"We are pretty banged up after three straight physical ball games – yet we played our best football so far last Friday night vs. Pickens County (29-19)," coach Hooks said.
"Shades Mountain is a young program that is well coached and has the potential to beat anyone on their schedule. Our guys this year are mature, they understand the need to prepare every week and also play with intensity."
It's not easy to motivate players against a team with a winless record. Shades Mountain Christian has only scored 60 points through six games with almost 450 scored on their young defense.
"It really hasn't been about our opponent at any point of this season. Our focus remains ourselves. While we did play our best so far last weekend, that is still a far way from playing with perfection," Hooks said.
"The measuring stick for our guys isn't others – it is what is excellent for them. Preparation is easy – if you play with excellence, you have done all you could with whatever God has given you. That is the only way we determine success – wins are a by product of commitment to that standard along with the overall program."
A game of this caliber normally affords a coach to clear is bench and take a look at his future team. Nice to get experience for younger players as well if needed down the road later in the season.
"If we are able to secure the game at any point – everyone will play," Hooks stated. "Matt Sandlin is our quarterback in training (10th grader), so he will be exciting to watch."
Coach Hooks talked of the strengths of their opponent in scouting Shades Mountain Christian.
"Their character which shows itself in their perseverance. These are good young men who are part of laying a foundation. We have been there, and admire their commitment," Hooks said in conclusion.
American Christian will travel to Shades Mountain Friday night. The Patriots start senior quarterback and Alabama commitment Brad Smelley, brother of South Carolina quarterback Chris.
ScoutSouth.com--Your source for Alabama high school football.
Class 2A Schedules and Scores (click here).
Support great high school football coverage by subscribing to ScoutSouth.com for as little as $6.95 a month which includes all premium content across the Scout.com network and all video. Join here.