Shores leads Spain Park turnaround

Spain Park High School head football coach David Shores lamented a short offseason after he replaced John Grass in January 2008.

Shores proved the two extra months make a world of difference as he led the Jaguars to the quarterfinal round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A playoffs, completing a turnaround from a 4-6 record in his first season at the helm.

Shores directed the Jags to a 12-3 mark in 2009, which earned him Shelby County Reporter Coach of the Year honors.

“Being able to start in November last year was a huge plus for us,” Shores said. “Getting those two months under our belt lifting and getting stronger and faster helped.”

Spain Park finished third in the Class 6A, Region 6 standings with a 6-2 region record. The Jags only regular season losses came against Hoover and Vestavia Hills, which both had a difficult time matching up with Spain Park’s physical rushing attack.

The Jags’ season ended with a 49-32 loss to Gadsden City in the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A playoffs. Spain Park posted a shutout in the first two rounds of the playoffs and gave up less than 15 points per game.

Shores said the 2009 Spain Park team will be remembered for dominating at the line of scrimmage.

“We said we were going to hang our hat on our physicality,” Shores said. “We started talking about that last November.”

Shores also gave credit to the leadership provided by his 34-man senior class, which was up from an 18-man senior class during his first season as head coach.

“They’re not a lot of big time recruits or great college players,” Shores said, “but a lot of great high school football players. They’re a lot of kids that care about one another and bought into our system and played for each other out there. There was a lot of character and leadership on this team. It was a joy to coach this bunch of seniors.”