With the state playoffs growing closer, a talented, in-state football prospect discusses his senior…
Big night in Greenville
Greenville (7-0) hopes to shore up the region 3 championship Friday at home against Demopolis (6-1), but Coach Tom Causey and his Tigers aren't going away easily. Greenville is at home and have a 48-41 loss to avenge from last year.
Coach Blackmon about his 7-0 start to the season.
"We're having a pretty good one so far," Blackmon said humbly. "We are, hopefully, getting better and better. If we can put it all together Friday night it will be big for our seniors."
A win Friday night, Senior Night, Greenville will become the region champions over Carver Montgomery and Demopolis.
"Demopolis is a solid football team all the way around," Blackmon said. "They have a great running back (Demarcus James). Their offensive line comes off the ball. They've got good skill players at wide receiver and their quarterback (Ben Pettus) gets the job done for them.
"Then defensively they are very physical. They have probably the best front four we'll face all year long. Their "Mike" linebacker, and their two safeties, and corners are real talented. It's tough to find any kind of weakness."
"We don't want to let the offense sit on the field a long time. They know how to move the ball, and we've got to stop them. That's going to be tough. You've got to run option responsibility. We've got to be able to stop them and get them off the field and keep the ball offensively."
The players who will help Coach Blackmon complete the task before them.
"We've got a senior quarterback in Ryan Smith (5-10, 175) and he's been a three-year starter for us," Blackmon said. "We have a senior wide receiver, Mikweese Claybourne (6-3, 180)."
"Up front we return four starters on the offensive line from last year with one of them being a senior, Barry Bess (Sr. 6-2, 220). He is our left tackle. We have a junior right tackle in Anthony "Shaq" McMeans (6-3, 275).
"Then our running back is Cordez Peagler (Sr. 5-9, 160). He's a three-year starter. Every one of these kids have started since they were in the 10th grade. They have just kind of worked through the system. They are leading us offensively."
"Defensively we have the D1 recruit (and Auburn commitment) Kenneth Carter (Sr. 6-4, 270) on the defensive line. Our entire defensive line is seniors. The defensive ends are Marcus Peters (6-0 ,190) and Dexter Robinson (6-1, 205). Then inside is Deuntae Warren (5-11, 215) and Carter."
"Our inside linebacker is a senior and two year starter Daron Mack (5-10, 190). The outside linebackers are Quayshawn Brown (6-0, 165), Joshua Salter (5-8, 160) and Jeffrey Gafford (5-8, 160). They are all seniors."
"Our secondary is Brett Boutwell (5-8, 160) and Cordez Peagler at safety and both are seniors. Our two corners are juniors in Tijun Rudolph (5-9, 160) and Patrick Bedgood (5-9, 175)."
"We also have a three-year starter at kicker and punter Stewart Moody (5-10, 160) and he is a senior."
Commenting to Coach Blackmon about his senior-laden team he replied, "It's good for THIS year."
The region game will be played at Tiger Stadium in Greenville, and the fans are encouraged to participate in the black-out. Hopefully for Greenville these plans work better in high school than in college.
"It will probably be one of the best atmospheres I've ever been a part of," said Blackmon. "At least since I was coaching at Opelika, and we were playing the Prattvilles or the Daphnes in the semi-finals."
We had to ask Coach Blackmon if we might see a brotherly coaching matchup with 6A Opelika and 5A Greenville somewhere down the line.
"I don't know if my momma would let us," he answered. "It about killed her when we played one quarter in the spring game."
"He (Brian) is always checking on me, and I'm always checking on him. It's a good relationship. I was there coaching with him and that was probably the best six years of my life coaching with him and Coach (Spence) McCracken, learning from those guys."
After the Demopolis game, Greenville will travel to face their last region game at Chilton County. A much better team than their 4-3 record would even indicate.
"Chilton County is a good football team," Blackmon said. "They have won every game they were supposed to with the exceptions of Demopolis and Carver (Montgomery). I think maybe they slipped up against Gardendale which is a 6A team, but they are a solid football team. We've got two weeks here where we've got to be on our A game."
Coach Blackmon has a few others to watch aside from Kenneth Carter.
"Anthony "Shaq" McMeans the right tackle is a D1 prospect," Blackmon said. "Junior corner in Tijun Rudolph and Patrick Bedgood both of them are very athletic kids that are going to be three-year starters for us."