Tuscaloosa Academy, ACA Hope Newly Established Bond Helps Create Tuscaloosa Football Rivalry
By WVUA-23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown
The Tuscaloosa Academy football team travels to American Christian Academy Friday for the first time in over two decades.
Over the summer, TA transitioned to the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) after having previously being a member of the Alabama Independent Schools Association (AISA.)
Moving from the AISA to the AHSAA usually takes years; however, TA only had a couple months to transition.
The Knights leaned heavily on the guidance and advise of ACA administrators, including Patriots Head Football Coach Cody Martin, to help make the quick transition as smooth as possible.
“We just answered any questions they had,” Martin said. “Try to play some JV (junior varsity) games, trying to get the ball rolling on that, help their middle school program out, and things of that nature.”
The two schools developed a newfound respect for each other, but Friday’s game is strictly business.
Motivation to win shouldn’t be an issue as both sides have something to prove.
Tuscaloosa Academy hopes to build off last week’s season-opening win over Holy Spirit. Friday night is another opportunity to gain distance away from the label of “new guy” in the AHSAA
ACA looks to get its first win of the season. The Patriots dropped last week’s season opener at Demopolis, 41-16.
Adding to the rivalry stakes, players from both schools are competing for bragging rights.
“All these people know each other,” TA Head Football Coach Josh Wright said. “A lot of our kids know each other. Gates are bigger. You know, you create those things, and hey, it helps everybody.”