James Jones column: Prep football no disappointment

Published 5:12 am Saturday, November 18, 2023

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For the first time this year, we won’t have any high school football coverage in Saturday’s Selma Times-Journal. The prep football season in Dallas County ended in the first round of the state playoffs when Southside and Keith were eliminated on Nov. 10.

During the season every Friday, the football coverage routine was the same – attend a game, take photos, return to office, download photos, write story, paginate the sports page and finish off the 12-page print edition for the printer before our 11:45 p.m. deadline.

Other duties are: posting scores on The Selma Times-Journal’s Facebook Page, send scoring  to the Alabama Sportswriters Association (ASWA) and then file the newspaper e-edition.

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Am I disappointed in the Panthers and Bears being one-and-done for the state playoffs? Of course not. They lost to talented teams that could make a deep postseason run, and these teams play in tough regions.

St. James, Trinity and Alabama Christian Academy finished ahead of Southside in Region 3, 3A. Keith competes with Linden and Sweet Water in Region 3, 1A.

Southside and Keith both gave it their all as the top two teams in Dallas County. They were entertaining to watch.

The Panthers could score easily with quarterback MJ Reese, wide receivers Derick Smith and Erick Smith.

Keith was strong defensively with a potent running game.

Despite the early exits, the future looks bright on the gridiron in Dallas County next year.

The spotlight will be on Southside and its prize recruit, Derick Smith, a Top 10 prospect in the Class of 2025.  Colleges across the country will be spending a lot of time at Southside High School next year trying to sign Smith.

We are looking forward to 2024.