By Stan Veitch/Sports Correspondent
While West End High football coach Kyle Davis is fully aware of the three top dogs in Class 2A, Region 7, he has hopes that his Patriots finish fourth this year and make the state playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Defending state champion Fyffe is ranked No. 1 by the Alabama Sports Writers Association, while Cleveland is ranked eighth and Gaston 10th.
“It’ll be like last year, with those three finishing as the top three,” Davis said. “That leaves the fourth spot for the rest of us to play for. I think all four of us are pretty equal in talent.”
Collinsville, Section and Ider make up the rest of the region.
“I think we’ll show improvement over last year,” the coach said. “We’ve got more guys to get the ball to and should have a little better defense. I’m pleased with how the kids have worked.”
Quarterback Hunter Grant, who finished with over 2,300 combined yards and accounting for 17 touchdowns, returns for his senior year.
Junior running back Jordan Malin and senior receiver Dustin Goodwin are also back, as is Caegan Epperson. Malin last season rushed for 841 yards and nine touchdowns, while Goodwin had 21 receptions for 155 yards.
Other players that Davis hopes will make an impact are seniors Hunter Tarvin, Hunter Demedicis and Austin McCright; juniors Hunter Moody and Andre Little and sophomore Dwayne Miller.
“I hate to single out anybody, because I hope all of our players are standouts,” Davis said.
Assistant coaches are Joe Payne, Whit Hibbs, Ben Monk and Nick Butts.