Football action returns to CCA

Published 10:10 pm Thursday, July 16, 2009

Central Christian Academy’s football program will return to the field this season without three players.

All the time.

CCA will be one of the few schools in the Black Belt Region to play in the Christian Football Association’s eight-man league. The season opens Aug. 21 at Open Door in Tuscaloosa.

Email newsletter signup

School officials, who have been without a varsity football team for a season, couldn’t be more excited for Monday’s first meeting of prospective gridiron warriors.

“This is an opportunity to get back in the swing of things,” said the Rev. Carl Rawls, CCA board president and boys varsity basketball coach. “We have about 16 players who are interested in the team.”

Students who are interested in playing on CCA’s eight-man team must meet at the school at 6 p.m. Monday for orientation, physicals and drills.

Head football coach Darrell Walker said he’s ready to hit the field.

“It’s great to have football back at Central Christian Academy, to see those pads and helmets moving again,” he said.

“We love playing football and I can’t wait to get back on the field.”

Eight-man football is not uncommon among smaller schools who cannot field large teams. The style of play is similar to professional indoor football.

“It’s going to be a more wide-open football, more long passes, more high scoring,” said Walker, who added the three players who are usually pulled off a conventional 11-man team are two linemen and a receiver on offense and two defensive backs and a lineman on defense. “We’re glad to be the first ones to bring eight-man football to this area.”

“This will give another option for football in the area,” Rawls said.

The schedule calls for the farthest road trips to be Columbus, Miss., and Tuscaloosa.

“With the schedule we have, there is not a lot of travel involved,” Rawls said. “We are trying to get back on the field.”

CCA’s three home games — all on Thursday nights — will be played at Memorial Stadium.

The Alabama Christian Education Association oversees eight-man football through the Christian Football Association.

“It’s all about the kids,” Rawls said. “We will do by whatever means possible to keep these doors open for the children.”