Column: Struggling area teams making strides

Dora, Curry, CH turning the corner

By W. BRIAN HALE, Eagle Sports Writer
Posted 9/11/17

There’s been some pleasant surprises in this early season among teams who have had trouble getting wins in recent years and their fans have taken notice.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Column: Struggling area teams making strides

Dora, Curry, CH turning the corner

Posted

There’s been some pleasant surprises in this early season among teams who have had trouble getting wins in recent years and their fans have taken notice.

Though all three have pivotal region matchups this Friday night, no one can deny that they have shown marked improvement and deserve plenty of recognition.

On top of the list are the Curry Yellow Jackets, who are not only undefeated, but have pitched shutouts in their first two games of the season.

At Walker County Media Day back in July, head coach Philip Smith announced that his team could go as deep as five to six at running back. With an experienced offensive line returning, that admission quickly made me sit up in interest — a team that has the availability to constantly substitute fresh backs in and out every series is a big advantage. Coupled with a defense that played well in several games last year and it easy to see why the Yellow Jackets are trending upward in 2017.

The Carbon Hill Bulldogs may be only 1-2 on the season, but don’t let the record fool you — this isn’t the Carbon Hill of old.

The Bulldogs have a potent offense and talent behind juniors Jon Madison and Carson McGinnis, as well as new stars that seem to appear every week. Carbon Hill came within a few plays of beating Greene County last week — which posted a 20-0 shutout against the Bulldogs last year — and started off the year with a big victory over playoff contender Locust Fork.

The revamped offense will face a daunting challenge this week against American Christian, but there’s little doubt why Carbon Hill deserves a place on this list.

Dora is a program that has traditionally seen its share of hills and valleys — with the two-year stretch of the 2015-16 season producing a 4-16 after four successive seasons of playoff appearances being a prime example.

The landscape has changed drastically this year under new head coach Bart Lockhart. Dora is playing at a high level both on offense and defense, having outscored opponents 69-6. Caleb Danner, Achilya Dixon and the Bulldog offensive line are providing plenty of success, as well as paving the way for a much-improved passing game.

As early as it is in the year, this week’s battle against Fayette County — which Dora defeated last season — could be a big decider in who ultimately secures the Class 4A, Region 6 crown.

Congrats to all three teams — hopefully we’ll see more progress as the year continues.