Predictions for 2011 WSN footballPublished 4:00am Wednesday, August 24, 2011
After going winless last season with an 0-10 record under second year head coach Kevin Jordan, the Eagles remain in a very tough class 4A region one this season. Counting T.R. Miller in class 3A, of the 10 Eagle opponents for the 2011 season, six were mentioned in the preseason polls (Thomasville, Jackson, UMS-Wright, Escambia County, and Hillcrest).
Here is how I see the 2010 season shaping up for the W.S. Neal Eagles:
Aug. 26: Flomaton— The W.S. Neal Eagles will open up the 2011 season against in-county opponent Flomaton. Last year this game was on the road in a Thursday night game. Last year, W.S. Neal went to class 2A Flomaton and was stunned in their season opener 35-0. While that was a year ago and things have changed in a good way for the Eagles, Flomaton lost only two players from their 2010 team and has a lot of experience and good athletes back for 2011. I do not see the Eagles being shutout like they were last year, but I see Flomaton starting the Eagles 0-1 for the 2011 season.
Flomaton 34, W.S. Neal 13.
Sept. 2: at UMS-Wright— In the first region game of the season for W.S. Neal, the Eagles will travel to Mobile for their first road game of the season. UMS-Wright had a down year last year going 6-5 which is rare for a Terry Curtis Bulldog team. I see W.S. Neal dropping to 0-2 to start the season and their region record starting 0-1.
UMS-Wright 28, W.S. Neal 13
Sept. 9: at Jackson—In week three for the Eagles, W.S. Neal will take to the road for their second straight road trip. Jackson lost their head coach to region opponent Saraland, but gained Leroy’s Danny Powell. Powell guided Leroy to several state championships while he was there and should be a good coach for the Aggies. I see the Eagles improving week end and week out, but due to the lack of success in recent years and the success from other teams in the region, I see W.S. Neal falling to 0-3 with a loss to the Aggies.
Jackson 38, W.S. Neal 20
Sept. 16: Escambia County—In week four, the Eagles return home to face their second county team in the Blue Devils of Atmore. Atmore surprised a lot of teams last year with their success under first year head coach Mark Heaton. The Blue Devils lose elusive quarterback Ricco Stallworth, but have two college commitment studs on the defensive line in Dalvin Craft and Tyler Nero.
Atmore 27, W.S. Neal 7
Sept. 23: at Hillcrest— With week five comes a non-region game for the Eagles with the Hillcrest Jaguars. With the Eagles sitting at 0-4, look for the Eagles to get a win to improve to 1-4 at the midway point of the season.
W.S. Neal 24, Hillcrest 20
Sept. 30: Monroe County—Following a week of non-region play, the Eagles will be home for their sixth game of the season as they welcome region opponent Monroe County to East Brewton for homecoming. The Tigers of Monroe County recently saw their head coach resign just days into fall practice. Look for W.S. Neal to take down the Tigers to improve to 2-4 and get their first region win and have another reason to celebrate on homecoming with a win.
W.S. Neal 34, Monroe County 20
Oct.7: at B.C. Rain—Coming off two straight wins will be a big thing for the Eagles. It matches their win total from the past two years combined and also gets the monkey off their back as they end their region game losing streak. In week seven, W.S. Neal travels to B.C. Rain. Rain always has athletes. I am having a hard time with this game as I can see it going both ways. Can the Eagles win three straight or will the previous two be a distraction? I am going to say the Eagles get win number three.
W.S. Neal 21, B.C. Rain 20
Oct. 14: at Thomasville— In week eight, W.S. Neal heads to defending state champion Thomasville. Thomasville has become one of the top teams in class 4A as of late and I do not see the 2011 team shying away from that. I see the Eagles’ win streak ending this week.
Thomasville 35, W.S. Neal 13
Oct. 21: Saraland—In week nine, W.S. Neal welcomes Saraland to East Brewton for the final region game of the year. Saraland welcomes for Jackson coach Jeff Kelly to the helm this year. On a Thursday game last year against Saraland, W.S. Neal blew a late lead on a long third down last year and fumbled the kickoff late to allow the Spartans to run the clock out for the win. Look for W.S. Neal to seek revenge on the Spartans and pick up their fourth win.
W.S. Neal 28, Saraland 20
Oct. 30: T.R. Miller— After two straight losses to W.S. Neal in 2006 and 2007, T.R. Miller has since defeated W.S. Neal three straight times outscoring the Eagles 145-24. This game is a big rival game for both teams. With this game, who knows what can happen. We will have to wait until week 10 because, like in the past, I am not going to pick this one.
So there it is— A 4-5 season for the Eagles not counting the Battle of Murder Creek game against T.R. Miller. That gives the Eagles four more wins than last year and equals their total from the three past seasons. While I see the Eagles making giant strides and showing improvement in a lot of areas, I see them getting only four wins due to lack of experience and just a lack of winning in the past. I see great things coming to this team under new coach Doug Hoehn. While these are just predictions, a lot of things can happen in a season. We will just have to wait and see how the season unfolds. Until we meet again her or out in the world of sports, God bless.