PREP FOOTBALL: Addison hungry for another playoff run in 2021

(Bill Miller Photography)

ADDISON, Ala. — The Addison Bulldogs finished the 2020 season with a 7-5 record and a second-place finish in 2A Region 5. Most coaches would be pleased with that record to go along with a second-round playoff appearance, but not Coach David Smothers of Addison. Coach Smothers, entering his 10th season at the helm of the Bulldogs, looks forward to what promises to be another successful season. 

“We played a very challenging schedule last year, with three 4A schools (Good Hope, Haleyville and Hamilton) on it,” Smothers said. “Lost all three games but we were right there in two of those three games with ample opportunities to win.”

Addison’s offense has been very diverse since Coach Smothers’ arrival. Long known as “a three-yards and a cloud of dust team”, Coach Smothers implemented a form of spread attack when he arrived. 

“You have to be capable of doing everything well in today’s game. I attribute a lot of our success to being able to impose our will on most teams that we play,” Smothers said. “If we need to go with two tight ends and just pound the ball, we can do that. If we need to spread the field with three and four wide receivers, we can do that. It just all depends on your opponents and what their weaknesses are. I have been blessed to have the players that can accomplish what we ask them to do.”

The 2021 Bulldogs will be led by three-year starter and second team All-State Senior QB Christian “Ice Man” Roberts. The running back situation will be a little different this year due to the Dawgs losing seniors Weston “Big Game” Smith and Nelson “Tank” Martin, two big and bruising runners.

“Christian is a natural leader and a really good athlete. He has a strong arm, good size and is sneaky fast. Christian can make plays with his arm and legs. I am expecting big things from Christian this year,” Smothers said. “We don’t have a bell cow running back this year. We will be a bit smaller, but I believe we are going to be quicker, and I have faith in our guys to perform.” 

Two returning players who got plenty of carries last year are Seniors Will “The Thrill” Tuggle and Justin “Rocky” Mather. Tuggle being quicker and smaller, while Mather being a solid big back.

“We have a good mixture of older guys and a couple of young guys that are going to get plenty of playing time,” Smothers said. “(Jack) Wilson, (Eli) Howse and (Justin) Mather played some last year there and we have some younger guys led by Sophomore Braden Luker who I expect to contribute.” 

The Bulldog receiving corps is solid led by returning starters Senior “Touchdown” Tommy Lee Daniel and sure handed Senior Brody Dollar. Daniel, the master of the big play, was a pleasant surprise when he transferred in from Meek. 

“Tommy Lee (Daniel) really stepped-up last year for us. He provided us with a deep threat. We have a couple of Freshman who I think will be able to help us at the receiver position,” Smothers said. “Jed (Wilkins) and Kaden (Dyson) I expect to play. Mather will play tight end when he isn’t running the ball.”

Addison’s offensive line should be a strength since they return three full time starters and a fourth that started several games. Seniors (guard) Mark Williams 6’1″ 220lbs, (tackle) Ross “Mini Fridge” Steele 5’11” 215lbs and (guard) Mac “Golden Locks” Cagle 5’11” 210lbs were full time starters last year. Junior Lucas Crowe 5’11” 240lbs started several games and appears to have locked down the center position. 

“Our line will be our strength. I have no doubt that they will play well,” Smothers said. “I have two freshman Bradley Willett and Bobby Williams that are fighting for the other tackle position. Both of those guys have really improved.” 

Senior Eli “Curly” Howse will handle the kicking and punting duties again this fall. 

“We feel good with Eli (Howse) kicking from 35 yards and in. It is a real plus when you can count on scoring points in the red zone, even if it isn’t a touchdown,” Assistant Coach Scott Flynn stated. “That alleviates some of the pressure on the offense if you know you have three points in the bag so to speak.”

Addison is by and large known as a defensive school, and they should be strong on that side of the ball again this year. Addison had a solid defense last year, but the stats were skewed due to a few not so solid performances against Aliceville 36 points and Good Hope which hung 49 points on the Dawgs. Addison runs mainly a 5-2 and a 4-4. 

“We took some big losses on defense this year due to graduation. Nelson Martin and Nelson Hernandez were extremely good linebackers, and they will be missed. I believe that Jack (Wilson) and Ross (Steele) can step in and provide us with quality play,” Smothers said. “Mather will be a force to be reckoned with on the outside. He will provide us with a good pass rush and offenses will have to know where he is. The good thing about our Linebacker situation is the players that will be stepping up this year played a lot last year. They got a lot of experience; I mean real game time experience.”

“Our secondary should be solid. Christian (Roberts) and Eli (Howse) will man the corners, both started last year. Brody (Dollar) is a solid safety and a very smart football player,” Smothers said. “He is rarely out of position. There are several younger guys that I know will contribute, mainly (Braden) Luker and Jed (Wilkins). Junior Brian Berry came out for football this year and he looked really good in the spring.”

Coach Smothers is only three victories short of tying his father, Steve Smothers, as the third winningest coach in Addison High School history with 79. Coach Smothers has posted a 76-30 in nine seasons and has two region titles under his belt. Even more impressive is that he has made the playoffs every year he has coached. When told how close he was to passing his father Coach Smothers replied,

“I am just glad to be mentioned in the same sentence as my dad. Dad was successful here and carried on the tradition of winning that was established by Coach Hicks and Stephenson. I believe that we have a ways to go to pass Coach Hicks and Coach Stephenson, he said with a chuckle.”

Hall of Fame coaches Hicks and Stephenson are the two winningest coaches in Addison history with 139 and 131 wins respectively. 

All in all, even with another challenging schedule the Bulldogs should compete for another region title and make the playoffs again. Good things are afloat here in Bulldog country and fans, students, players and parents expect a successful season and a long playoff run. Roll Addi Roll!!

2021 Addison Football Schedule

Aug. 20: Haleyville

Aug. 26: @ Lynn

Sept. 3: Aliceville*

Sept. 10: @ Midfield*

Sept. 17: Winston County*

Sept. 24: @ Good Hope

Oct. 1: @ Cold Springs*

Oct. 8: @ Lamar County*

Oct. 15: Hamilton

Oct. 22: Sulligent*

2021 Addison Football Roster

#1 Jed Wilkins

#3 Christian Roberts

#5 Jordan Hubbart

#7 Aiden Thompson

#8 Briley Holt

#10 Tommy Lee Daniel

#12 Justin Mather

#14 Eli Howse

#15 Owen Pratt

#17 Brody Dollar

#18 Peyton Holland

#20 Jacob Mauldin

#21 Brian Berry

#23 Braden Smith

#24 Hayden Holland

#28 Will Tuggle

#32 Zach Thompson

#34 Jack Wilson

#36 Kayden Dyson

#40 Braden Luker

#50 Tanner Lawrence

#51 Mac Cagle

#52 Cordell Barnett

#54 Mark Williams

#55 Dawson Lemley

#60 Ross Steele

#61 Brant Stovall

#70 Isaiah Treece

#72 Leighton Wyatt

#73 Bobby Williams

#76 Lucus Crow

#77 Ethan Woodard

#78 Bradley Willett

2021 Addison Varsity Cheerleaders

Ivy Hale, Kaylie Blake, Madison Cleghorn, Callie Gilliland, Bonnie Alvis, Kalandra Sumlin, Mascot: Hunter Miller, Morgan Overton, Emma Ridgeway, Mattie Ward, Lindsey Denson, Hannah Phillips and Savannah Lynn.  

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