Three county teams kick off 2019 football season

DHS looks to avenge last year’s loss to 7A Tuscaloosa County

The 2019 high school football season kicks off this week with three games. The first game of the new season in Marengo County will be A.L. Johnson traveling to Fruitdale Thursday night. On Friday, the Demopolis Tigers will host Tuscaloosa County and Linden hosts Wenonah.

Demopolis vs.

Tuscaloosa County

The DHS Tigers will be looking to avenge a loss to Tuscaloosa last year, which was the first game of the 2018 season. After taking a 13-0 lead at half time, Tuscaloosa County came back to win the contest, 27-13.

“Opening the season against a team that came back in the second half to beat us last year should provide some extra motivation,” said DHS Head Coach Brian Seymore.

Taking on the 7A opponent again, the Tigers have become accustomed to scheduling bigger schools early in the season.

“We like playing against bigger schools. It gives a chance to see where we are as a team and gives the kids experience … it’s almost like a playoff setting,” Seymore said.

The Tigers are 3-10 all-time against Tuscaloosa County.

Linden vs Wenonah

Linden added Wenonah as a late addition to its schedule. After a historic season in 2018 that saw the Patriots advance to the 1A State Title game in Auburn, the Patriots will begin 2019 with a new, albeit familiar, head coach on the sidelines in Travis Lockett. Lockett served as the offensive coordinator last season.

While Linden loses some key players from last year’s squad, Lockett feels good about the returning talent.

“We have the chance to be a good football team. We may be young in some places, but we are returning some guys who played a lot of football last year,” Lockett said.

In taking on Wenonah, the Patriots are stepping way up in classification as they host the 5A school.

“This is going to be a big test for us,” Lockett said. “It’s definitely going to let us know a lot about our team. I know our guys are looking forward to it and will compete.”

A.L. Johnson @ Fruitdale

A.L. Johnson will kick of the 2019 season with a road game to Fruitdale on Thursday night.

The Eagles fell to Fruitdale, 40-12, to open the 2018 season.

The Eagles will also be opening the season with a new head coach, but one very familiar with the program. Eugene Foster played for the Eagles as a student, being an A.L. Johnson graduate in 1988.

He most recently served as the head coach and athletic director at R.B. Hudson Middle School in Selma.

“It feels good to be here; it’s a very comfortable place for me. I feel I can relate to the kids here … I know many of them and their parents,” Foster said.

The Eagles hold a 13-8 all-time edge in games against Fruitdale.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, August 21 issue of the Demopolis Times.)