Region 6 battle will be one to watch

It never fails that Class 6A, Region 6 games are intense and always a battle. This year will be no different as Pelham, Thompson and Gardendale move into the region with Hoover, Spain Park, Oak Mountain and Mountain Brook.

This year’s changes in the region leave a number of questions up in the air as the final month of summer workouts begins.

uWill Hoover be able to compete without Rush Propst?

The Bucs won’t be hurting too much this year with Josh Niblett taking over as the Bucs’ new leader. Hoover will continue to be a contender for a playoff spot. Don’t count on a Hoover team to be at Legion Field on a Saturday night in December at least not in uniform.

uCan Spain Park return to the 6A finals?

Even though the shift in leadership for the Jags came from within, don’t expect Spain Park to bounce right back into the state championship game. However, the Jags should be back in the playoffs at No. 2 or 3 this November.

uWho will take the last spots in the region?

Pelham may prove to be the sleeper team to sneak in at No. 3 or possibly contend for a Top 2 spot in the region.

If Tripp Martin is given complete control at quarterback, he’ll be picking apart the defense to find Shawn Lynch and Ryan Williams to guide the Panthers’ offense. Another year of experience in the secondary for Alvin Hines will help the Panthers’ secondary disrupt their opponents’ passing attack.

Oak Mountain will also vie for a spot this year and will have a good chance at getting in after narrowly missing the postseason last fall.

Senior quarterback Drew McKnight will look for tight end Davis Dudchock to push the ball down field, as Oak Mountain head coach Jerry Hood will mix in a number of receivers and look to run the ball a bit more.

Vestavia will continue to be a thorn in the side of Region 6 players, but Mountain Brook may not be a team to worry about come October.

The team that will be hard to predict this year is the new addition to 6A – Gardendale. The Rockets are good, but it may be a few weeks before we find out how good they will be in the state’s toughest region.