By Johnny Sanders, Sports Editor
TRUSSVILLE – Hewitt Trussville’s 7th, 8th and 9th grade teams went undefeated and won championships in their leagues this year and it was said that the future is bright for Husky football. But, the little guys did not want to be left out.
The Huskies have a first and second grade team that is looking to add to the success of the Husky football program and give fans of Hewitt Trussville reason to believe that not only is the immediate future bright, but the far distant future is equally as bright.
On the 2023 season, these little Huskies have compiled a 7-1 regular season record (8-1 after a 21-0 first round win over Spain Park). Hewitt beat Helena in the season opening 14-0 before suffering their only loss of the season, a 6-0 defeat at the hands of the Hoover Bucs in a game that saw the Bucs get one long run that made the difference and included 4 straight plays in which the Huskies stopped the Bucs at the one-yard line for an impressive goal line stand.
After the Hoover game, head coach Derek Meeks knew he needed to change the offense if he was going to compete in this league, and he did just that. In the next game against Pelham, the Huskies amassed 30 points and the dominating defense got a shutout in a 30-0 victory.
Next up for the Huskies was Spain Park. Hewitt won the game 15-6, but there was a long touchdown called back as well as a fumble at the three-yard line that caused the score to be less than what it could have been. After Pelham, the Huskies defeated Thompson 39-6, Gardendale 27-0 and Vestavia 28-6 before a rematch with Helena that wound up in a hard fought 8-7 win, capping off a 7-1 regular season for these young men.
The Huskies drew Spain Park in the first round of the playoffs, beating them 21-0 in a game that saw the defense hold the opposition to negative offensive yards.
“Going into the season, I would have never guessed that we would have ended up like this with the competition level being what it is in this league,” said Coach Meeks. “I’ve coached these boys in flag football and baseball and I have seen how good this group of second graders are. I really wanted to coach this team because I knew they had a lot of potential.”
“At the beginning of the season, it was a slow start. It was a totally new concept. Nobody knew their jobs on defense or how to block or be physical. So we started to work on physicality first and then we started to hone in on defense. We were not very good. That’s hard to say looking at our defensive numbers for the season. But we played some preseason scrimmage games and it was bad. So, we concentrated on defense. In doing so, our first couple of games were pretty good. Hoover busted the one run on us. At that point, I realized we needed to work on our offense. Against Helena, we had a pick six, so we only scored the one touchdown on offense, but then we scored 30 in the next game.”
“Our biggest challenge was, I had 39 guys on the team. Most teams had less than 30. I had to get 39 first and second graders up to speed as quick as I could. Only 6 had played before. It was a lot of work and planning because we were able to get them 8 plays minimum for every player in every game. That’s where the difficulty came in.”
“Our starting defense never went in until the fourth quarter. We had subs in most of the time to get everyone their playing time. Against Spain Park in the playoffs, we didn’t allow any positive yards because we put the starters in at the beginning. So, I think, against Hoover tonight, they haven’t seen this. We were missing our best defender due to covid against Hoover the first time. So, I think it’s our game to lose tonight. Our offense was not clicking at the time. So, I’m excited. It should be a big defensive game tonight. Hoover has only allowed two touchdowns all season. They haven’t seen our starting defense and our offense is better so it should be good. I don’t feel like we are the underdog.”
That game will take place tonight, Thursday, November 9, 2023, at 6:00 pm at Heardmont Park at Oak Mountain.