By, John Goolsby and Johnny Sanders
TRUSSVILLE – 7 of 8 Trussville Tribune teams are eligible for the 2023 Alabama State Playoffs, which kick off this Friday night in various stadiums across the state. Not something that is unheard of in our area, Tribune teams are pretty regular when it comes to playoff appearances. However, this year was made interesting by an unlikely team making the playoffs after a rocky start as well as a team making the playoffs for the first time since their senior class was all around four years old. Here is your guide to round one for our beloved Trussville Tribune teams.
Hewitt Trussville Huskies (7-3/second in 7A R3) – The 7A Region 3 runners up to Thompson will host Bob Jones (5-5/third in 7AR4) in round one at Hewitt Trussville Stadium. The Huskies look to continue the way they played against Chelsea and not revisit the way they played against Spain Park in this first round matchup.
Clay Chalkville Cougars (10-0/6A R6 Champ) – The 6A Region 6 champs (10-0) will host the Cullman Bearcats (5-5/fourth in 6A R7) in the first round at Jerry Hood Field. Clay has been arguably the best team in the state this year, going undefeated and dominating most of the opponents they have faced as well as a close win over 7A power Thompson. What the Cougars are really hoping to do is prevent a repeat of last season, when they dominated the regular season and found themselves eliminated after a first round shocker against Parker. The Redemption Tour 2023 is pretty determined to not have a repeat of last year.
Center Point Eagles (7-3/third in 6A R6) – The 6A Region 6’s third spot went to Center Point, who will travel to Hartselle (8-2/second in 6A R7), have been on a bit of a skid lately, dropping their season finale to the Leeds Greenwave. George Bates and company look to rebound on the road Friday night with a first round win over the Tigers.
Pinson Valley Indians (4-5/fourth in 6A R6) – The Indians may be the biggest surprise in this story as they did not start the season off very well at all under new head coach Gentrell Eatman. But Eatman and his coaching staff rallied the troops late in the season and key wins over Shades Valley (the only Tribune team not to make the playoffs) and Pell City catapulted the Indians into a first round matchup where they will travel to Muscle Shoals (9-0/6A R7 champs) to take on the Trojans.
Leeds Greenwave (8-2/5A R6 champs*) – The co-champions of 5A Region 6, along with Moody and Southside Gadsden) ends up with the second seed and hosts a first round game against the Arab Knights (8-2/third in 5A R7). The Greenwave started the season with a loss to Mortimer Jordan, which led to everyone wondering if this was the Leeds team of old. We found out not too many weeks later that, yes, this is the Leeds team of old. They had a huge win over Moody but the loss to Southside Gadsden earlier in the season was part of the potion that caused the three-way tie in the region. In 5A, not many teams are playing as good as the Greenwave now.
Moody Blue Devils (8-2/5A R6 champs*) – Another of the co-champions in this region finds themselves traveling in round one as the third seed due to a tiebreaker giving Southside the top seed and head to head going to Leeds. So the Blue Devils will go to Scottsboro (8-2/second in 5A R7) to take on the Wildcats in first round action. The Blue Devils have gotten better all year and they look to improve upon the play in recent weeks, which has been some of their best under Jake Ganus, when they travel to Scottsboro Friday night in round one action.
Springville Tigers (5-5/fourth in 5A R6) – This one is fun to talk about. The Springville Tigers will travel to Guntersville (9-1/5A R7 champs) to take on the Wildcats in the first round. Springville has not been to the playoffs since 2009 and they have not had a non-losing season in 12 years. Until this year. The Tigers accomplished both things, using an unconventional (in 2023) approach. In the offseason, Jon Clements and one of his assistants went to Air Force to learn the triple option offense that has worked for so many years for them (they are currently 8-1 on the season themselves) and brought back a new offense for the Tigers. Some didn’t like it and they moved on to other schools or to other things than football. Some bought in and those young men are reaping the benefits now and they are making history at Springville and changing the narrative. The Tigers look to get their first playoff win since 2005.
We here at the Tribune hope that this gives you everything you need to go out and support your local teams in the 2023 playoffs and we encourage you to do so!