By Gary Lloyd
GARDENDALE — If Hewitt-Trussville head football coach Hal Riddle had a vote for which team will finish on top of Class 6A, Region 6 this season, he’d vote Vestavia Hills.
He likes Vestavia Hills’ running ability, its solid play action passing game and its traditional 4-3 defense.
Riddle notes Mountain Brook, Gardendale, Shades Valley and others as solid region opponents.
“I think it’s a great region,” said Riddle, now in his 12th season at Hewitt-Trussville.
Class 6A, Region 6 before last season was comprised of Hoover, Mountain Brook, Pelham, Spain Park, Vestavia Hills, Homewood, Oak Mountain and Thompson. It is now made up of Hewitt-Trussville, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Shades Valley, Gardendale, Huffman, Carver-Birmingham and Woodlawn.
“It’s a great region with a lot of great players and coaches,” said Mountain Brook assistant coach Jim King. “It’ll be a challenge for us just like it was last year.”
Shades Valley reached the state playoffs for the first time since 2000 last season. A big reason why was the Mounties defeating Hewitt-Trussville 29-28 in a back-and-forth game.
“The Hewitt-Trussville game was a game that kind of changed us as a team,” said Shades Valley head coach William Smith. “That was a huge win. Every region game we played was a game we needed to win.”
Mountain Brook defender Christian Anderson said he had gotten used to the Spartans’ old region opponents, though he said the team will be just as prepared now.
“It’s definitely different now,” Anderson said.
Vestavia Hills head coach Buddy Anderson said facing the likes of Hewitt-Trussville and Shades Valley instead of Hoover and Spain Park as region opponents was “very different, very competitive.”
“We’ve got to be ready to play every game,” Anderson said.
“There’s good football all around,” he said.
Hewitt-Trussville’s first Class 6A, Region 6 game this season is Sept. 6 at Vestavia Hills, the team Riddle believes is the frontrunner to claim the region championship.
“We better get ready for all of them being a fight,” Riddle said.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.