Pinson Valley head coach Patrick Nix might be on a two-year run as the Class 6A state champion, but that won’t stop him from placing a chip on each and every shoulder in the Indians’ locker room.
“Very excited to get the season started,” said Nix in his opening statement on Monday at Jefferson-Shelby Media Days in Gardendale. “I think we’ve had probably the best offseason and summer maybe since I’ve been here. I just think the guys have worked extremely hard. I’m just very excited about where we’re heading and what we’ve been able to do this offseason in preparation for it.”
For the first time in three years, Pinson Valley has experienced an offseason without Bo Nix—Alabama’s Mr. Football award winner in 2018 and an Auburn quarterback signee in the Class of 2019. As a result, Patrick, his father, expects doubters to surface and that thought appears to be shared throughout the program.
“I know this team has a lot to prove because a lot of people think we can’t do it [without] Bo,” said senior wide receiver Keyonteze Johnson. “We’re going to go out there and prove everybody wrong.”
The 2019 Indians make their debut on the road at Class 7A Hewitt-Trussville on Aug. 23.
Patrick has not revealed who his starting quarterback will be that Friday night, but says the competition is a two-horse race between his youngest son Caleb, a rising sophomore, and senior Barry White.
“It will definitely go on into the season,” said Patrick of his quarterback competition. “Both will get reps and we will just continue to go and it may happen that way all year and it may be that one guy emerges and really steps forward.”
Entering his third season at Pinson Valley and his first without Bo pulling the trigger, Patrick says he’s looking for the quarterback who can limit negative plays.
“There’s not necessarily one particular thing. Just the guy that allows our team to win and that might mean throwing a ball away, it might be throwing a completion, it might be handing the ball off at the right time… there’s so many different things in our offense that you have to be able to do,” said Patrick.
Patrick says the two seniors—Johnson and Antoine Williams—he selected to join him in front of the media have asserted themselves as team leaders.