Some area teams still looking for first wins

Published 4:28 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Escambia Academy will hit the road in search of their first win in Evergreen where they’ll take on Sparta Academy Friday night. Sparta will be looking for their first win, too.

“Right now, we’re both kind of in the same boat,” head coach Hugh Fountain said.

Indeed, Sparta’s head coach Buck Quarles, much like Fountain, is in his first year at a new school but brought plenty of coaching experience with him. He was for many years an assistant coach for W.S. Neal High School, the head coach for W.S. Neal Middle School, and head coach of Holtville High School, and had several other coaching stops along the way, too.

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According to Fountain, Quarles has typically led teams that are power-oriented.

“They’re very good at running the football,” Fountain said.

The Cougars came out to practice this week with a new mindset.

“The first three games obviously haven’t gone the way we wanted them to go,” Fountain said. “We were embarrassed Friday night. Our key thing is we went out and we said ‘we’re going to try to start over.’”

Escambia Academy won last year’s matchup between the two teams at home by a lopsided score of 30-2. Fountain hasn’t overlooked them, however, as he noted a hungry team is a dangerous team.

“Right now, they’re a desperate team because they’re looking for their first win, but we’re looking for our first win, too,” Fountain said.

Fountain is eager to see more out of his team. He feels they have yet to play up to their abilities.

“The key thing for us is to find ourselves as a team. We’ve had three tough teams, but we don’t feel like we’ve played the type of football that we’re capable of playing,” Fountain said. “So, we’re just going to try to go back and get back to the basics and get better is what we’ve got to do and not lose faith. It’s easy to lose faith when you lose games. One of the key things for us is just to continue to work hard.”

Escambia Academy will play Sparta Academy in Evergreen on Friday Sept. 14 with kickoff at 7 p.m.

Likewise, Escambia County is looking to get their first win, but unlike Escambia Academy, the Blue Devils will have a chance this week to do it on their home field. Like the Cougars, they face a hungry team looking for their first win. The Wilcox Central Jaguars have lost both of their first games. Like the Blue Devils, they are under the direction of a new head coach.

The Jaguars head coach L.C. Cole has many years of head coaching experience with his first head coaching experience coming at Tennessee State in 1996. He became embroiled in NCAA rules violations that negative impacted his collegiate coaching career. However, afterward he managed to rebuild Sidney Lanier High from a winless team into a team made a deep run in the playoffs in 2006.

The two teams did not play last year. The last time they faced each other was back in 2003 with Wilcox Central defeating Escambia County 28-19.

Escambia County will play Wilcox Central at Herbert Barnes Stadium on Friday Sept. 14 with kickoff at 7 p.m.

The Northview Chiefs are sure to be looking for a little revenge when they face the Chipley Tigers. The Tigers beat the Chiefs 25-21 in the semifinals of the state playoffs last year, even though the Chiefs lead nearly the whole game. The Chiefs lost the regular season matchup between the two teams by a score of 34-27.

Both teams enter the game with a 1-1 record. The Tigers have lost a road game last week against Blountstown by a score of 31-28. The team is led by first year head coach Chip Harris. Harris was previously the coach of the Ashford Yellow Jackets before returning to his alma mater.

The Chiefs will be looking to recover from last week’s 48-42 overtime loss to the Marianna Bulldogs.

Northview will play Chipley in Bratt on Friday Sept. 14 with kickoff at 7 p.m.