High School Football Preview: Bessemer City Purple Tigers

College Sports

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Don’t blink or you might miss it. Bessemer City is looking to scorch some turf this year, and new offensive coordinator Errol Jones thinks he has the horses to do it. “We have team speed unlike anything I’ve ever coached before, with the exception of college,” said Jones, who was a running backs coach at Alabama A&M. Corner back Denzell Mason takes it a step further. He agrees the speed in phenomenal on the 2015 Tigers, but it’s just one facet in an array of potential problems for opposing teams. “Everywhere,” he said when asked what the strength of the team is. “It’s not just one area, the strength is everywhere.”

Last year could be perceived as a letdown in head coach Martez Edwards’ second season leading the Purple Tigers. His team entered the year ranked in the top ten of the Alabama Sports Writers Association poll, only to go 5-5 in the regular season and get bounced by eventual state runner-up Saraland in the first round of the playoffs. The early exit, though, has not diminished the confidence of the west Jefferson County squad. “Attitude, swagger, we bring it all,” said linebacker Jeremiah Jones. “It’s Bessemer.”

OFFENSE: When it rained, it poured for Bessemer City in 2014. When it didn’t rain, it was bone-dry. With the addition of Jones to the coaching staff, the Purple Tigers will look to be a balanced offense. “The one thing I’m going to do is look at what we do best and I’m going to build my game plans around our strengths,” said Jones. “I don’t want to be heavy passing the ball and I don’t want to be heavy running the ball.” He’ll get both with quarterback Antonio Stanton, a dual threat junior. Delvecchio Johnson, who’s capable of shredding opposing defenses, should be back to help Stanton. “If you’re fifty-fifty and you have a great mix of passes with your run game, I’ve found that’s been my success,” said Jones.

DEFENSE: The Purple Tigers have more of a canine feel on defense, if you take Mason’s word for it. “Everybody’s a dog on the defensive side of the ball,” said Mason”. Everybody plays their role well, we just do so well and it makes me feel good to see my defense.” Jeremiah Jones, a D-I recruit, will lead the defense from his linebacker position. ““I see a group of guys that’s going to get it,” he said. “We ain’t backing down from nobody. We take challenges head on and I just see greatness.” Jamal Brooks will join Mason Jones as leaders on the defense. The 2014 edition put on a good show, allowing just over 23 points a game, so any experience back from that group is a positive. “We definitely have that swag on defense,” said Jones.

In a game where speed can be deadly, the Purple Tigers have a loaded arsenal. If you believe that scores tell the story, then Bessemer City is gaining ground on region powerhouse McAdory. They may cover that ground quicker with their team of speedsters. “It’s going to be a challenge but every week we are going to compete and the fact that we have this team speed, the competition is every day,” said Jones. “So what we face in practice will get us ready for our ballgames on Friday nights.”Bessemer City Purple Tigers 2015 Football Schedule:

8/21 – Hueytown

8/28 – @ Shades Valley

9/4 – Brookwood

9/11 – @ Bryant

9/18 – Hillcrest

10/2 – @ McAdory

10/9 – Selma

10/16 – @ Northridge

10/23 – Center Point

10/30 – @ Spain Park

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