By Joshua Huff, sports editor
The Center Point football team has a chance to start its first four games of the season with a record of two games above .500 for the first time since starting the season 4-0 in 2013 when it hosts Munford this Friday. The Eagles’ last winning season was in 2013 when they lost just two games, 28-8 to Walker and 24-22 to Athens, in the first round of the playoffs.
History is favorable for the Eagles as they head into their second region game of the season — Center Point holds a 1-0 record against Munford. If the past meeting between the two teams holds any weight — a 32-0 trouncing at the hands of Center Point — the Eagles should be able to skip their way to the top of Class 5A, Region 5 with a victory. But, it all comes down to improvement, which head coach George Bates has seen throughout this season.
“If we just continue to improve, I like our chances,” Bates said.
This season has seen a drastic turnaround for an Eagles’ squad that has suffered through some bumps in the road these past few years. Between 2014-17, the Eagles recorded just three wins before Bates entered the picture. The subpar outings coincided with the Eagles’ move from Class 5A to Class 6A. During that span, Center Point set team records for most losses in a season (10) and for margin in a defeat after allowing 59 points to Hewitt-Trussville in 2017.
Since the arrival of Bates, Center Point has gone 8-7 overall and 6-2 in region play.
With the second worst defense in the region on deck, Center Point should eclipse the 32 points it put on the board in the first meeting. Following a 16-point fourth quarter in a win over Mortimer Jordan this past Friday, the Eagles have seemed to have found their footing with a play style designed to take advantage of Jayson Jones and Javon Davis.
Davis went 12-for-18 with 231 passing yards and two touchdowns against Mortimer Jordan. His favorite target, Jayson Jones, snagged six receptions for 129 yards with one touchdown. In all, the Eagles amassed 380 total yards in the victory.
Jones is a four-star recruit who is ranked No. 15 in Alabama, according to rivals. Kentucky appears to lead a variety of schools for his services with a forecast score of 77%, also according to rivals. He has offers from LSU, Louisville, UAB, Memphis, Troy and Jacksonville State.
He looks to commit sometime this season.
“(Jones) is a great player,” Bates said. “He’s an athlete. He has an arm, and he can run. We’re just trying to get him acclimated, and just let him know that he’s a great player and to just still be you and let the offense flow. He’s a great kid.”
Munford enters the contest after falling to Central Clay County, 34-12. The loss follows a victory over Talladega, 25-15, and a season-opening loss at Oxford, 48-6. Central Clay County had little trouble moving the ball against Munford on this past Friday as it scored on all five of its drives to begin the game.
After several seasons in which Center Point has been written off, the Eagles have put the region on notice that the storm clouds are abating. With a relatively soft region schedule up until October, Center Point has a chance to clean out the region cupboard before Sylacauga and Central Clay County come knocking.
This is the next to last home game of the season for the self-proclaimed ‘Road Warriors.’ Five out of their final six games in the regular season will be held in hostile territory.