The future looks bright for DCHS footballPublished 10:51pm Monday, December 2, 2013
The Dallas County Hornets football team didn’t get the results it wanted this year and head coach Barry Colburn is the first person to admit it.
“We are disappointed,” Colburn said. “We are disappointed in 2-8. That’s not what I came here for and that’s not what our kids want.”
The Hornets finished 2013 at 2-8, the same as last season, but the results felt different this year. Games that were blowouts in 2012 seemed to be more competition in 2013, something Colburn is quick to point out.
For instance, a 60-0 home loss to Central Clay County in 2012 turned into a 27-0 road loss in 2013. Last season, the Hornets lost 53-0 to Handley and this year it was a 35-12 final.
Colburn believes the football program is taking baby steps.
“I believe we are heading in the right direction,” Colburn said.
Success at some of the lower levels of the program helps too. The Hornets ‘junior varsity team completed an undefeated season — the second known undefeated JV season in school history. Martin Middle School, which traditionally has seen many of its students move on to DCHS, also went undefeated for its first ever undefeated season.
“We have a real JV team,” Colburn said. “When I say real, we had 38 kids and you had to be in the ninth or tenth grade. You couldn’t play on the varsity. No varsity starters or backups or any of that kind of stuff.”
When the season ended, Colburn said he looked at the JV roster and none of the players had even turned 16 years old yet. Now that some of the younger Hornets have experienced success, Colburn hopes that can translate to the rest of the program.
“You learn to win and you lean to lose. You learn these things and what it takes to get these things accomplished,” Colburn said. “Now we have some winning attitudes coming in and some kids that understand some of the things we have preached to them this year — including playing from the kickoff to the last buzzer.”
It has been a long time since Dallas County had a successful season on the gridiron.
Dallas County’s record over the last nine seasons is 19-71, which equals a winning percentage of .211. The last time Dallas County won more games than it lost was 2003, when the Hornets went 7-4.
The only way to the postseason — Dallas County and every other school’s ultimate goal — is to win region games, but the Hornets have not won one since 2010 and are 9-54 over the last nine seasons against regional foes.
But the numbers also show that it is possible to win at Dallas County. In 1990, the Hornets won the state championship and from 1990 to 2004 the school went .500 or better eleven times.
None of those numbers affect the upcoming team for the Hornets, which is showing promise only a few weeks from the end of the 2013 season.
The Hornets will have 56 players back on next year’s team and Colburn is already trying to figure out his numbers for next season.
Dallas County had over 100 kids sign up for football and although Colburn admits that is a number that likely won’t hold up, he is excited because it shows how many kids in the school want to play the sport and be a Hornet.
“We have some kids that have moved in and kids that were not eligible,” Colburn said. “The list has moved on and on and on and we have all those junior high kids ready to move up. I make a list of everybody that wants to come out for football. Whether they make it out or not, we had 125 guys sign up. That’s a lot of kids.”
In January, the Alabama High School Athletic Association will make new regions for the teams, meaning the Hornets could move up to 5A.