Shelby County Wildcats

AHSAA Class 5A, Region 3

2005 Record: 6-5 (3-4 Region)

New head coach Ryan Herring comes to Columbiana with plans to reintroduce the Wildcats to two things they’ve known well in the past – winning football and a solid running game. As the son of a

longtime high school football coach, Herring has the pedigree to get the job done. Shelby County’s 3-4 record in region play was good enough to earn the team a postseason berth last year and a return trip to the playoffs appears well within reach. Powerhouses Homewood and Briarwood Christian both drop from the schedule thanks to AHSAA realignment during the offseason. One of the biggest problems facing SCHS this season is a lack of depth on defense. A number of Wildcats players will play both sides of the ball during the 2006 campaign.

Quarterbacks

Aaron Howard is now the lone starter at quarterback after splitting time at the position a year ago. A blazing speedster, Howard is well-suited for the Wildcats’ new option-based attack. The senior not only tossed six touchdowns last season but also led the team in rushing with 554 yards. Sophomore Ethan Lann will serve as Howard’s backup.

Running Backs

Kevin Stafford will be the first option read out of the backfield as the starting fullback. Junior Tyrone Buie is the starter at tailback, where he averaged 7.4 yards per carry

and scored six touchdowns last season. Josh Strehle is the backup fullback with Roger Rhinehart and Darion Sutton providing depth at tailback.

Wide Receivers

Two speedy sophomores get the starting nod at wide receiver in Dustin Wood and Wesley Howard. Daniel Watkins, a 6-foot-2 sophomore, will start at tight end and be backed up by senior Richard Sutton.

Offensive Line

Big left tackle Andrew Burns anchors the offensive line at 6-4, 240 pounds. The senior is expected to be a stalwart on an otherwise undersized offensive front. Juniors Desmone Mayfield and Justin Blankenship are the starters at guard with J.C. Scoggins at center and Patrick Morse at right tackle.

Defensive Line

Burns will also lead a young and inexperienced defensive line, starting at end opposite of sophomore Darion Sutton. Sophomore Wesley Jones will start at defensive tackle and Herring said there are five players competing for the other tackle position.

Linebackers

Senior Richard Sutton will anchor the Shelby County linebacker corps as the starter at middle linebacker. Juniors Kevin Stafford and Alton turner will start at the outside linebacker positions. Sophomores Jon Walden and Ethan Lann and junior Josh Strehle will add depth to the linebacker position.

Defensive Backs

Senior Dustin Bunn will lead a young secondary for SCHS at cornerback, with sophomores Wesley Howard and Nick Sheffield sharing time at the other corner spot. Herring will rotate a number of players at the safety positions during the season.

Kickers

Junior Jose Albarran will handle all placekicking for the Wildcats while Aaron Howard will handle punting duties.

2006 Schedule

Sept. 1@St. Clair Co.

Sept. 8v. Bibb Co.

Sept. 15@Demopolis

Sept. 22v. Chilton Co.

Sept. 29@Calera

Oct. 6@Dallas Co.

Oct. 13v. Brookwood(HC)

Oct. 20@McAdory

Oct. 27v. Wilcox Central

Nov. 3v. Chelse