By David Knox, Sports Editor
Football is never far from anyone’s mind in these parts, and it’s definitely on the minds of Clay-Chalkville’s Jerry Hood and Pinson Valley’s Matt Glover.
The Cougars host Gadsden City’s Titans at 6 p.m. Friday while the Indians host Pell City at 7 p.m. as spring practices come to an end.
Cougars fans will be anxious to see if Hood has come up with a replacement for quarterback Ty Pigrome, last year’s Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama who is headed to Maryland, and wide receiver TJ Simmons, who is already at Alabama. Big-play receiver Nico Collins, the state’s No. 2 prospect who is being recruited by Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and many other powerhouses, returns but he will need some players around him if the Cougars hope to make a third straight trip to the Class 6A championship game.
Indians fans will be looking for another step forward, as Glover continues to build the program. Last season’s 7-4 run ended with a loss to Austin in the 6A playoffs. Jay Woods and Trey Minnifield are moving on to the next level, so Friday night may provide a sneak preview of who will fill their shoes.
The Cougars will open the 2016 football season at home, hosting Florence on Friday, Aug. 19. The Indians open the same night, hosting McAdory.