So, Alabama lost to LSU in a game I believe the Tide should have held on toâ€¦just like JP should have held on to the ball a little tighter. Oh, well. Here is my column from The Western Star, which focuses on a possible matchâ€”up between Hoover High and Hueytown in the second round of the 6A AHSAA playoffs.
Will the Gophers face the Rock Stars?
By Hunter Ford
I would love to see the Hueytown Golden Gophers chew a hole in the backside of Rush Propstsâ€™ britches.
If Hueytown (9-1) can defeat Pinson Valley (4-6) in the first round of the 6A high school football playoffs and if Propstsâ€™ Hoover Buccaneers (4-5) can dispose of Florence (8-2), then Hueytown and Hoover will face each other in Hoover on November 16.
Faithful readers of The Western Star will remember that The Star was the first newspaper in the state to break the news of Rush Propstsâ€™ now legendary off-the-field exploits. Since then, Propst has admitted publicly to having an affair outside his marriage and fathering a child out of wedlock. He tearfully resigned as coach of the Buccaneers a few days ago, but vowed to coach the team through the playoffs. He also made an outrageous statement that he did nothing wrong â€œwithin the halls of Hoover High School.â€
The Alabama High School Athletic Association obviously disagreed with Propstsâ€™ assertion that he did nothing wrong in his capacity as Hoover football coach.
The AHSAA forced Hoover to forfeit four games for playing an ineligible player in several games this season.
Propstsâ€™ shenanigans have tarnished a high school football dynasty the likes of which will probably never be seen again.
Hueytownâ€™s coach, Jeff Smith, has not won five of the last seven Class 6A state titles like Propst has. However, Smithâ€™s coaching record is nothing to sneeze at. He was 41-24 as head coach of Ohatchee High School taking the Indians to three playoff appearances and winning the Calhoun County Coach of the Year Award in three consecutive years.
As Hueytownâ€™s coach, Smith guided the Gophers in a move from 5A to 6A and advanced to the second round of the playoffs last year.
This yearâ€™s 9-1 record is one of the best in recent history for Hueytown. The only loss came in a nail-biter to Tuscaloosa County. Tuscaloosa County, by he way, is one of the few teams that has had Hooverâ€™s number in recent seasons.
While Propst has amassed his winning record with foul-mouthed tirades caught on MTV cameras, Smith has not promoted himself or his team like a carnival barker. He has quietly let his teamâ€™s performance speak for itself and his coaching ability.
Folks I have talked to say that Smith puts heavy emphasis on teaching character and integrity as well as blocking and tackling.
Smith, I have heard, has a special place in his heart for kids who are lacking strong parental influences. Smith takes his responsibility as a role model very seriously.
Propst on the other handâ€¦well, letâ€™s just say he has given new meaning to the term â€œfather figure.â€
If all goes well for Hueytown and Hoover in the first round of the playoffs, the stage will be set for a clash of two teams and two coaches sailing in opposite directions.
While Propst and the Hoover dynasty are sailing into the sunset, Smith and Hueytown could be voyaging into uncharted territory and discovering a new world for Hueytown football.
I have nothing against the players for Hoover, who have sacrificed and worked hard for the chance at another championship. But too much of one thing gets old after awhile. This year I would prefer a Hueytown Cinderella story instead of the same old Hoover song and dance choreographed by Propst.
Donâ€™t forget the other Western Jefferson teams vying for titles.
Jess Lanier and McAdory are continuing on their quests for the 5A title. Jess Lanier lost its first game of the season 25-21 to Gadsden City last Friday and will meet Greenville in the first round.
McAdory ended its season with a 33-6 romp over Paul Bryant, marking the ninth time this season a Yellow Jacket opponent has failed to score in double digits. McAdory has also pitched five shut outs.
Fairfield (5-5) could be McAdoryâ€™s second round opponent if the Tigers can get past Eufaula (8-3).
In Class 4A, Oak Grove will face Andalusia and Midfield will take on Madison County.