FAIRVIEW – With a good summer workout behind them, the Fairview Aggies now press on with the 2014 football season right around the corner.
The Aggies worked out Wednesday afternoon on their practice field up above Dafford Smith Stadium.
It's the eighth season for the Aggies under coach George Redding. He is one win shy of 50 at his alma mater and has carried Fairview to the state playoffs six consecutive seasons. Fairview has never had a losing record in regular season play with Redding at command.
The Aggies won three of their last five games to go 5-5 on the season, concluding their time in Class 4A. They won three straight in Region 7 to clinch the No. 4 seed for the playoffs.
Fairview is now a Class 5A participant for the next two years by the Alabama High School Athletic Association. They will be facing opposition in Region 7 with two schools, Guntersville and Douglas joining them in this class after battling one another through the years in 4A play.
"The expectations are to play at a high level," Redding said before Wednesday's practice. "The intensity is good and the chemistry is getting in the right direction."
Fairview is limited on returning starters. The Aggies have four back on offense and five for the defense. They do return a key player on the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Hayden Maples.
Maples threw the ball for 2,100 yards as a junior and will get some tips of the game from a new member of the Fairview coaching staff. Former Aggie quarterback Trett Hardman accepted an opportunity by coach Redding to come and display his skills that led him to All-State honors while playing for Redding then on to a collegiate career at Samford University.
Hardman will work with the receivers. Hardman was also displaying hand signals to the quarterbacks through a series of drills Wednesday afternoon.
Fairview has nine seniors, seven that played in 2013. The total roster is 42 with 29 getting valuable game experience in the previous season. They are inexperienced in Friday night wars Redding said.
As they move forward, the Aggies will play a jamboree at J.B. Pennington in Blountsville Aug. 22.
That will give them a chance to get the nerves out of the way when the regular season kicks off the following Friday (Aug. 29) as Hanceville visits Dafford Smith Stadium.
Fairview is 2-1 vs. Hanceville with Redding at command. Last season, the Bulldogs pulled out a 35-33 victory in one of the best matchups to open a regular season in a very long time.
The regional schedule sends them to Huntsville Sept. 5 for a first time meeting with Randolph. On Sept. 12, Boaz comes to Fairview. The Pirates and Aggies play for the first time since 2003.
Week four is a home battle with Etowah. The Blue Devils and Aggies have never faced each other.
Three consecutive home games conclude on Sept. 26 with the Holly Pond Broncos paying a visit.
The first three Fridays of October have Fairview on the road. October 3, the Aggies play at Madison County, the Aggies go Guntersville Oct. 10 and face Douglas in a road game Oct. 17.
Butler makes a journey from Huntsville Oct. 24 to complete the competion in 5A, Region 7.
On Halloween, the Aggies are at Mark Smothers Field to take on the Vinemont Eagles. Fairview leads the all-time series 17-15 with the Aggies winning four straight, including a 40-20 decision in 2011.
Winning has been a regular item for Fairview after Redding arrived on the scene in 2007. The Aggies have racked up 49 victories against 28 losses and never have had a losing record in regional play under Redding.
The Aggies are 33-16 in regional assignments with Redding leading them. The former Fairview quarterback is second to Dafford Smith in victories (64). Smith guided the Aggies from 1986 to 1996, taking them to the playoffs nine times.
Redding's Aggies have seen the postseason in seven games, six consecutive years. The Aggies have been successful on the home field with a .720 winning percentage (16-6) since 2010.
Fairview defeated Douglas, Holly Pond and Sardis at home last year with the only loss at Smith Stadium coming by a score of 16-12 in week four to Locust Fork.