THS finalizes date for game in Florida
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Thompson High School’s final game of the 2018 regular season will be on a Thursday night in Florida, as the team recently finalized the game’s date with the host school.
The Warriors will travel to Crestview, Florida, just outside of Pensacola, on Thursday, Nov. 1, which will give the team an extra day of recovery time leading into post-season play if they qualify for the playoffs this year. When THS announced in July it was traveling to Crestview High School, the school was still working to determine if the team would travel to Florida on Nov. 1 or Nov. 2.
The Bulldogs have seen much success on the gridiron over the past few years, posting a 10-2 record in 2016 and a 10-1 record last year, and compete in Florida’s 6A classification. Crestview has a student enrollment about the same as Thompson’s.
Thompson, which is coming off one of the most successful seasons in school history at 12-1, will start the 2017 season by facing fellow 7A team James Clemens out of Madison City Schools in the Champions Challenge in Montgomery beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 24. It will mark Thompson’s first-ever matchup with the Jets, who finished the 2017 season with a 3-7 record.
Following the neutral-site matchup to start the season, the Warriors will take a lengthy road trip to Foley the following week to take on the Lions on their home turf. Foley, which plays in Class 7A, Region 1, finished the 2017 season with a 5-5 record. This will mark the first-ever matchup between Thompson and Foley.
On Sept. 7, the Warriors will travel to Hoover High School to continue one of the newest Class 7A, Region 3, rivalries. THS defeated Hoover for the first time in school history during the 2017 regular season, but fell to the Buccaneers in the playoff semifinals. Hoover went on to win the 7A state championship.
Thompson will have its first home game at the new THS stadium on Friday, Sept. 14, against region foe Oak Mountain. Oak Mountain finished the 2017 season with a 5-5 record, including a 49-14 loss to the Warriors.
THS will travel to Tuscaloosa County on Sept. 21 to face the region foe Wildcats. Tuscaloosa County finished the 2017 season with a 2-8 record, including a 63-22 loss to Thompson.
Region foe Spain Park will travel to Thompson on Oct. 5 to take on the Warriors. The Jaguars ended the 2017 season with a 6-5 record, including a 40-17 loss to THS, and a trip to the first round of the 7A playoffs.
THS will then face Vestavia Hills at home and Mountain Brook on the road on Oct. 12 and Oct. 19, respectively. Vestavia posted a 4-6 record in 2017, including a 45-14 loss to Thompson, and Mountain Brook finished the 2017 season with an 8-4 record, losing to THS 40-13 in the regular season and 34-10 in the second round of the playoffs.
Thompson will return home on Oct. 26 to face Region 3 newcomer Hewitt-Trussville in a nationally televised game on ESPN2. The Huskies have seen plenty of success over the last several years, ending the 2017 season with an 11-1 record and a loss to Hoover in the second round of the playoffs. Thompson has only played Hewitt-Trussville eight previous times, with the Huskies currently holding a 5-3 advantage.