Process leading to improvement for Warriors

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Thompson High School football coach Michael Montgomery is taking cues from his college counterparts in his first season as the head coach after spending several years as an assistant for the Warriors.

A quality football program, at both the high school and collegiate level, is built through a process, said Montgomery, who played college football at Mississippi State University. The Warriors have spent the first two weeks of team practice getting more familiar with the process.

“We are improving every day,” Montgomery said. “It is a process much like Coach (Nick) Saban talks about; not to liken us to the University of Alabama, but it is a process just as most things worth having in life. Our players are learning how to develop their craft and the coaching staff is doing a wonderful job of coaching.”

A key part of the process is senior quarterback Trey Matherson, who is entering his third season as the Warriors’ starter behind center.

Montgomery said he has seen a lot of progress in Matherson since his junior season.

“Our offense is developing under the senior leadership of Trey,” Montgomery said. “He is the senior that will lead us. He has really picked up the system well. He is studying more film and really making a conscious effort to have a very successful campaign.”

Montgomery said the Warriors will need a youthful offensive line to mature, but he’s excited about the group’s potential. Montgomery pointed out the size off his offensive linemen, which compares to other Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A programs for the first time in a while.

“While our offensive line is fairly inexperienced,” Montgomery said, “we have good size for the first time in a long time across the front. That unit is really working hard to find continuity as well as the right combination of players.”

Montgomery said he is also excited about his team’s depth, which is something Thompson has lacked in the recent past.

“Right now the one thing that sticks out in my mind that’s a little different from Warrior teams in the recent past is depth,” Montgomery said. “We have a little more depth than we’ve had recently, which makes for good competition during practice and a number of times that is the difference in a good football team.”

The Warriors play host to Pell City in a preseason jamboree Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at Larry Simmons Stadium. Thompson travels to face Shelby County at PaPa McCombs Stadium in Columbiana for its season opener Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.