BRYANT LOOKS TO MAKE HISTORY, HILLCREST AIMS TO KEEP PLAYOFF HOPES ALIVE
The 2019 Paul W. Bryant football team has already etched its name in the record books, but the Stampede still have more history to make.
Since Bryant High School opened 18 years ago, the Stampede have only won six games in a season five times, three of which came under current head coach Eldrick Hill. When Bryant hosts Hillcrest for a region 4 matchup on Friday night, the Stampede hope to change that.
“We’ve never won seven games and that’ll definitely be another history making moment, another memory that will last a life time,” Hill said.
This Bryant team will already be remembered for tying the best start in school history (4-0), scoring the most points in a single game (70), and having the largest margin of victory (58 points) in a game, the last two feats they accomplished against Brookwood earlier this year. They were also the first Stampede team to beat McAdory, which they accomplished with a gritty 12-6 two weeks ago.
“I try to remind these kids that this is only the 18th season,” Hill said. “They don’t understand how new this school is. I’m telling them, ‘Once you guys are 50 years old, coming back for your fourth or fifth class reunion, you’ll be talking about being the first class to beat McAdory and the first team to score 70 points.’ They really don’t grasp it right now, since they are so young, but there are so many history marks to be made within a young program like ours.”
Before Bryant can add to its list of historic accomplishments, it has to beat Hillcrest. In the past, that hasn’t proved to be an easy task. The Stampede are 1-14 against the Patriots all time and Hill is very aware of each and every loss.
“We’re very aware of all of the 14 losses we’ve had against Hillcrest,” Hill said. “We know the scores and they know the history. Although the history is history. We’re moving forward. We bring it up, make sure the guys know about it, and then we move forward.”
Bryant and Hillcrest have been on two different trajectories this season. The Stampede carry a 6-1 overall into the matchup and have already secured a playoff spot. The Patriots are 3-5 and are still fighting for a chance to play in the postseason. To make matters more challenging, Hillcrest has lost several key players to injuries recently. Despite being thin at a few positions, coach Sam Adams believes that his team is ready to scratch and claw their way to playoff eligibility, starting against Bryant on Friday night.
“This week and last week we’ve had to move some guys around at new spots and there are some great opportunities with a lot of guys who haven’t had a lot of snaps over the course of the year to show what they can do and to do it in a big game,” Adams said. “If we’re going to have a chance to get to the playoffs, this is the one that we have to win and Bryant has been on a hot streak for most of the year and they’re a really good team.”
Bryant vs Hillcrest will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday night at Paul W. Bryant High School.