Winning ways continue

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Escambia County Blue Devils are flying high right now.

They are in hog heaven as they push their way through the playoffs on their quest for a state championship.

The Blue Devils are 23-7 right now and are 22-3 since their full roster returned following the end of football season.

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Their latest victory comes by way of a crushing rout of the Jackson Aggies who spent several weeks ranked inside the Alabama Sports Writers Association Top 10 for Class 4A.

By beating the Aggies 71-52, the Blue Devils are continuing to show the type of team they are.

On both ends of the court, they are playing at a high level and are not taking anything for granted.

This week, they will meet their toughest opponent yet when they face the No. 2 Andalusia Bulldogs at the University of South Alabama.

The Bulldogs are sitting at 30-2 this season under their legendary coach Richard Robertson who recently won his 700th game in his 36th year as a head coach.

That is an astounding win total for a coach to have, but it’s not something that is weighing on the minds of the Blue Devils.

In a conversation Tuesday with Head coach Anthony Hayes, he said that he knows what his team is up against, but is confident they will come out and continue to play the way they have for the majority of the season.

Hayes acknowled the legend that will be coaching from the other bench and how well of a job he does with all of his teams.

On the other hand, Hayes also knows the talent of his team and has seen first hand how they have grown throughout the season.

In body, Hayes is going to be at school this week monitoring students, while Escambia County High School holds the graduation exam, but in mind he is in another place.

His mind is wandering to his opponent as the excitement of what Friday will bring draws closer.

He’s excited to see how his team will match up and what could follow if they are able to put another “W” on the board.

In the last week, he has tried to show his team that he knows what they are going through because he has been there before.

Hayes was a tremendous player for the Northview Chiefs not so long ago and then took his talents to Alabama A&M University.

He recently pulled out a plaque from his 2002-03 season at A&M when he was the team’s MVP.

His message is getting across to his players who are starting to play their best basketball yet.

Their best basketball will be what they need Friday against Andalusia.

You can bet with the excitement building, Hayes will have his team tuned in and ready to win.

Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123 or by e-mail at