PREP FOOTBALL: Raiders eyeing another postseason appearance in 2019

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The Good Hope Raiders will open the season at home against Carbon Hill Friday, Aug. 23rd. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

GOOD HOPE, Ala. – Last year, 2018, was a historic season for Good Hope High School. The Raiders posted a 9-1 record in the regular season and knocked off top-ranked, undefeated Jacksonville at home to advance to the third round of the AHSAA State Playoffs for the first time since 1997.

With more buzz around the program than ever before, head coach Alan Scott is pleased with how offseason preparations have gone so far.

“I think that we really had a positive summer. I think overall, we had really good attendance with good effort and the kids showed up and worked hard,” Scott said. “So, I was very pleased, of course it’s never perfect, but at the same time I thought it was a solid summer.”

Last year’s Raiders team was led by a massive senior class that included names like Bailey Quick, Matt Hancock, Matt Dixon and Jackson Hancock to name just a few. With a lot of bodies missing from 2018 and a new team in the locker room, Scott is ready to see this year’s squad put its own stamp on the program.

“I’ve never had a senior class like that one as far as talent and numbers. We really took a big hit on both lines, offensive and defensive, we took a hit in our defensive backs and lost basically our entire secondary besides Tanner (Malin) who’s coming back. On offense obviously we lost the vast majority of our yardage producers so it’s a unique situation,” Scott said. “It was a great season and I really enjoyed it last year and love those guys but that’s going to be big shoes to fill. Like I said, we’ve got guys that are working really hard and they want to be good so that’s a positive. I think the standard has kind of been set so these guys want to just take what’s been done and run with it and not try to duplicate something that anyone else has done but continue to try and compete and be the very best that we can be.”

There are some obvious disadvantages that come with being a younger, inexperienced team, but Scott pointed out some of the positives that come with those circumstances. After a massive senior class graduated in May, a lot of positions opened up for the Raiders and Scott is excited to see who steps up and fills those needs.

“The competition should be really good. We should have several guys trying to earn their spot on the field whether it’s in a starting role, everybody kind of gets hung up on the starters, or just to contribute. I think we’re going to have to have some of those guys that are ninth and 10th graders coming in hopefully give us some quality playing time on Friday nights,” Scott said. “Whether it’s to start the game off or right in the middle or if we’ve got a series going and we’re on our second or third set of downs, we’re going to have to move some guys in there. What happens every year though is a young man that you don’t even really have on the radar, gets his opportunity in a situation whether it’s an injury or somebody is tired and this season we don’t know who it’s going to be. But they’ll make the most out of that opportunity and earn themselves a spot and that’s kind of the fun part is seeing which of these guys are going to step up and take on that role. It presents them a good opportunity.”

When you lose as much offensive production as Good Hope is losing this fall, it could bring about some schematic adjustments. Scott said he and his staff want to establish a consistent system for their kids to work and develop in but they want to tailor their plan to this team’s strengths as well.

“I think that by nature, our coaching staff wants to have a system in place. We want to have a base set of plays and formations and we want to have the same thing on defense, but we also want to tailor that to what our strengths are going to be this year. So, the play names might not change, the formations might look a little different, but you know football really comes down to blocking and tackling so if our guys can feel comfortable within the system and know where they’re going and can get there at 100 mph and have a little bit of an attitude when they get there, we feel like we can compete,” Scott said. “Football is a simple game, if you can run the football effectively, you’re going to be tough to stop but if you can also attack people on the outside with the pass and compliment that, it makes you even better. So, if we can do those two things on offense and then play sound defense, make sure we’re aligned properly and be really solid tacklers I think everything will be fine.”

The bar was raised for football at Good Hope last season as soon as the game against Jacksonville was over, but Scott just wants his guys to stay within themselves, play hard and have fun.

“When you have a younger team, they tend to be very coachable, they tend not to get discouraged or anything like that. They just want to go out and play football and I think that’s great so we’re definitely not going to try to put any pressure on them other than the fact we just want them to play hard,” Scott said. “Play with a lot of effort and represent their school well and be disciplined and if they can do those things, I’ll be very proud of them.” 

Good Hope (Class 4A, Region 5)

2018 record: 11-2 (5-1)

2018 opponents record: 65-76

Averaged 34 points per game, allowed 16 points per game. Defeated top-ranked, undefeated Jacksonville at home 27-12 in round two of the AHSAA State Playoffs. Advanced to round three for first time since 1997.

Alan Scott entering fifth season as head coach.

Departing seniors: Bailey Quick, Matthew Hancock, Matt Dixon, Preston Bagwell, Levi McCall, Jonathan Quick, Cameron Twilley, Isaiah Green, Matthew Schwaiger, Oscar Tepetate, Dylan McDonald, Austin Knight, Robert Speegle, Samuel Jones, Peyton Hill, Jackson Hancock, Riley Kilpatrick, Ethan Rasco, Justin Rasco, Slade Heatherly, Brandon Oliver, D.J. Anderson, Tommy Fetters, Sam Jones, Zebb Kagel, Dalton White, Slade Heatherly.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 23r – vs. Carbon Hill

Aug. 30t – vs. Priceville

Sep. 6t – @ Cordova *

Sep. 13t – @ Tanner

Sep. 20t – @ Oak Grove *

Oct. 4t – vs. Northside *

Oct. 11t – @ Haleyville *

Oct. 18t – vs. Curry *

Oct. 25t – vs. Fayette County *

Nov. 1s – @ Hanceville

McEachern Photography

Good Hope Cheerleaders

(junior varsity): Gracelyn Bowerman, Hannah Evans, Amy Wray, Bonnie Williams, Kaliza Brown, Aubrey Aker, Marlee Williams and Katie Woodall; (varsity): Paris Stricklin, Raven Adams, Allie Sartin, Rileigh Ray, Callie Shelton, Destiny Powe, Bella Davis, Savanna Derrick, Kayla Quick, Audri Patrick, Ashlin Hamm and Zoe Vincent

2019 Good Hope Football Roster

No.      Name                          Grade

1          Eli Ray                        12

2          Cole Maddox              12

3          Ethan Anderson          10

4          Jager Burns                 10

5          Colton Williams          12

6          Eli Pugh                      11

7          Drew Maddox             12

8          CJ Brannan                 11

9          Kason Smith               9

10        Jesse Blackmon           11

11        Tanner Malin               10

12        John King                    12

13        Ashton Twilley            12

14        Paydon Bagwell          10

15        Lawton Farr                11

19        Max Bavar                  12

20        Briley Mattox              10

21        Zach Watson               12

22        Walter Perez               11

23        Jed Clements               9

24        Colton Bagwell           11

25        Michael Owens           11

26        Jake Kicker                 10

28        Will Flynt                   11

30        Drew Easterwood       10

31        Caleb Willingham       9

32        Jared Pugh                  11

33        Kaleb Jones                 9

35        Taz Bartlett                 9

41        Charlie O’Neal            9

42        Braxton Marshall        10

44        Russ Wooten               9

50        Doston Putman           11

51        Matt Kraus                  12

52        Justin Wisener             12

53        Wyatt Jones                 10

54        Cody Dye                    11

55        Dalton Farr                  12

56        Lucas Hill                    11

57        Jackson Dillashaw      11

58        Clayton Herring          10

59        Justin Crumpton          12

60        Israel Ramos               12

61        Landon Piper               10

62        Caleb Willis                 10

63        Trevor Pace                 12

64        Matt Self                     10

65        Ben Gillespie              9

66        Levi Freeman              9

67        Noah Grogan              9

68        Morgan Cook              10

70        Jake Doss                    10

71        Ethan Anderson          11

72        Jeb Jarrett                   10

73        Jude Johnson               9

74        Kaden Cornelius         9

76        Logan Self                  10

78        Christian Davis           12

79        Kash Hembree            9

80        Tyler Black                 10

84        Nick Fletcher              12

88        Bricen Harper             11

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