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DHS coach talks 2021 football at Rotary Club

Demopolis High School football coach Brian Seymore was the speaker for the August 4 Rotary Club meeting. Seymore expects the 2021 season to be a good one, but said there will be challenges for them throughout the season, particularly the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seymour reported that five of his players have tested positive for COVID-19, and others were in quarantine. However, practice returned to schedule last Thursday and he plans to have his players healthy for their first game against Calera on August 20.

The Tigers finished the 2020 season with an 11-1 record with their only loss coming from Faith Academy in the second round of the state playoffs. Seymour said he wants his team to be a physical and tough team and that he has had his players focus on that throughout the summer.

“We spent the whole off-season trying to get that mentality back. That’s in our DNA and that’s the kind of team we want to be,” said Seymore.

The DHS Tigers have been working hard throughout the summer to prepare for the fall. One way they have prepared is participating in OTAs (Organized Team Activities) with other schools in the surrounding area such as Northridge in Tuscaloosa County, Hale County, Linden, and American Christian Academy. The purpose of OTAs is for schools to practice and give young players an opportunity to gain valuable experience.

“I was really happy with our kids. We were really physical against the other teams,” said Seymore.

However, Seymore was disappointed that Demopolis wasn’t ranked in the recent pre-season polls.

“It kind of gets at you a little bit, but that’s okay. The last time Demopolis was ranked was during my first year, and we had a pretty good year.”

Seymore said he has a good group of players who are returning for the 2021 season and said the offense will be the strength of the team.

“Our offensive line will be huge. We’ve got some big guys across the front and we’ll be as big as any 7A program,” said Seymore. “We’re going to rely on those guys to lean on people.”

Seymore said he has also had to replace his entire offensive coaching staff after the DHS team’s recent success attracted attention from other schools looking for new coaches.

The offense will also see a quarterback change. After losing three-year starting quarterback Peyton Stevenson to graduation, Seymore said his son, Drew Seymore, is likely to be the one to fill that vacancy.

“I get to sit back and be a dad and watch him play a little bit,” said Seymore. “I know the kid, and he puts a lot more pressure on himself than I ever put on him.”

On defense Seymore believes his front seven can be just as good as anyone else.

“Up front, we’re physical, we’re big, and we’re athletic. I’ve got two inside linebackers who are back for their third year as starters,” said Seymore. “A lot of our kids that are back on defense have a lot of game and experience and I think that’s key.”

The Tigers have five road games this season, and all but one will require at least two hours of driving.

The first home game for the Tigers will be against the McAdory Yellow Jackets on Aug. 27.