Only 17 more days until the first high school football practice and it will be a day Alexander Cougar fans should be thrilled to see as this could be a stellar season in Taylorsville.
Current head coach Nick Bazzle got to AC back in 2012 and the team has yet to have a winning record. In his first year, the Cougars went 5-7. In 2013, they went 5-7. And last season, they went 4-7 and missed the playoffs. I'm going to go out on a limb now and say, the Cougars will be above 500 this season and will be a factor in who wins the North Piedmont 4A-3A conference.
The Cougars have 8 starters back on both sides of the ball. In the previous seasons, coach Bazzle only had 5 total in 2013 and 8 total in 2014 so to have 16 is a big reason for optimism. Experience breeds confidence and this team finally has both going into a season.
This is coach Bazzle's first senior class at AC and it is led by the top 3 rushers returning and they are all seniors.
QB Landon Hammer is back coming off a season where he rushed for 13 hundred yards and 10 TD and also threw for 554 yards and 6 TD.
Second leading rusher, RB Devante Clark is back as well after rushing for 770 yards and 9 TD in 2014.
The third leading rusher for AC in 2014 was fullback Bradley Anderson. He rushed for 574 yards and 7 TD.
On both the offensive and defensive lines, this team will have a lot of size and depth. The O-Line will be anchored by Ryan Whitley, Dustin Adams, and Sam Powers. Look for Fox McAlpin, Nathan Price, Austin Robinson, and Ethan Lingle to provide leadership on the D-Line.
The Cougars also return their top 2 tacklers in Jake Watson and Corey Sherrod.
Watson racked up 75 tackles and had 1 INT in 2014.
Sherrod had 75 tackles.
The last time the Cougars won a conference title was the last time they finished the season above .500. That was in 2010.
I'm not saying they are going to win the North Piedmont 4A-3A, but they are going to be right in the thick of things with Mooresville, Statesville, South Iredell, and Lake Norman. This is yet another conference race I am looking forward to in 2015.