Calera puts together best performance of season in tight loss to McAdory

Published 12:30 am Friday, November 3, 2023

By SCOTT MIMS | Special to the Reporter

CALERA – The Calera Eagles came up short in their season closer opposite McAdory on Thursday night, as the Yellow Jackets prevailed 35-31.

Calera coach Jerad Holder said that while teams are judged by wins and losses, he was proud of how the Eagles competed in a season that has seen unimaginable adversity.

“It’s been one rough year for these kids and coaches included,” Holder said. “What these kids have been through since the middle of July all the way to right now is something that I’ve personally never experienced with my own two eyes, and the way they battled tonight is a reflection of their character, the character of every individual associated with our program.”

Certainly one of the most difficult chapters was the loss of teammate Brayden Ray, 15, who passed away Sept. 3 as the result of a tragic accident. Ray was remembered during the school’s game on Sept. 8.

“He had a lot of friends on this team. There were kids that were hurting that they couldn’t even come out to school to practice,” Holder recalled, adding that injuries were another part of the adversity faced by the Calera team in 2023.

As for Thursday night’s matchup, Holder commended wide receiver JaMariun Ford for his performance against McAdory.

“He just played out of his mind. He had a couple touchdowns and several, several plays tonight,” Holder said, also recognizing quarterback A.J. Johnson and Kamari Stokes for their contributions.

Calera led 10-7 in the first quarter of the game, but McAdory would end up leading 28-24 at halftime—by the same margin that the Jackets would end up winning, 35-31.