The Fultondale football team has added a 10th opponent to its schedule.
Second-year head coach Don Dover made the announcement on Tuesday at high school football media days in Gardendale, stating that Class 1A Isabella would visit Wildcats Stadium on Oct. 25. That gives the team a complete 10-game schedule for the upcoming season.
Along with Dover, Fultondale’s two player representatives on Tuesday were seniors Willie Smith and Josh Underwood. Both spoke highly of their team’s chemistry with fall camp less than a week away.
“I feel like the team effort has been high since we started back in the weight room in January,” said Underwood. “Everyone has pushed themselves and given their all and I know that this year we will give our all to get past the second round.”
“I believe this team coming up has more energy than we had last year, so this team I think will give more effort to surpass the second round this year,” added Smith.
The Wildcats have ended their last two seasons on the second Friday of postseason play, and fell out of the 2016 playoff bracket in the opening round. During that three-year stretch Fultondale has piled up back-to-back-to-back region championships along with a league record of 18-0.
“These seniors would like to go out without ever losing a region game and having four region championships,” said Dover. “Each region game will be a big game because they want to be the one that breaks are winning streak in the region.”
In order to net that fourth straight title and extend the winning streak another year, Dover believes patience is the virtue.
“The team this year has done a good job of focusing on how do we get better each and every day and then when it comes game day, we’ll take care of that game day and then we’ll start worrying about the next game day,” said Dover.
To set that tone and provide that leadership under center, Dover looks to a pair of converted receivers.
On Willie Smith and Jo Jo Hamaker: “Both are very athletic, both fit what we’re trying to do with running the quarterback, get the ball to our athletes and stuff like that,” said Dover. “They’ve both grown since spring, being able to get the ball to our playmakers and also make plays on their own. They’re both receivers that did a great job for us last year, so they’re sharing duties right now and they both bring a skill set that’s a little different from each other that we look to take advantage of.”
Both players will be expected to take snaps on Aug. 23 when the Wildcats travel to Maplesville.