By JOSH FRYE
As the 2020-2021 school year comes to a close, plans for the 2021 football season are just beginning for Escambia Academy.
Last Thursday, May 20, the Cougars varsity and junior varsity football teams traveled to Tuscaloosa Academy to take part in a special spring scrimmage between Tuscaloosa Academy and Banks Academy. According to EA headmaster and head football coach Hugh Fountain, the Cougars were more than eager to take back to the field in anticipation of the of the 2021 football season start in August.
“The guys are very excited to get back to work,” Fountain said. “With the virus taking out most of last year’s prep time, it is nice to finally get back to some type of normal schedule going and to gain the extra training and prep time.”
Fountain explained that last week’s scrimmage featured just under four full quarters of football and since score was not kept, there were no winners or losers. He added that the scrimmage was just a friendly way to help three different teams prepare for the upcoming season. The Cougars faced Tuscaloosa Academy for one half and then faced Banks Academy for a mixed second half between varsity and junior varsity.
According to Fountain, offensively, the Cougars played very well against both teams and were able to move the ball downfield at a consistent pace. Fountain also added that defensively, the Cougars did not allow any points and were making tackles and reading plays well.
“I was very pleased with the performance,” Fountain said. “Of course, we have things that we need to work on and improve, but the guys are stepping up and we are happy with the direction that we are heading.”
With the loss of critical defensive weapons to graduation such as Sam Fields, Daughtry McGhee and Randall Bonds, Fountain said that he was happy how the younger players, now upperclassmen, have stepped up and taken on challenges.
Throughout this summer the Cougars will improve conditioning and building strength in the weight room. Fountain said several 7-on-7 days will be run and there are many opportunities for players to take part in football camps. However, the players will not be allowed to wear equipment, per AISA rules, until formal practice resumes in August.