to contend with a team traditionally that, the last 10 years, has been to the second or third round of the playoffs every year,” Williams said of Wadley. “their coach is a hometown guy who has been coaching for 20 or 30 years. He knows how to have his kids prepared. They play hard the entire time.”

But it is not just Wadley with which Williams is concerned. Many of his reservations regarding his team’s state championship aspirations emanate from his own locker room.

“We’re going to have to be focused,” Williams said. “(Linden players) know we’ve got to pick our business up and pick our level of play up. We’ve got some things up front on the defensive and offensive lines we need to work on.”

As practice opened this week, Williams and the Patriots spent the time working on what Linden runs rather than focusing their efforts on countering what Wadley runs.

“They came in (Monday) and had a good day. We spent the day just working on us,” Williams said. “We definitely have got some things that we need to work on defensively that will make us better down the road.”

The first obstacle along that road is a Wadley team that Williams is doing anything but overlooking.

“They do a good job of mixing a little run and pass,” Williams said. “They do have some tendencies that we have noticed that could help us over the course of the game.”

Linden hosts Wadley Friday night at 7 p.m.