MIDFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) — The Midfield Patriots are led by a man of few words. Rod Isaac is entering his fifth year at the helm of the squad and has made his goals clear. The Patriots have made the playoffs every year under Isaac, but have yet to advance past the third round. “We just work,” said Isaac. “Our ultimate goal is to play fifteen games. We just chop away, brick by brick, each week to try and get to where we want to get to.”
That goal is actually unattainable at this point. Not because of talent; Midfield only has nine games scheduled. Isaac took the same approach the year before, starting and ending the regular season with a bye. That doesn’t stop their coach from conditioning them to play an extra game. “I condition our guys real hard,” said Isaac. “Most of our guys are two-sport [athletes], so the guys are fairly conditioned coming into the year; but, once the season gets started I condition them hard to prepare for that.” Midfield is the rare exception that has actually moved down in the past couple years, dropping from 4A to 3A. Still, Isaac is searching for more players. He says the team currently has 28 players, and he’d like to get to 35. “This used to be a time to beat the hallways,” he said. “Football is a tough sport and I tell our guys all the time, the guys that are out here are the guys that really want to be out here.”
OFFENSE: Midfield almost seemed like it had two different teams last year. In four of their games, they exploded for thirty points or more; in five they scored fourteen or less. Ahmad Isaac will enter his fourth year starting for the Patriots, joined by senior running back Cedric Russell and junior back Thomas Sims. “We have some athletic kids, some big kids,” said Coach Isaac. “We’re looking for some big things out of those guys.” The Pats will miss receiver Ethan Williams, an all-state defender as well. They will also have to replace quarterback Nigel Younger. Right now, James Reasor is the only QB on the 2015 roster and has starting experience from last year. Reasor has wheels, too, as shown by a 50 yard TD run against Central-Coosa.
DEFENSE: There’s a lot missing from last year’s team that only allowed 14.4 points per game. Joshua Kimbrough-Caver, who exploded for 4 sacks against Prattville Christian, is gone. So is the aforementioned all-state linebacker Williams. Defensive back Malcolm Walker will be a strength in the secondary along with Ahmad Isaac. Isaac, along with Russell and Sims, figures to be an important cog on both sides of the ball. “Those three guys are catalysts on defense for us,” said Coach Isaac. Depth at D-Line could be an issue, with only seven Patriots listed in that group on the roster submitted at media days. It’s a similar situation at linebacker, with only six.
The Patriots are aiming high, and their general is the one pushing them to the top. It’s never easy at the smaller schools, with many players starting two-ways. That struggle provides real life lessons, according to Isaac. “We talk about toughness and going through adversity,” said Isaac. “Everything we do has an equivalent to life. There’s going to be a time when these guys have families and they’re going to have a tough day and you go from hard work to a hard time at home.”
“If I see a player two or three years after [they’re] done and they tell me they have a family and such, I love that.”Midfield Patriots 2015 Football Schedule:
8/28 – Wenonah
9/4 – @ Woodland
9/11 – @ Central of Coosa County
9/18 – Prattville Christian Academy
9/25 – @ Fairfield
10/2 – @ Beulah
10/9 – Montgomery Academy
10/16 – @ Comer
10/22 – Fultondale
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