Selma, Ellwood ready for first-ever gridiron showdownPublished 9:31pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A pair of local schools are hoping their first-ever meeting on the gridiron will lead to a long-term rivalry starting on Friday night.
The Selma High School Saints (3-6, 2-5 Class 5A-Region 3) will face the Ellwood Christian Academy Eagles (5-4, 4-3 Class 1A-Region 3) Friday at 7 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
Leroy Miles, head football coach of Selma High School, said he thinks the first meeting between the Saints and Eagles will be a big one, with a little added familiarity for both of the schools.
“I think it means a lot to our team. We have about eight guys that played for us last year that’s on their team,” Miles said. “It’s a local rivalry, it’s the first and it’s huge for us. It gives the winner bragging rights for the year. I think Ellwood has nothing to lose being a 1A school playing a 5A school. They’ve got everything to gain and we’ve got more to lose than anything. I think it’s very important to our kids.”
Ellwood head football coach Mike Stokes said it’s a game he hopes will become an annual showdown and in order to win the first meeting the Eagles will have to stop the run.
“We’re going to try to turn it into a big rivalry, and the kids, I think right now it means the world to them to be able to play Selma High School,” Stokes said. “Coach Miles does a good job over there. They’re going to run the ball right at you with those big offensive linemen. That’s what we have to stop.”
Miles said the Eagles are a good team that has accomplished much in their first year in the Alabama High School Athletic Association, and the Saints are going to have to keep the mistakes to a minimum to be able to win.
“I think we need to stay focused on what our program is about, and that’s about doing things right,” Miles said. “We have to play with character, minimize our mistakes and take advantage of any mistakes they make. I think that’s going to be the key. I think that we’re going to have to stay focused, stay disciplined and carry out our assignments.”
Stokes said winning the turnover battle will be key.
“You can’t turn the ball over. We’ve got to control the line of scrimmage, play good defense and make a few plays here and there and maybe some on special teams,” Stokes said.
Keith hosting Choctaw County
The No. 7 Keith Bears (8-1, 6-1 Class 1A-Region 3) will host the Choctaw County Tigers (2-7, 1-6 Class 2A-Region 1) on Friday at 7 p.m. for homecoming.
The Tigers enter Friday’s game on a two-game losing streak, coming off a 26-14 loss to Southern Choctaw.
The Bears are coming off their first loss of the season, a 55-7 road defeat to No. 6 Maplesville.
Choctaw leads the all-time series 1-0-1, with this being the first meeting between the two schools since 1972 when the Tigers defeated the Bears 20-8.