BARRETT'S BOOTH BLOG-
August 15, 2012Prattville High School
AUGUST 15, 2012
Is this thing on? Been a while since I used this. Testing... ok, I think it's working.
Kickoff in 16 days! Crazy new schedule, new region, new coaches, new athletes, new uniforms, new supporting staff...it's a whole new era, but after attending yesterday's practice, you can count on this: SAME CHAMPIONSHIP CALIBUR PRATTVILLE LION FOOTBALL. Prattville does not rebuild. Prattville reloads. Stay tuned for some pre-season prognosticaiton and new coach and player spotlight pieces as we approach the kickoff of Season 1 of the Anderson Era of Prattville Lions Football. GO LIONS!
DECEMBER 27, 2011
CONGRATS TO JUSTIN THOMAS! HE IS THE 5A-6A FOOTBALL MONTGOMERY METRO AREA PLAYER OF THE YEAR. GEORGIA TECH IS GETTING A WINNER!!
DECEMBER 23, 2011
What a season we have had! After an highly emotional season to say the least, filled with moments of horror and moments of pure joy, our Lions finally brought home the most coveted of all prizes in High School Athletics, a 6A Football State Championship Trophy! The goal line stand on Hoover's two-point conversion attempt at the end of the game will be remembered and talked about for years and years to come. I will always beam with pride over what these coaches and players accomplished this year, and I know that you all, the LionNation, will too.
As we are now in the heart of the Christmas season, I want to wish everyone the merriest of Christmas tidings. We are so blessed to live in such a great country, state, and community. The blessings God has heaped on us are just too numerous to count, and to think that it all started with a tiny little baby born in a cold, stinky, little stable with nothing more to lay Him in than what the animals were eating from. WOW!
LionNation, as we approach the climax of the Christmas season, let us approach it as if were approaching the throne of the King of Kings. In humility, in praise, in thankfulness, in love and adoration of the most precious gift the world has ever received. That gift is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, sent here by God the Father to be sacrificed in our place so that we may have the opportunity to experience eternity in Heaven with Him.
If anything, the 2011 Prattville Lions Football team has shown us that it is never too late to change the course of events. There is a parallel to be taken from that this Christmas. - No matter what you have done, said or thought, or burdened yourself with, it is never too late to change the course of your life. Whatever burdens you may be carrying this Christmas, it is my prayer that you will have the courage and the conviction to lay them down at the feet of one who truly cares for you, Jesus Christ (See Hebrews 4:14-16 and 1 Peter 5:7)
LionNation, we are blessed indeed. Let us hold fast to One who cares for us. Merry Christmas and Go Lions!
DECEMBER 6, 2011
To the 6A State Champion Prattville Lions,
You have made your teammates, your coaches, your peers, your classmates, your community and your whole town so proud to be a member of the LionNation. Regardless of what trophy you brought home last Friday night, you as a team have helped restore a sense of unity to a community that so desperately needed it. You have earned the title of champion on the field and off of the field. The video below pretty much sums up what it is all about to be a Prattville Lion.
The 35-34 win over Hoover was a gutsy performance by a team filled with true champions and led by true champions. Life will take you many places from here, but you will always have this memory. You will always be champions. Take this all in...remember the lessons this has taught you. From when you were PJHS Cats to State Champion Prattville Lions, remember the sacrifice, remember the discipline, remember the work ethic, remember the sense of team above self. Apply it to you life moving forward from here and you will always find success. You are winners, you are hard workers...YOU ARE CHAMPIONS! Congrats, men.
NOVEMBER 28, 2011
Well, after a one year hiatus, the Lions are once again hosting the Prattville Invitational in Bryant-Denney Stadium, and as usual, the Hoover Bucs are the only team willing to RSVP.
Last Friday night, the Lions punched their ticket to the title game by completely dismantling a Central Phenix City Red Devil team that had been leaving a wake of destruction where ever they went. Everywhere, that is, until they came to the Jungle. The explosiveness of the Red Devils was matched and bested by the explosiveness of the Lions on both sides of the ball. The entire broadcast team expected the Lions to win at home, but none of us anticipated the beatdown that took place. A 45-12 semi-final victory infront of over 10,000 spectators and over 7,000 listening over the iHigh newtork at www.prattvillelions.com served notice that the Prattville Lions were preseason #1 nationally for a reason...they are just that good!
I echo the sentiments of my broadcast partner and life coach, Mr. Chip Powell by just marvelling at the job that Coach Dubose and his staff has done with this team. This team has enough talent 2-deep at every position to beat any team that steps on to the field, but it takes more than talent to win ballgames (just ask Central Phenix City). As a matter of fact, a wealth of talented athletes on the same squad can threaten to tear a team apart. If the athletes do not buy in to the concept of a team, there is no way that team can win, and the more talent that exists on a team, the more difficult it becomes to sell the concept of a "team".
It is true that the 2011 Prattville Lions roster contains about 15 players that could be spotlight superstars on lesser teams and that was where the major challenge was with Coach Dubose. These athletes are told by college recruiters, scouts, friends and program outsiders that they are the "real deal", that they should be looking out for themselves and their stats. The onus was on the coaching staff to keep that "I gotta get mine" attitude out of the heads of our Lions and get these guys believing and trusting in each other more than what is being put into their heads through the media and other outside forces.
Last Friday night and the last 8 weeks since the Opelika defeat have been proof positive that Coach Dubose has this extremely talented group of Lions completely sold out to the concept of "team before me".
LionNation, we will play for a 5th State Championship in only four days. We head to Bryant-Denney Stadium as a family united thanks to a Coaching staff and a team that refused to give up in the face of adversity, false allegations and more. I have never been prouder to be a part of the LionNation, and when the Prattville Lions hoist that beautiful blue trophy high over their heads on the turf of Bryant-Denney Stadium, it will only be the icing on the cake of what has been a monumental season for the Prattville Lions. See you in Tuscaloosa! 'Till then, God Bless, and GO LIONS! BEAT HOOVER!
NOVEMBER 21, 2011 The semifinals are coming to Prattville on Friday bringing with it the Devils from Phenix City. At this point in the season, I really pity any team that meets up with this pack of Prattville Lions. Alma Bryant, Daphne, Fairhope have all felt how brutal this Prattville team can be when all cylinders ad firing. I don't know if it's the playoff season, an inspiring coach speech, or if it's just taken time for chemistry to develop, but for the past three weeks, this team has been playing at a level not witnessed since 2008. How about that D?! Coach JB Wallace has dialed up a defense that is allowing less than 8 points per game during this playoff run against opponents averaging nearly 40 points per game. The front 7 are plugging every running lane and the DBs are plucking nearly every pass tossed up by the opposing QBs. And what about the big O!? The Lions are essentially scoring at will behind an OL that is devastating at the point of attack and a 2-headed QB system that Coach Dubose has played to perfection. Avg playoff margin: 31-6. Now here's the big question. Central Phenix City is bringing the most athletic team we have seen since Miami Central to the jungle on Friday night. Can the Lions match the size and athleticism of the Devils? I say that area will be pretty even, but our decided edge is in the coaching department. I believe that our Lions will be better prepared, better coached than our opposition Friday night. Couple that with the twelfth man in Stanley Jensen on Friday night, and it all points to one thing...a big Prattville win and a berth in the state championship game against a familiar foe, Hoover, unless of course, Oxford pulls a major upset. So, bring on the Devils! It's the semi-finals at HOME! This is only the third time we have been luck enough to host the semis so, LionNation, you better not miss this one on Friday night. It's the 6A South Championship in our backyard. Till Friday, God Bless and GO LIONS! God-willing, we will see you on Sunday, LionNation!
OCTOBER 17, 2010
Goal 1: Region 4 Championship: DONE.
It feels good to check one off of the list. Now it's time to get that second goal checked off...STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. Round 1 of the playoffs is in less than 3 weeks, and it seems like the Lions are beginning to peak at the right time. Granted, last Friday's championship clinching win in Alex City was nerve racking for a half, but in the second half, the offense and defense both completely dominated both sides of the ball. I don't know if it's halftime adjustments, or just a late wake up call, but in 2011, the second half has been exclusively owned by the Prattville Lions. If our guys can get that same mojo for four quarters, we won't scratch and claw our way to a state title. We will steamroll our way into the title game! After 8 weeks of keen observation from the booth, here are a couple of things that have solidified as fact to me:
Of course, before any of this actually begins, there is still the matter of our final regular season game this Friday against the Jeff Davis Vols. JD is a much improved team when compared to the last two teams they have fielded, and you can bet they will bring their best when they come to us on Friday as it will most likely be their last game of the season. See you Friday night. And as always, God Bless and GO LIONS!
October 13, 2011
Ok, so three weeks removed from a bitter tasting loss to Opelika, and where are we? Poised to claim a Region 4 Championship! A win tomorrow on the road against the Ben Russell Wildcats will ensure the Lions of another Region 4 Title. The way the Lions have played these past two games makes the Opie loss seem pretty like a bad dream that gets harder to remember as time marches on.
Here is an interesting tidbit for all of you stat guys out there. Prattville is 5-0 in Region 4 play as of now. That's pretty impressive, but what is more impressive is the manner in which they have achieved 5-0. Average score in the 5 Region 4 games is Lions 51 - Opponent -12. Avg. Margin of Victory is 39 points. WOW! Bear in mind that the majority of points scored in these games against Prattville are scored in the 4th Quarter when 2nd, 3rd and even 4th string Lions are seeing significant playing time. Area dominance has returned to Prattville.
I encourage all of the LionNation to make the one hour trip Friday night up to Alex City to watch our Lions reach their first milestone of 2011, which is claim a Region 4 Championship. Shockingly enough, our opponent, Benjamin Russell is 4-1 in Region 4 and a win virtually assures them of a Region 4 Championship as well. This is not the same Ben Russell whipping post that we have seen in the past two years. This Ben Russell team is bigger, faster, stronger, smarter than before and is playoff bound, and we can expect them to defend their home turf with everything they have when we come calling tomorrow night. We need the LionNation to fill the visiting section for this one. Lets bring home another Region Title! See you at the Alex City Sportplex tomorrow night. Until then, God Bless and GO LIONS!
September 26, 2011
What a scene at Stanley-Jensen Stadium last Friday night! The celebration on the field was epic, the coaches were jubliant, the fans...stunned. Of course, it was the Opelika Bulldogs doing all of the celebrating as they administered an old school beatdown of our Lions in the trenches and still barely escaped with a 16-14 win. I believe it was the Opies first win against the Lions in their past 8 tries. No one expected this outcome. Even Opelika, with all of their big talk, deep down, did not expect to come out victorious, in my opinion. But as their running game continued to gain traction, so did their confidence.
The offense showed us two weeks ago against Wetumpka what absolute perfection looks like. Last Friday night against Opelika, they showed us what pure futility looks like. Believe it or not, LionNation, our boys are capable of both. Capable to humble any team in this state, and perfectly capable of being humbled by any team in this state. Friday night's performance by both the offense and the defense reeked of a team that had been reading its own press clippings and just assumed that the OpieDawgs would simply roll over and die at the sheer presence of the Prattville Lions. Well, they didn't. Our Lions finally seemed to wake up when Opie took the lead 13-7 midway through the 4th quarter.
Down 6, Justin Thomas engineered a masterful 80 yard drive that culminated in a TD pass to ....Justin Shanks?! Beautiful call by the coaches and great execution by the offense. Prattville back on top 14-13 with 3 minutes to play. It was a short-lived lead, as Opie was now brimmng with confidence in their run game and our defense had been on the field for the vast majority of the second half. Our gassed defensive front all they could to fight off the Dawgs, but in the end, their third field goal of the night sent us to our second loss of the season. Hats off to them, and here is to hoping that this game will be replayed in the playoffs!
LionNation, nobody is taking this loss harder than our coaches and players...nobody! When you are in the situation that Prattville is in, it is easy to lose focus due to the myriad of off the field distractions like the constant calls and visits by college scouts and coaches, the lure of high school life outside of football in the midst of the sacrifices made to wear the Power P, the pressure to perform and the pressure to not get injured, the pressure to boost their chances of scholarship by getting their personal stats up, the headgames brought on by the opposite sex, issues at home, the abandonment of free-time, the fear of disappointing parents, coaches, mentors, fans and peers, and the list goes on and on. These are all 16-18 year old kids with the weight of the world on their shoulders, and each Friday night, their opponent will bring the absolute best game they have within them to face the Prattville Lions.
If our boys, week-in and week-out, cannot match the intensity, focus, and execution of the opponent, what we all saw Friday night is bound to happen again. It is very difficult for our coaches and players to match that level we saw at Wetumpka when they have extremely long winning streaks against their upcoming opponents (Lanier, Carver, Ben Russell, Jeff Davis) but it is crucial to be successful from here on out. These games may be won, but in the second season known as the playoffs, a performance like the one we saw Friday night will have us all thinking about what could have been.
We have the coaches, the talent, the depth, and the fanbase to bring the BlueStateMap home again this year, but unless all of the parts are working together, it's not going to happen.
LionNation, we have a handful of coaches and 130+ varsity Lions. Most all of us in the LionNation have a direct connection to one or more coaches, and/or one or more players. It is nearly impossible for the coaches to reach out to each of the players on an individual level, soI am challenging all of you to reach out to that person or persons to whom you are directly connected, and let them know that we support them win or lose. Let them know that no matter what, the LionNation is unified. It is that unity that will catapult this team to Tuscaloosa in December and bring that BlueState back to our trophy case. I know many of you already do this aplenty!! Keep it up.
Everybody has heard the old saying that it takes a village to raise a child, but I will take a blogger's liberty to modify it a bit to say, "It takes a whole town to win a championship."
Think back to those championship seasons in 2006, 2007, and 2008. The stands were full for every game, the euphoria in Prattville over this team was everywhere. The unity of the LionNation won those championships. Somewhere along the line, we seem to have lost sight of that and championships have just become a foregone conclusion. As community support for this program has dwindled over the past three years, so has the swagger that used to propel our Lions on Friday nights.
The good news is this: It's not too late to turn this thing around. All goals are still in check.
Goal 1.) Win Region 4 - well in hand
Goal 2.) Host Round 1-2of the Playoffs - working on it
Goal 3.) Hoist the 6A Championship Trophy in December - just gotta get Seabiscuit to the gates!
LionNation, it is incumbent on all of us to foster the confidence and unity in our coaches and players that it takes to win a championship. A pat on the back, a handshake, a thumbs-up or just a word of encouragement to any of the players or coaches, a Go Lions yard sign, a Power P car decal are just a few of the small things you can do as individuals to foster the championship spirit.
Lanier is next up this Friday. It's homecoming, but it's so much more than that. It's Region 4. It's must win. It's time for our boys to go back out there and reclaim some confidence and swagger that was taken from them last Friday. It's time to start rolling downhill on this season.
Many of you already know this, but incase you forgot, let me remind you: It is us against the world! Nobody wants us to succeed but us! Lets get out there and take it!
See you Friday night. I love you guys! God Bless and GO LIONS!
SEPTEMBER 23, 2011: This surely is a lot of big talk from the Opelika Bulldogs in yesterday's Opelika-Auburn News. http://www2.oanow.com/sports/2011/sep/22/prep-football-opelika-ready-second-chance-prattvil-ar-2450869/. OK, LIONNATION...time once again to dish out some more shut-up juice tonight in The Jungle! This article brings back memories of my faithful friend and former sideline analyst/color commentator for the Lions Radio Network, Mr. Danny Rye. His famous line..."Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it!". GO LIONS!
September 22, 2011
Big props to DJ Steve Haynes for being a dedicated follower of the Prattville Lions Football and BOOTH BLOG!!
September 21, 2011
Well, now you've done it, Prattville. You have definitely shown your true colors. You went out last Friday night into hostile territory in Wetumpka, AL and delivered the worst beating EVER received by the Wetumpka Indians to the tune of 71-12. Many have called this "unnecessary", "demeaning", "brutal", "payback", "rubbing it in". I suppose if you were not on hand Friday night to witness this first hand it may seem that way. I suppose that if you are not very close to this program, it may seem this way.
But for those of us who are close to this program and understand how it works, we know that 71-12 was merciful. It could have been much worse, had Coach Dubose elected to leave the starters in beyond the middle of the THIRD QUARTER! By the beginning of the fourth quarter, Chip, Donnie and I were scrambling to find names and numbers of the constant rotation of new players into the game! What we all saw on Friday night was the team that was preseason ranked #1 in the nation actually play to their potential. What we saw last Friday night, was the culmination of grueling off season workouts, long and hot practices, quality coaching and a fire in the belly of the players, coaches, and fans alike to avenge a two bitter losses from last season. Remember that most every player on that field last Friday night in the cardinal and white was on that field last year when Wetumpka (and other striped individuals not to be mentioned here) ended the season for our Lions.
It was a night of high emotions, and our coaches and players handled it like true champions. What was most impressive to me, beyond the 40-0 halftime lead that first team Lions posted, was the play of the second, third and fourth team Lions against the Wetumpka starters and second team. Coach Dubose went to the depths of his depth chart playing almost a completely sophomore lineup in the fourth quarter and still managed to have their way with their opponent. This lets me know that not only is the future of the 2011 campaign looking good, but that we will be fielding championship caliber teams for years to come. Put simply, its a championship caliber program with a championship caliber system with a championship caliber training regiment, executed by championship caliber athletes and trained and taught and led by championship caliber coaches. Today, more than ever, I am proud to be a part of the LionNation. Let the naysayers (you naysayers know who you are) hurl their little snide remarks and take their shots at our program. Obviously, this program will take your best shot and keep on coming. I think that was proven this summer.
Now, as we return home on Friday night to welcome in our old friends, the Opelika Bulldogs, let us not forget that there is a lot of football left to be played before our goal can be realized in December. Arrive early and rowdy to support our Lions. Remember that Opelika travels with a lot of fan support so be there early. Stanley Jensen will be at capacity! Don't forget that if you can't make it to the game, you can see and hear all of the action right here at www.prattvillelions.com from the comfort of your home computer, or your smartphone, or iPad if you are traveling. See you Friday night, folks and as always, God Bless and Go Lions!!
September 7, 2011
It took six quarters, but it seems like our Lions have figured out how to come together and win football games. I am sure the capacity crowd last week in Stanley Jensen Stadium were stunned and somewhat disappointed to see the Lions behind 7-6 at the half to the Mustangs. Another half of unforced errors and mental mistakes put us in another hole.
I don't know what Coach Dubose told his players at halftime, but a different, more disciplined, more unified Lion football team emerged from the locker room for the second half of the Stanhope game. Practically a mistake-free, penalty-free half teamed with dominant offense and defense allowed the Lions to put up 28 unanswered points and cruise to a 34-7 win over the rival Stanhope Elmore Mustangs.
The win put us in a good position to make a run for another Region 4 Champiopnship, but more than that, these Lions saw what they are capable of when they can control their emotion and play as a unit. If the team that showed up in the second half of last Friday's game can show up consistently this season, there is not many programs in this state that will be able to challenge the Lions.
The Lions are back in action this Thursday on the road in the friendly confines of newly renovated Cramton Bowl, where the Lions have not lost a game in nearly 10 years. The Robert E. Lee Generals will bring a senior laden team led by a very talented QB in Todderick Nickerson. The Lions defense will have to be ready to contain an early surge by the Generals. If the Lions can get out to an early lead, the game could get out of hand quickly, but if the Generals are allowed to hang around like Stanhope Elmore was permitted to last Friday, then it could be a long night for our visiting Lions.
Get out to new Cramton Bowl and support your Lions as they look to roll to 2-0 in Region 4. See you at the Bowl, folks. Good Night, God Bless and Go Lions!!
September 1, 2011
Ok, so my prediction of a Prattville victory in the season opener against St. Thomas Aquinas was a little off, but wow, what a game we were treated to last Saturday! Over 20 D1 committments on the field battling each other down to the wire with a nationwide audience. The only thing that could have made it any sweeter would have been a Prattville victory. 34-31 loss to a perennial HS National Champion program is nothing to hang our head low about. And the good news is that the Blue Map is still on our horizon. As Coach Dubose says, "our Alabama schedule starts Friday" and it starts in a mighty way with our home opener against our most bitter rival, Stanhope Elmore.
Folks, come out and support this team as they begin their quest for the Blue Map. Come early, come loud, and remember that without your support, a program like ours is just not possible! You make the difference! See you tomorrow night, God Bless and GO LIONS!
AUGUST 24, 2011
As the dawn of the 2011 campaign is now just two days away, I am still held up here in Armenia itching for some football...the American version!! If I never see a soccer ball again, it will be ok with me. The Barrett family is doing well, though. We are optimistic about returning as early as Wednesday of next week. That would mean that I would not miss the home opener against that team from across I-65.
I could not be prouder of this Lion squad right now. I think it is obvious that they are not reading their press clippings. The Varsity Lions took the fight to a very good Oxford squad in the Jamboree and sprinted out to a 21-0 lead before everyone could get to their seats in Oxford Stadium.
I cannot wait to see Coach Dubose release the full attack this Saturday against the toughest opponent since 2-Live-Crew High School in Miami last season. St. Thomas Aquinas will give this group of Lions to earn every bit of national attention they have been getting in the preseason. A win Saturday will set the tone for what could be a very exciting season.
LionNation, you have no idea how badly I wish I could be there to bring you the call. Rest easy though, the Millzer has brought back the second half of the award-winning tandem of Chip and Johnny to bring the call of the game to you. If you have the means, turn off the ESPN sound and tune into ihigh.com/prattville and let the hometeam bring you the real call to go along with the ESPN mothership video broadcast.
Since I will not be broadcasting the game, I can however, make a prediction on the outcome of the season opener. Kickoff games like this are typically dominated by defenses. Prattville returns 8 starters on both sides of the ball. STA returns, I believe, 6 starters TOTAL. That will be hard for the Raiders to overcome, especially with the high-speed misdirection offense that Prattville runs. STA, however, is a lot like Prattville in that they do not rebuild. They reload. It is going to be a close game late. I think our boys jump out to an early lead and the STA Raiders close the gap late, but never catch the Lions. Look for Justin Thomas to lead the ground attack with GM Rowe early, and then for Jalen Whitlow to capitalize on a drawn in defense with some deep bombs. The improved Prattville defense will have a final stand to hold off the Raider comeback. FINAL SCORE: PRATTVILLE: 28 ST. THOMAS AQUINAS: 24
AUGUST 20, 2011
I am sitting in a cafe on the other side of the world in Yerevan, Armenia listening to the Millzer's broadcast of the Oxford Jamboree. Great job, Millzer!! What do you need the crew for anyway? :) I am really missing the LionNation right now, but we are on schedule to return home with our new daughter on September 3 (she is sleeping in my lap as I type this right now) Thanks for all of the prayers from the Lion Nation for the Barrett family during this adoption journey. Add another Lion to the fold. Her name is Payson Elen Barrett and she just had her first birthday. Follow the adventure at www.bringingpaysonhome.blogspot.com
I will be with you guys in spirit on Saturday when we take on STA. To borrow a line from Coach Gaines as portrayed by Billy Bob Thornton, "Boys, show'em who we are!" GO LIONS!
JULY 25, 2011