Holy Spirit football hopes growth, maturity lead to results on the field
By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown
Holy Spirit football is ready for its second season back among the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
Last season, the program played a full varsity schedule for the first time since 2018. Although the results in terms of wins-and-losses did not show up, the growth and improvement were clear to the Saints head coach Bobby Snyder. He says the maturity of his team has stood out in fall practice.
“I have a good group of guys. I have a group of guys that have been together for a while, they’ve worked in the weight room for a while,” Snyder said. “You know we really sell that this is going to be a brotherhood. We’re going to create a brotherhood first, a system of love, and the wins will come later.”
Snyder became the head coach at Holy Spirit four years ago when the school decided to bring the sport back. The AHSAA requires schools build up to full-time membership over the course of two seasons. Snyder and the Saints played a junior-varsity schedule in 2020 and 2021 before returning to a full varsity schedule in 2022.
While eight seniors from last year graduated and the majority of the 30 team’s players are eighth and ninth graders, Snyder believes this group will take a step forward this season.
“We played Holt and Billingsly in the spring game and came away with some positive stuff, came away with a W,” Snyder said. “The big thing that me and my coaches talked about was the maturity level is just different, and that’s not a knock on the 2022 seniors… It’s just one more year of varsity football, so you just have some guys that’ve been out here for four years now and now how to take adversity and keep running and keep plugging.”
Playing at the Class 1A level as a private school is difficult because those teams don’t have the resources that the bigger public schools have. Holy Spirit only has 4-5 coaches while bigger schools have position coaches along with coordinators and the head coach. Most players also compete on offense and defense because there just aren’t enough athletes to only play one position. Despite this, Snyder is happy with the players he does have.
“I have a good group of guys that have been together for a while,” Snyder said. “They’ve worked in the weight room for a while, and we really sell this being a brotherhood. We’re going to create a brotherhood first, a system of love, and the wins will come later.”
Holy Spirit opens the season at home against Tuscaloosa Academy on Friday, Aug. 25.