Mark your calendars for prep football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2004

While a few young men who spent the summer doing bench-press reps to the 2004 schedule would tell you it never really ends, high school football officially begins in two and a half weeks.

At least that’s the date set by the Alabama High School Athletic Association for the first practice allowed.

For most folks in Shelby County it’s not soon enough.

There’s nothing more exciting than watching your team’s running back lumber through the opposition’s defensive backfield on his way to the endzone, prompting the prep band to strike a familiar number that stirs an already rowdy crowd of teenagers and an even rowdier bunch of mammas, daddies and grandparents.

The schedules have been set and the dates locked down.

Here are a few of the highlights – as we see them – for the upcoming season:

Aug. 2: Practice begins for AISA and AHSAA-member teams. Rules require a few days of helmets only but most schools will be going full speed in full gear by the end of the week.

Early to mid-August: The Shelby County Reporter’s football preview will be released offering an extensive breakdown and summary for each of Shelby County’s 14 high school football teams.

Aug. 19: Montevallo Jamboree. The Bulldogs open up competition with the county’s first jamboree game on the road against Jemison.

Aug. 26: Chelsea vs. Vincent. The Hornets take on the Yellow Jackets in the county’s first regular season game.

Aug. 27: Kingwood Christian vs. Lee Scott. The Lions will look to win their first football game in over two seasons in their 2004 season opener. Lee Scott will be a tough test, but Kingwood, finally blessed with some experienced players, will be a different team than in years past.

Sept. 3: Thompson vs. Hoover, Shelby County

vs. Briarwood Christian. The Warriors get welcomed to class 6A and the state’s toughest region with a matchup against the defending state champs. The Wildcats say hello to 5A play and the defending state-champion Lions.

Nov. 5: High School playoffs begin. Last year Spain Park, Briarwood Christian, Chelsea, Shelby County and Calera each made the AHSAA playoffs. Cornerstone Christian and Shelby Academy both represented the county in the AISA playoffs. Area teams look to give Shelby County another strong showing in the state’s high school football postseason.

Dec. 2-4: AHSAA’s Super Six state championships. Last year Briarwood Christian capped off a 13-2 season by defeating Russellville 31-7 in the 5A state championship game. The Lions have to reload, but could find their way back to Legion Field in 2004. Several other Shelby County teams also have a legitimate chance at competing for the title.

Ashley Vansant is the sports editor at the Shelby County Reporter. He can be reached at