High School Football Preview: Clay-Chalkville Cougars

College Sports

CLAY, Ala. (WIAT) — Clay-Chalkville hasn’t put pavement down yet on their football field, but you can’t blame them if they do. The Cougars zipped around opponents like a NASCAR driver on the world’s longest downhill straight away. Jerry Hood’s squad obliterated opposing defenses to the tune of 48.7 points per game in 2014, and were never held below 35. “That’s off the charts a little it,” said Hood. “If we score four touchdowns, we ought to win and I’ll be happy.”

“Destroy Their Will.” “Only The Family.” The Cougars always find a player-generated phrases that elevates to mantra status; as long as it has Hood’s approval. “T.J. [Simmons] had one early in the year, and we had to fire that one because I didn’t like it,” said Hood with a smile.

“‘All Gas, No Breaks,’ kind of stuck.”

It sounds bad at first, especially when you consider the dizzying speed Clay-Chalkville can put up points. “When you enter the weight room, you’ve got to be on the gas. We have to push the pedal down and push ourselves to the max,” said Hood. “When we go to class, we’ve got to do the things necessary to get an ‘A’, all gas. It’s just some silly rally rant.”

OFFENSE: There’s good news and bad news. The good news is the rich got richer. Desmond Williams, whom Hood described as a, ‘Crafty little deal,’ transferred to CCHS from Pinson Valley. He joins Alabama commitment T.J. Simmons and highly-recruited 2017 prospect Nico Collins on a scary-good perimeter. First team All-State quarterback Ty Pigrome returns to pilot the ship after garnering his first SEC offer (Missouri) over the summer. “You have to work harder knowing everyone’s going to play their best game against you,” said Simmons. “You have to come out and show them you’re the best team in the state or one of the best teams in the country.” Not only do Collins and Simmons have tremendous ball skills, they also have the capability to create opportunities for their teammates. “If they want to double Nico that’s fine,” said Hood. “We’ll just put Nico and T.J. together and then if they put four over there to cover those two, we’re going to run to the right. It’s not very hard. We’re going to force people by alignment to play sound, individual football.”

DEFENSE: The offense sells the tickets, but it was the defense that pushed the Cougars to the top of 6A last year. “Basically what we do is get the ball right back to the offense and let them do what they do,” said defensive end Cole Baker. A unit that stymied opponents at a 21.8 points per game clip must replace all-state defensive lineman Nick McDaniel and Kendall Jones. Senior C.J. Toney transferred in from Shades Valley, joining Armoni and Amari Holloway in the secondary. Kenyon Hasberry and Terry Brown are going to be counted on to solidify the linebacking corps. “Our region has a lot of playmakers,” said Baker. “For us to be as good as we are, we have to stop those playmakers.”

The Cougars were able to play off their namesake’s natural instinct last year, acting as the predator attacking 6A with something to prove. That won’t be the case in 2015, as the hunters have now become the hunted. “It’s a lot easier to climb and have the underdog story with great speeches of they don’t respect you,” said Hood. “Now, we have to see if we’ve got the character to handle success.”Clay-Chalkville 2015 Schedule:

8/22 – @ Blackman (Tenn.)

8/28 – @ Minor

9/04 – @ Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa

9/11 – @ Huffman

9/18 – Pinson Valley

10/02 – @ Center Point

10/09 – Shades Valley

10/16 – @Woodlawn

10/23 – Gardendale

10/30 – Hewitt-Trussville

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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