Varsity scrimmage part of Aggie Media Day; update on Dafford Smith Stadium

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FAIRVIEW – Saturday was like a family reunion for the Fairview football program. The Aggies conducted their media day on the practice field with the youth program, middle school and varsity all involved in the festivities.

Fairview concluded the first week of fall practice with a scrimmage that included game officials and a chain crew measuring each play from the area where the ball was snapped.

It gave coach George Redding a good indication of how the team is moving forward, with the season starting in 13 days. Fairview heads to North Sand Mountain, a school the Aggies have never played before.

Before the Aggies got on to the practice field, they were involved in drills with the youth program then participated in an autograph session, something in comparison to what SEC schools like Alabama and Auburn have prior to the start of the season.

The Aggies worked on kickoffs, punts and returns, plus divided the units into executing offense vs. defense for approximately an hour.

Sophomore quarterback Dayne Black worked with the purple offense while senior Ragan Ashley was handling plays for the white team.

In spreading the ball out, the purple started the scrimmage with an eight-yard pass from Black to Sambo Woods, the most experienced receiver the Aggies have. A holding penalty on the next play backed them up and the purple was forced to punt.

The White team's first series started near the end zone with Logan Brooks recording a safety on a tackle of the ball carrier beyond the goal line.

Woods had a positive play for the purple with a 10-yard gain on an end around, and Black completed a pair of passes to Brooks that covered 17 yards plus a 10-yard strike to Scoot Bennett.

The purple had to settle for a 27-yard field goal from sophomore Jaxxon Swann to get them on the scoreboard.

After that, the white executed three passes by Ashley to score a touchdown. The finale was a 35-yard hookup with Garrett Dunn who got behind the secondary.

Both defenses combined for three stops behind the line of scrimmage, a couple of no gains and one deflected pass.

Once the scrimmage ended, the team took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, getting assistance from one of the trucks from the Fairview Volunteer Fire Department.


UPDATE on Dafford Smith Stadium:

While the media day was held at the school's practice facility, Dafford Smith Stadium was quiet.

A construction crew is working on replacing concrete bleachers that were considered unsafe two years ago by then Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Craig Ross.

Fairview has not played in their stadium since 2013. The concern for the school and community is the project will not be done in time for Fairview’s first home game, when the Aggies are to play East Lawrence Aug. 26.

Word has it, the game would be moved to West Point’s stadium with the Warriors out of town that evening. But, according to Sherrie Ashley of the Fairview Quarterback Club, it hasn't been made official.

Everyone associated with the program, from principal Chris Gambrill to Redding, Cullman County School Board Representative Chris Carter, the team and their families, hopes for the Aggies to have at least four games on the Fairview campus this year, and that is still a possibility.

Fairview has scheduled home games with Mortimer Jordan Sept. 16, Priceville Sept. 23, Curry Oct. 7 and Springville Oct. 21.

At the present time, the school has six weeks until the game with Mortimer Jordan takes place.

A lot of work has to be done with the installation of the concrete, then putting down the bleachers. One report says there will be 21 days needed for the concrete to set once it's poured.

Repairs are also needed in the press box. The field is in good condition and has been kept up by Redding and his staff since they have not been allowed to play at the stadium.

Fairview is hoping to get back to hosting home games on Friday nights, with the varsity, junior varsity, middle school and youth programs all being affected by the unfortunate situation that many believe has gone on for way too long. Games were suspended at Dafford Smith Stadium approximately three days before Fairview was to play Hanceville there in the 2014 season opener.

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