Devils seeking greatnessPublished 9:06am Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Over the course of the 2010-11 basketball season, the Escambia County Blue Devils molded into a true contender.
After a 1-4 start, they went on to win 19 of their next 22 games to finish the season ranked in the Class 4A Top 10 and undefeated in their area.
They followed the regular season up with spectacular performances against the Saraland Spartans and the B.C. Rain Rams in the area tournament to claim that championship and a berth in the subregionals this Friday.
It remains to be seen how high the Blue Devils can fly with some stating they are just now playing their most complete basketball under head coach Anthony Hayes and assistant Jerome Webster.
A few people have gone as far to say that the Blue Devils have what it takes to win the state title.
What is known is that the Blue Devils are talented and one win away from a trip to the University of South Alabama for the regional tournament.
If the Blue Devils are able to maintain their focus and play basketball how they have for the better part of the season then they could push through the regional and earn a trip to Birmingham for the Final 4.
The team has what it takes to be serious contenders for a championship, but they have to believe in themselves and the system their coaches have put in place.
According to Hayes, his team trusts one another and their coaches and realize that each game from this point on will get tougher and tougher with each opponent.
Thus far, ECHS has answered several questions and continues to win.
When they earned their first ranking, people wondered whether they would be able to hold it and beat a higher-ranked Hillcrest team. They beat the Jaguars in an extremely intense match up.
This team has the mettle and is battle tested.
Friday night, ECHS takes on the Jackson Aggies at home to advance to the regional in Mobile.
Hayes is requesting the assistance of all Blue Devils fans. He wants them to turn out and pack the gymnasium and to make noise and get behind their team.
With the area behind them, this game could be the start of a run towards greatness, which is what the Blue Devils are striving for. That can be seen each time they take the floor. It’s easy to see in their eyes.
So come out Friday night Blue Devils fans. Come to Escambia County High School and get behind a team that wants to get a championship banner hanging in their gym.
Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org