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Coaches: Class 7A, Region 3 toughest ever assembled in Alabama

By Gary Lloyd

GARDENDALE — Call it a region of doom. Call it a gauntlet. Call it a challenge, albeit an exciting one.

The new Class 7A, Region 3 is loaded. Hewitt-Trussville is in this region, which also consists of Hoover, Mountain Brook, Oak Mountain, Spain Park, Thompson, Tuscaloosa County and Vestavia Hills.

Those seven region opponents for Hewitt-Trussville combined for a 56-26 record a season ago.

Hewitt-Trussville rising junior quarterback Zac Thomas
file photo by Ron Burkett

“Tough year,” Spain Park head coach Shawn Raney said. “It’s going to be (tough) every week.”

Raney said said he thinks this is the toughest region ever assembled in Alabama high school football.

Thompson head coach Mike Montgomery said his school, the 16th largest in Alabama, used to play in the same region as Hoover, Tuscaloosa County and Vestavia Hills.

“It’s kind of like a reunion of sorts,” Montgomery said.

Thompson posted a 4-6 record last season. Montgomery said it’s time to win more games than the Warriors lose. He knows that’ll be difficult in this region.

“With this region, everybody’s working hard, every coach is good,” he said.

When Oak Mountain head coach Cris Bell was asked about Class 7A, Region 3, he chuckled.

Hewitt-Trussville rising senior defensive back Deontay Wilson (2) moves in for a tackle against Gardendale last season.
file photo by Ron Burkett

“I can say this: It’s a pretty dadgum tough region,” Bell said. “It’ll be the toughest region I’ve ever coached in.”

Mountain Brook head coach Chris Yeager said that in Class 7A, Region 3, the “playoffs are coming to your front doorstep” by the first week in September.

“We’re playing the highest level of competition,” Yeager said.

Vestavia Hills’ schedule may stack up with Hewitt-Trussville’s as the toughest in the state. The Huskies play non-region games against Gardendale, Gadsden City and Clay-Chalkville. Vestavia Hills plays Homewood, Oxford and Shades Valley. Vestavia Hills head coach Buddy Anderson said Class 7A, Region 3 teams have to be ready to play every week.

“If you aren’t, you’re going to get it handed to you,” he said.

Contact Gary Lloyd at and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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