Auburn High, Chambers Academy Featured in Day One of High School Media Days
'RETRUN TO PLAY' FALL SPORTS PLAN TO BE ANNOUNCED BY AHSAA THIS THURSDAY
The annual Fox Sports High School Media Days kicked off in East Alabama on Tuesday, July 21. The event featured nine local teams including Chambers Academy, Valley, LaFayette, Lee-Scott Academy, Loachapoka, Beauregard, Springwood, Beulah and Auburn.
AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese opened the press conference with an update on the fall season in reference to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.
“It is a ‘Return to Play’. It is not a delay document. It is not a document that will say we are not playing sports,” said Savarese. “We are looking forward to starting football practice as normal the week of August 3, beginning July 27 with an acclimation period.”
The AHSAA will announce a clearer update with dates and rules this Thursday after their 1 p.m. CT meeting.
The Chambers Academy Rebels spoke to media first. The Rebels impressed many in the AISA over the past few years. Over the past four season, Chambers Academy tallied a record of (48-4) under Head Coach Jason Allen. The Rebels won their first state title in 2018, and have advanced to five straight championship games.
In 2020, the Rebels will move up to Class AA. They’ll be led on offense by senior quarterback Payton Allen, the son of Jason Allen. The father-son duo is hungry to win the state title after falling short Southern Academy 14-8 at Troy University. This year, Payton will have more offensive targets.
“We feel like we are a much more explosive team this year. Get off man coverage and make you pay for putting too many guys up there in the box,” said Allen. “That’s what we worked really hard on. We feel like we have some quality receivers that can run and catch, and we’re going to be a more balanced football team.”
The Rebels kickoff the season on the road against Lee-Scott Academy on Thursday, August 20.
The Auburn High Tigers finished last season with a record of (9-4) falling the Class 7A State Semi-Finals to region rival Central-Phenix City. This year they’ll be led by senior quarterback Matthew Caldwell.
The Tigers have a lot of talent, but running back will be a key spot to fill. Their workhorse, Aaron Diggs, signed to play safety at Coastal Carolina.
“Once he took over that role he was probably 80 percent of our offense,” said Auburn Head Coach Adam Winegarden. “We have a lot of skilled guys returning. We have all the running backs that backed Aaron up at the start of the year. All we want for every player is just to be the best they can be. I think if they all do that they can make up for that production and create more production as a team.”
Auburn High will start their season at home on Friday, August 21 against Bob Jones.