Photo: The Aggies participated in a team camp in Muscle Shoals in mid-July.
FAIRVIEW – Two main concerns encounter the Fairview Aggies for the 2016 football season. One is getting the team ready for their third consecutive year as a 5A classification in the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
The other is will the Aggies return to Dafford Smith Stadium and play on campus for the first time since 2013?
The stadium was considered unsafe for spectators on the home and visitors sides several days before the start of the 2014 season.
Fairview adjusted by getting assistance from Cullman High School to play at Oliver Woodard Stadium. It worked out well in 2014 and 2015 with only one exception for the Aggies to play there while Cullman was playing at another location.
But the Aggies have received assistance from the Cullman County Board of Education in getting funds raised so repairs can be done to the bleachers and the community can enjoy excitement there on Friday nights for half of the regular schedule.
A construction company is currently working on the project, but it remains to be seen if it will be completed in time for the Aggies' home opener on Aug. 26 vs. East Lawrence.
In the meantime, the Aggies press on in their 10th season with George Redding at command. Fairview was 5-5 last year and missed the state playoffs for the second straight season in playing in the largest classification the school has encountered since they began football 53 years ago.
Fairview will be young with limited starting experience. The Aggies will have to put six new members on the offensive side and replace eight starters from the defensive unit.
But the Aggies were able to see results when playing in a spring jamboree at Locust Fork. The Aggies faced Locust Fork for one half and Ashville for two quarters.
Playing then gives the Aggies what they need when they start fall practice in understanding their role when they have the football and also trying to keep the opponent from scoring.
Ragan Ashley is back for his second straight year to start for Redding at quarterback. The Aggies operate under a spread formation, looking to blend in a running attack and putting the ball into wide receivers throughout the field.
Logan Brooks is the main cog in the running attack, with Sambo Woods the most experienced member of the wideouts.
Tyler Pendergrass and Andrew Morris have experience in the offensive line with three others to be starting for the first time.
A new region greets the Aggies. They will be in Region 6 with Corner, Curry, Mortimer Jordan, Hayden, Springville and West Point.
The season opens with a new opponent. Fairview will visit North Sand Mountain on Aug. 19 then get East Lawrence in the final Friday of August.
Fairview is at Corner Sept. 2 for the regional opener, then gets a bye week that will allow the Aggies additional preparation time for Mortimer Jordan.
The 5A runner-up in 2015 visits on Sept. 16. Fairview goes out of the region for a home game vs. Priceville the 23rd then ends the first half on Sept. 30 with a regional visit to West Point.
Fairview entertains Curry Oct. 7, travels to Hayden the 14th then ends regional play on the 21st with a home game against Springville.
The regular season finale is Oct. 28 when the Aggies take a short trip to Thomas-Michelfelder Stadium to play Holly Pond.
Under Redding, the Aggies have gone 9-0 against their county foe on the east side. Fairview knows Holly Pond has shown improvement and will be looking to the 56th edition of the oldest rivalry between both programs.
The Aggies have accounted for 58 victories with Redding, second most in school history to Dafford Smith's 65 wins.
Redding is second to Cullman's Mark Britton in active seasons coaching high school football with 10. Redding has directed the Aggies to six winning seasons and six berths into the AHSAA playoffs.
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