By JOSH FRYE
News Sports Writer
The Escambia Academy Cougars began gearing up for the 2019-2020 football season on April 29 with the start of spring training.
“We are very excited for this coming football season,” EA head coach Hugh Fountain said. “I am looking forward to us changing up some things and looking at numerous matches on the line.”
Fountain has served as the head coach of the school’s football team for just over seven years. In that span, he has guided his team to two AISA state championships — in 2014, when the Cougars finished the season with an 11-1 record and in 2017, when the Cougars finished at 12-1.
Fountain, a graduate of W.S. Neal High School in East Brewton, has over 31 years of football coaching experience.
“I love the game and being able to see the kids transition throughout their time in high school,” the veteran coach said. “When seniors are lost each season due to high school graduation, it opens up a door for younger players to come in and take up leadership roles and shine.”
With 15 returning seniors on the spring roster, Fountain is looking to the group to take up the leadership roles this season in hopes of bringing the Cougars another state title.
Fountain stressed that the loss of seniors each year helps to keep depth within the roster and to keep new players coming into the lineup for their chance at competing.
As EA’s program takes form during the spring and summer, Fountain is hoping the Cougars will be able to have some spring competition.
As many schools schedule spring scrimmages, EA’s situation is unique. EA is a private school, of which there are less than in the public realm, making it harder to find rivals for spring scrimmages.
As EA takes the field for its spring training drills, new faces will open new opportunities for the Cougars.