Kingwood ready for season opener

Published 2:23 pm Friday, August 16, 2013

By DREW GRANTHUM / Sports Writer

The Kingwood Christian Lions will kick off their season Aug. 23 in hopes of improving upon their 3-7 mark from last year.

The game will be at home against the Jackson Academy Eagles.

While the start of  a new season always brings optimism, head coach Steve Birmingham said there was an especially positive vibe this year.

“There’s a lot of excitement going around,” he said.

The Lions head into the season opener fresh off a summer that saw them gain several new players via transfer, including Florida commit C’Yontai Lewis.

Birmingham said that while the new transfers helped the program, he saw all of his players putting forth great effort getting ready for Jackson.

“They all are working hard,” he said. “We worked really hard on fundamentals. We hope we can put it together.”

The team’s confidence was high following the summer workouts, and has only grown since beginning fall camp, Birmingham said.

“Winning the Birmingham-Southern 7-on-7 was a big boost,” he said. “We went to the 4H Center and had football camp there. From the beginning of spring training to now, everything has fallen in place.”

While he knows what Kingwood brings to the table, Birmingham said he isn’t sure what to expect from Jackson due to several members of last year’s team graduating. He’s gearing up for a tough game, however.

“I know Jackson won the state championship in (AISA) 1A two years ago,” he said. “We know they’re coming to play.”

Birmingham said he expected the Lions to show some nerves the first game, but to get rid of them quickly.

“It’s all about execution, (and) if we can execute what we’ve practiced,” he said. “The first game of the year is when you try to work kinks out.”

The Lions will kick off the 2013 season at 7 p.m. at Kingwood Field, located at 1351 Royalty Drive in Alabaster.