Sumiton Christian’s season started well enough in 2012.
The Eagles won their first two games, heading into a region game against Meek.
That’s when everything went awry.
Hit by key injuries and a schedule that got progressively tougher, Sumiton Christian dropped its next five games and finished with a disappointing 3-6 record.
New coach Zach Holmes takes over the football program for the 2013 season. Holmes served as the team’s defensive coordinator last season. He takes over for former coach Greg Patterson, who went 14-24 while guiding the Eagles to the playoffs once in his four-year tenure.
In 2012, Sumiton Christian beat up on teams with losing records, outscoring Shades Mountain Christian, Appalachian and Southeastern, 94-20. The three teams had a combined record of 3-23.
However, when the Eagles lined up against playoff teams, their luck changed. In its six losses, Sumiton Christian was outscored 248-82.
Sumiton Christian was initially placed in a nine-team region in 2012, but Jefferson Christian disbanded its program before the season started, leaving the Eagles in an eight-team region with an open date. Sumiton Christian has an open date in Week 6 again this year.
The Eagles open the 2013 season against a pair of region teams that combined for three wins last season.
Sumiton Christian hosts Shades Mountain Christian in the season opener set for August 30. Last season, Sumiton Christian won the battle of the Eagles 35-0.
The Eagles hit the road for the first of their five road games in Week 2 at Appalachian, which snapped a streak of eight straight playoffs appearances with a 2-6 record last season. Sumiton Christian edged Appalachian 24-20 last season at home.
Week 3 could prove to be a swing game for Sumiton Christian with a home game against Meek, which advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 2003 last year. Meek nipped the Eagles 27-24 last season, sending Sumiton Christian’s season into a spiral.
Starting with Meek, six of the Eagles’ last seven opponents made the postseason last year.
Sumiton Christian hosts 1A perennial contender Collinsville in a non-region game in Week 4. The teams met at Jacksonville State’s Burgess-Snow Field last season with the Panthers winning 49-14.
Four of Sumiton Christian’s last five games are on the road. The Eagles make the trip to Falkville in Week 5. The Blue Devils had their first winning season since 2000 last year and finished as the No. 3 seed in Class 1A, Region 6. Falkville won last year’s game 34-13.
Following an off week, Sumiton Christian plays last year’s region winner and region runner up in back-to-back weeks. The Eagles travel to runner up Addison in Week 7. The Bulldogs blasted Sumiton Christian 47-7 in 2012.
The Eagles host region champion Ragland in the home finale in Week 8. The Purple Devils won last year’s first meeting between the teams 56-17.
Sumiton Christian travels to Southeastern, which finished 0-9 in its first year of varsity play in 2012. The Eagles won last year’s game 35-0.
The regular season wraps up with a game against rival Corner on the road on Nov. 1. The Class 4A Yellow Jackets have won five straight games in the series, including last year’s 35-7 victory.
Sumiton Christian’s opponents finished with an overall record of 45-44 last year despite Southeastern’s winless season.
Sumiton Christian 2013 schedule
Date Opponent ‘12 rec.
Aug. 30 Shades Mtn. 1-8
Sept. 6 at Appalachian 2-6
Sept. 13 Meek 5-6
Sept. 20 Collinsville 8-3
Sept. 27 at Falkville 6-4
Oct. 4 Open
Oct. 11 at Addison 7-3
Oct. 18 Ragland 9-1
Oct. 25 at S’eastern 0-9
Nov. 1 at Corner 7-4