Far From a Nightmare: Tuscaloosa Academy’s Dream Season
On Friday, November 19, 2021, Tuscaloosa Academy's football season ended in Montgomery. It was a loss to Pike Liberal 41-21. It was not the ending that many wanted.
The silence on the TA's side was hard to take in. That included me, who was yelling at the top of his lungs the entire game in the stands up until the clock struck zero. I'm connected to TA for a simple reason:
I'm the public address announcer for football and basketball. So to say the least, in addition to bleeding crimson and white, I bleed blue and gold.
After all the tears and hugs, I headed back to the car. I drove two hours to see these kids and parents because, in truth, they're family. On the drive back, I began to look back on the season.
The reality of the situation is that TA in no way should view this season as a failure. Nobody saw this run to the State Championship, except for maybe for TA fans themselves.
On October 2nd, 2021, the Knights sat at 2-4. No playoff chances in sight. Then things changed.
It started with a win over Clarke Prep. Then a tough fought win over Morgan Academy. Then domination over Monroe Academy brought another W. With help, TA clinched the region championship.
Two home playoff games were in the cards. First, they beat Valiant Cross. Then Lee-Scott came to town and in one of the best high school games I've ever witnessed, TA fought until the final whistle to punch their ticket to the Cramton Bowl.
So that's a five-game win streak placing the team, not at 2-4, but 7-4.
There is no way anybody should view this season for the Knights as a failure. I know I certainly don't.
From Wilson King and Jack Standeffer basically catching everything to David McNeil and Jordan Evans rushing the ball past opposing defenders.
Preston Lancaster, a freshman for those who don't know, threw for over 300 yards in a high school semifinal game. Not to be outdone, his older brother Phillip was busy stuffing runs and putting QBs on the turf.
These are just some of the highlights from a season with too many to count. And yes, my voice was terrible to hear after every game because it sounded like a scratched record.
But this team, this fanbase...they were worth every second of it. And it was truly an honor to witness it in real-time.
So while the book may have closed on this season, those Friday night lights will turn on again. And believe me when I say...
Look out AHSAA. Here comes the Knights.
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