Powell accepts challenge at Meek

Dora assistant takes over Tigers' program

By JOHNATHAN BENTLEY, Eagle Sports Editor
Posted 2/22/20

ARLEY — Houston Powell knows what it’s going to take to turn around the Meek football program — sweat and dedication.

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Powell accepts challenge at Meek

Dora assistant takes over Tigers' program

Posted

ARLEY — Houston Powell knows what it’s going to take to turn around the Meek football program — sweat and dedication.

That’s what the 28-year-old head coach is brining to the Arley school.

Powell was hired as the Meek head football coach earlier this month. He replaces David Norwood, who led the Tigers for the past three seasons.

The new coach inherits a Meek team coming off an 0-10 season, the school’s first winless season since 1998. Powell spent the last five years on coach Bart Lockhart’s staff at both Sumiton Christian and Dora.

“I’ve always wanted to be a head coach. It’s always been a dream of mine. This is the perfect fit for me.” said Powell, a 2009 graduate of Marbury High School in Autauga County.

“I grew up in a small town. I went to a k-through-12 school. This is the same atmosphere of where I grew up. My thing as a head coach is I want to make it a family program. I want this thing to revolve around this being one big family, one heart beat. At a small school like this, it’s easy to achieve that. You could feel that at the basketball games I went to.”

Meek made the playoffs in 2017, but has struggled over the last two seasons, going 3-17 overall and 1-13 in region play.

The Tigers had trouble on both sides of the ball in 2019, getting outscored 381-129. Aside from a 36-30 overtime loss to Berry, Meek lost every game by at least 20 points.

Meek competes in one of the toughest regions in Class 1A, with perennial contenders Pickens County and South Lamar, along with Hubbertville, Marion County, Berry, Lynn and Brilliant.

“We are in the toughest region in the North in Class 1A. I would say that for sure. My thing is, in our region, if you are the third or fourth seed, you could still make the second round (of the playoffs),” Powell said.

Powell graduated from the University of Alabama. During his time as a student, he volunteered with the Crimson Tide’s strength and conditioning program in the spring and summer and coached at American Christian Academy in the fall. He spent a season at Linden High School before joining Lockhart’s staff at Sumiton Christian as the defensive coordinator in 2015.

“My career has prepared me for this job.(Meek) just went 0-10, and some people are scared of that. I’ve had people say, ‘You aren’t going to be able to win there.’ They told us that when we went to Sumiton Christian, and they told us that when we went to Dora. They were wrong. For me, I’ve been a part of the process (of turning programs around). It’s just going to take a lot of sweat and a lot of dedication. I think when the kids see that you are bought in, and you are willing to work, it’s going to rub off on them, and they are going to be successful," Powell said. 

“The timing is perfect for me. For one, they’ve got hunger written all over their faces. Nobody wants to go 0-10. Nobody tries out for a football team or puts on a football helmet and says, ‘I hope we lose every game.’  What I’m bringing to the table on top of their hunger of wanting to change the mentality — it’s going to fuel the fire.”