Saturday, October 20, 2007

Upstart Aggies chasing playoffs

Upstart Aggies chasing playoffs
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Times Sports Staff

ALBERTVILLE - Coach Tommy Tharp believes his Albertville football team found a benchmark in its second game of this season.

The host Aggies fought their way to a 28-20 victory over Butler.

"We felt (after that) that we could compete with people," Tharp said. "Nobody had given us much of a chance."

Tharp's building program is in its third season. From 1-9 in 2005, Albertville improved to 4-6 last season and to 4-3 (3-2 in Class 5A, Region 7) so far this year.

The Aggies, who are very much in the playoff picture, will be at winless Southside on Friday night before hosting Lee.

Tharp said it's no secret why the team has improved.

"I attribute most of it to the weight room," he said. "We are not very fast."

Albertville stunned Scottsboro 35-14 last week.

"We felt we could play with those guys," Tharp said. "We got a few breaks early and were able to capitalize on them."

Junior quarterback Jared Fontaine passed for five touchdowns last week, and for the season he is 45-for-85 for 652 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Receivers Dustin Duckett and Madison Tharp (son of the coach) each have six touchdown receptions. Duckett has caught 22 passes for 448 yards while Tharp has completed 15-of-145.

Linebacker Dalton Maynord was out last week with a shoulder injury. He is now day-to-day.

Boaz much-improved: The Pirates had as many as nine players out earlier in the season and dropped two straight games.

Boaz then defeated Douglas and Ashville to go 5-2, 3-2 in Class 4A, Region 6.

"I'm proud of the effort the kids have given," Boaz coach Drew Noles said. "We had our backs to the wall."

The road ahead is difficult. Guntersville (5-2, 4-1) visits on Friday night, then the Pirates play at Cherokee County.

Drew Phillips is has rushed for over 900 yards for Boaz. R.J. Busha, who missed some time due to a broken hand, has rushed for 500.

Linebacker Ryan Gaskin has made 92 tackles while place-kicker Robby Spruiell is 4-for-4 on field goals and 13-for-15 on extra points.

West Limestone travels to Lauderdale Co.: Friday night's game in Lester is big for both teams. Each stands 2-3 in Class 3A, Region 8, while overall West Limestone is 4-3 and Lauderdale County 2-5.

"It's a must win for us," West Limestone coach David Arnsparger said. "The next two games (including Clements on the road next week), we have to have to make the playoffs."

The Wildcats have gotten productive play from quarterback Tommy Reyer, who has over 300 yards total offense twice in games this season, and fullback/defensive end Palmer Askew who had four sacks last week against Lexington.

New Century easing into sports: New Century High School of Huntsville, which has been accepted as a member of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, currently has cross country going and principal Paul Glover said the school will likely take part in swimming also.

The cross country team features senior Tyler Spencer and sophomores Jeriel Johnson, Nick Britton and Scott Sunderburg.

"They've done quite well," New Century coach Aidan Bailey said. "They've been productive. I think we'll be very good by next year."

New Century, without a nickname so far, will take part in the Athens Bible School meet today.

The Huntsville Times

Huntsville, AL

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