‘Stage set’ for Selma homecoming

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 5, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

It doesn’t get a whole lot bigger than this – homecoming, a two-game winning streak on the line and one of the biggest names in the rap industry coming to the house.

Tonight will be as much a statement for the Selma Saints as it will be a game.

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The Saints (3-2, 1-2 6A Region 4) have recently begun to pick things back up after losing two straight games earlier in the season.

But Stanhope Elmore (4-1, 2-1) comes in as one of the newest members of 6A ball, and the Mustangs have held their own against the competition.

The Saints want to send the message that they’re not like the rest of the competition.

“The stage has been set,” said Selma coach Brian Montgomery. “Homecoming is always the time when former players and former students come back and see what’s going on at their former school. (Stanhope) has had success on the 5A level, and they’ve got to find a new place in 6A.

“We want to show them they’re not going to find a place here in Selma.”

That’s all good, but it still doesn’t explain how Montgomery got Pastor Troy to come to Selma to perform – playing to the rhythm of the Selma marching band, no less.

“I grew up two houses down from him in Atlanta,” Montgomery said. “Me and his brother are best friends. I wanted to do something to set the stage here, and this has never been done in the state of Alabama on the high school level.”

So the Saints have the music, and they have the hype.

But will their play on the field be loud enough to match the music?

For the sake of their playoff hopes – and their pride – it better.

“We’re playing this game right here for our playoff season,” Montgomery said. “There are a bunch of ties in our region. This game right here will clear some of the smoke out.”

Naturally, the Saints think they can win this game and they’re preparing as such.

But they don’t have any delusions about the quality of the opponent that will be walking on the field.

“Any opponent I come across, I give the utmost respect in the world to,” Montgomery said. “We’re going to treat this game like they’re the No. 1 seed.”