Cougars look back at strong season

Published 10:18 pm Friday, December 21, 2012

Hugh Fountain doesn’t know how he ended up coaching football at Escambia Academy, but after a 6-5 season the East Brewton native is looking forward to another season with the Cougars.

“I’m from Escambia County but had never been to Canoe,” he said. “I didn’t know anyone here.”

The 24-year coaching veteran saw his team get off to a rough start, losing their first three games to Fort Dale Academy, Hooper Academy and Monroe Academy.

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The Cougars rallied to win six of their last eight games.

“It’s a tribute to the kids,” Fountain said. “I think we sort of gave them a long-range plan and the kids did a good job focusing on it.”

The Cougars made the playoffs in the Alabama Independent Schools Association, before falling short against the eventual state champion Tuscaloosa Academy.

Fountain said he had stressed good defense to his players, a tactic he said paid off throughout the season.

In four of the team’s six wins this season they held opponents to single digits. In the final game, the Cougars held Tuscaloosa Academy to its lowest point total all season at 28.

“It was a huge accomplishment for us to get better on defense,” Fountain said.

Fountain, who was Charles Henderson’s all-time winningest coach at 106-67 before retiring after 16 season, said the biggest difference between coaching a private school is the number of players.

“If we have 45 here we’d have 85 or 90 at Charles Henderson,” he said. “You have fewer players and coaches. That’s the biggest adjustment.”

Fountain said he’s looking to improve for next year.

“We need to work hard in the weight room and get better,” he said. “We’ll know more in the spring.”