Domination in the state of Alabama for high school football is spelled T-O-R-O-S. Spanish Fort has proved time and time again that the road to the state crown runs through the Eastern Shore. So, how does teams that’s won back-to-back state titles and finish 29-1 in two seasons, get better this spring?
“Our older guys, we kind of know what they’ve done and what we’ve done with them in the past, but we’re going to spend a lot of time with our younger kids to try and develop some depth there and get out ninth grader acclimated to being at the high school, but mainly our older guys to reevaluate some things that we might not have been real good at last year,” said head coach, Mark Freeman.
“It feels great. We have a great team coming back this year. We just have to work hard and let the coaches’ coach us up and play,” said Toros’ quarterback Tyler Johnston.
Johnston enters his junior season this fall after leading his team to two straight 5A titles and an offense that outscored its opponents by 500 points in 2013.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed coaching a kid like him. I’m hard on him and he understands why I’m hard, I’m not just kicking him in the tail everyday. We’re trying to make him better, our goal is for him to be the best player to come out of these parts when he gets out of here, and he’s buying into that. I see him get better everyday, he got better every game last year, he’s one eleventh of that team when we get the ball but the other ten are looking at him and I feel like he’s just a great kid to coach, and a great person,” said Freeman.
“There’s a lot of pressure but I believe in coach freeman, he’ll coach me up and I’ll just have to play,” said Johnston. “It’s not just me, it’s the players, we have great players that play and we have a great defense that will back me up if I do something wrong.”
Spanish Fort is a force to be reckoned with on both sides of the ball. The Toros defense only allowed 8.5 per game last season.
“Every week we just work hard on what we need to learn on the other team and stop what they do best and that’s what we work on,” said linebacker J.D. Campbell. “We improved from the year before that and it’s going to be hard to improve again this year. But as long as we stay around there then we’ll be good.”
“Every day is different and every team is different and everything’s a puzzle and it’s just like game week, every week is different, we put that puzzle together. I’m rewarded daily by the coaches and the players that we get to be around and like I said, people say – well every schools got kids, everyone’s got coaches, but for this time and this world, and the way this thing is, you’re judged on what you’re doing now and tomorrow, you can’t live off of what went on yesterday, just like we can’t we can’t put too much on the negatives of yesterday or anything. I think our kids have bought into the fact that we talk to them about, everybody wants to win, we didn’t play a team that didn’t want to win, and our days consist of making it able to win,” said Freeman.