Columbia (0-3, 0-2) at Etowah (2-1, 1-1)
Series record: First meeting
Last week: Etowah 48, Brewer 8; Boaz 48, Columbia 8
By Gene Stanley/Messenger Sports Correspondent
For the second week in a row, Etowah has a Class 5A, Region 7 home game – even though this is a Columbia home game.
The Eagles must share stadium facilities with the other Huntsville schools this season and were the odd men out this week with home games. The options were to come to Attalla or to play at 3 p.m. in the Rocket City. The decision was made to play down here and split the gate.
So since the Blue Devils are hosting but wearing visitors’ whites, the theme is to “Whiteout the Eagles.”
EHS coach Sam McCorkle asks that as many Blue Devil denizens as possible wear white to the game instead of the traditional blue.
Also for the second straight game, McCorkle may get a chance to see his younger players in action. In last week’s blowout victory, the fourth quarter was played entirely by youngsters.
“It looked like a junior varsity game for us,” McCorkle said. “That’s one of the best things about having a blowout – it gets the starters a break and a chance to cheer on the young players. It raises the morale of the youngsters, as they can get the long hours of practice to pay off.
“It also gives us a look at some of the younger players’ talent. In case someone gets hurt, we have some idea of who can play.”
One that showed his potential last week was freshman Paul Ruiz, who rushed for over 100 yards.
“We knew that Paul had the potential,” McCorkle said. “But we got the chance to see him in a game, and we liked what we saw. And he wasn’t the only one.”
Another young player that McCorkle is high on is Austin Gibbs, who has started all three games thus far.
Columbia comes in winless and is apparently struggling to find an identity under first-year coach Michael Pryor.
“I just hope that we’re not the team that they get it together against,” McCorkle said. “They’re very athletic and have the capability to be a good team.”
Last week’s win moved the Blue Devils into a fourth-place tie with Arab in the region standings at 1-1, a game behind Fort Payne, Southside and Boaz.