PREP FOOTBALL: Cold Springs ready to hit the field with experienced squad

The Cold Springs Eagles will open the season at Meek Thursday night. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

BREMEN, Ala. — Football has returned to Cullman County and for the Eagles of Cold Springs, this season will be about bouncing back and improving on a disappointing finish to the 2018 season. Head Coach Rod Elliott is entering his 12th season on the sideline at Cold Springs and he has already seen this year’s team begin to take over and establish its own identity.

“We’re looking forward to this football season. It’s been a couple years since we made the playoffs and I kind of feel like a fish out of water with that too because our expectations are always to be in the playoffs. But we think we’ve got the type of team this year that can get that done for us and we’re really excited about that,” Elliott said. “We’ve got strong leaders this year that have been working hard all summer and leading our kids really well. They actually had a meeting yesterday without any of the coaches involved, it was just the players and that’s always a good thing. I try to explain to the kids that they can police themselves better than I can police them. Kids will do more for other kids than they will for us older people so I’m really excited about the leadership we’ve had and I’m really excited about our football team coming up this year.”

Elliot had high praise for his entire team’s work this offseason but made sure to point out senior Lawson Burgess. Burgess will be lining up at receiver this season and Elliott has seen his skills and confidence grow throughout the summer.

“He went to a couple camps this summer and you can see his confidence growing and growing and growing and what we envisioned for him as a player when he first started is what we’re starting to see now,” Elliott said. “We went to some passing camps this summer and he played really well, looked like the best receiver at the camp. He’s a big, tall, long guy and we kind of expect when the ball is thrown for him to go get it and he did exactly that. So, his confidence has really grown and that’s the main thing for the kids.”

Elliott’s goal is always to make the playoffs and now that he has seen this year’s seniors step up and take on a leadership role, he’s even more optimistic about this year’s team making it happen.

“They’ve been young and played when they were 14 and played when they were 15 and 16 but now, they’re 17 and 18 and there are no excuses anymore. It’s time for these guys to take those two or three years of varsity experience they already have an put it to work,” Elliott said. “Just because you have experience doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have success; you’ve got to have good leadership and I’ve been really impressed with our senior leadership this year and how they’ve taken control of the team.”

The Eagles will have some experience returning at several positions this fall, including under center. Junior quarterback Brodi Williams will be leading the Cold Springs offense once again and Coach Elliott has been very encouraged by what he has seen from Williams this summer.

“Brodi is a really intelligent kid. He’s a kid that off the field, will do anything you ask him to do and, on the field, he’ll do what you ask him to do and then add to that. Sometimes its stuff that I want him to add and sometimes it’s not,” Elliott smiled. “Brodi has got a fantastic arm and really throws the ball well but he’s got to gain some more experience throwing the ball. He’s been a play caller and a signal caller for two years but now he’s got to take that next step which is being able to distribute the ball in a timely manner.”

Elliott has high hopes for this year’s team. He’s seen this group of upperclassmen work their way up to the varsity level and collect some valuable experience on their way there. The postseason is always the goal for Cold Springs and this year will be no exception. With what he sees as a talented, experienced roster hitting the field this fall, Elliott is optimistic that this group can get it done.

“We lost one offensive lineman up front and the rest of them are back, our quarterback is back, Ayden Alexander will be our primary running back and he’s played for two years. So, we’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of experience. I’m a math teacher and I understand that zero times two is zero, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case here,” Elliott said. “I think these guys are really talented kids, when they played junior high ball they were very dominant, and it’s getting time to where they can turn that over to the varsity level and I think you’re going to see a really nice football team this year that’s going to do really well.”

Cold Springs (Class 2A, Region 5)

2018 record: 4-6 (2-4)

2018 opponents record: 39-67

Averaged 20.5 points per game, allowed 29 points per game.

1-4 record on the road, 3-2 record at home. Opened season with four straight wins, missed postseason.

Rod Elliott entering 12th season as head coach.

Departing seniors: Mason Harris, Will Swann, Cole Garmon, Calvin McNabb, Clay Rollo, Francisco Ayala, Leighton Keller, Trevor Reeder, Ethan Parker, Grant Lang, Christian Perez.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 22nd – @ Meek

Aug. 30th – @ Berry Fayette

Sep. 6th – vs. Southeastern *

Sep. 13th – @ Sumiton Christian *

Sep. 20th – vs. Aliceville *

Sep. 27th – vs. Appalachian

Oct. 11th – @ Winston County *

Oct. 18th – vs. Tarrant *

Oct. 25th – @ Sulligent *

Oct. 31st – vs. Vinemont

Joe McEachern Photography

Cold Springs Varsity Cheerleaders

Cheslee Black, Madison Perdue, Billie Tucker, Lakely Livingston, Jayden Williams, Kailey Coffey, Emma McClendon, Katie Salley and Breanna Bell. (all seniors): Hadley Hinds, Kailyn Manasco, Kadie Henderson, Mallory Ballenger, Taylor Teems, Sadie Terry and Sadie McClendon.

2019 Cold Springs Football Roster

No.      Name                         Grade

1          Dylan Gable                12       

2          Izaiah Estell                11       

3          Chase Allcorn             12       

4          Jacob Rollo                 9         

5          Ayden Alexander        11       

6          Matthew McKinney    12       

7          Brodi Williams            11       

8          Hank Harrison             9         

10        Jordan Lacey               12                   

11        Roberto Ayala             11       

13        Tucker Philbeck          9                     

17        Seth Williams              10       

20        Dezmon Estell             9         

22        Lawson Burgess          12       

48        Houston McCarn         12       

54        Caleb McClendon       9         

55        Jagger White               11       

56        Jacob McClendon       11       

58        Zeke White                 10       

61        Devon Johnson           9         

63        Stephen Boyett           12       

65        Grant Lang                  12                   

70        Tristan Jewell              10       

72        Brady Bailey               11       

74        Cooper Davis             9         

79        Grayson Phillips          10       

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