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Senior class was the backbone of some great TRM teams

By By BRUCE HIXON Sports Editor
The backbone of any great program is its seniors and this year's T.R. Miller Tigers football senior class was no exception.
T.R. Miller's 19 seniors played a huge role in the program's 49-8 record during their stay in school. Along the way T.R. Miller won state championships in 2000 and 2002 and earned semifinal berths in 2001 and 2003.
"It has been a great senior class. They've been great young men as well as great players for us," T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs said.
Riggs has a few departing thoughts and memories about each of his seniors.
Brad Lannom (QB): "Brad has been one of the more efficient quarterbacks we've had. He was the Most Valuable Player at last year's state championship game. Brad had a great senior year for us. He was one of our three teams captains and turned into one of the best leaders we've had," Riggs said.
Adam Kilgore (DB): "Adam saw most of his playing time on special teams this season. He did a real good job in that area and developed into a very dependable player," Riggs said.
Skylar Fountain (RB/DB): "Skylar rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season. We moved Skylar to a defensive back on defense because we were a little short on players in that area. He was just as productive in that area as offense," Riggs said.
Joseph Turner (DB/K): "Joe was a very good defensive back for us. As a kicker, he was pretty accurate. He had pretty good distance on his kicks and he did a good job of kicking to different spots on the field," Riggs said.
Kyle Rush (WR): "Kyle was a transfer into our program this season. He made a couple of good catches for us during the season and developed into a good blocker. He had a great attitude for us," Riggs said.
Michael Jones (RB): "Michael has been a three-year starter for us. He had some injury problems this season with his shoulder and then the spider bite to his hand. However, Michael came back strong in the playoffs with 100 yards rushing against Springville and W.S. Neal and three touchdowns against Pike County," Riggs said.
Hunter Madden (LB): "Hunter played with us for four years. While he never started, he was a good practice player and a dependable player. You need players like him in order to be successful," Riggs said.
Matt Stine (OL/DL): "Matt didn't play last year, but he came back this season and saw some time at nose guard and the defensive line," Riggs said.
Jacob Davis (OL/LB): "Jacob has played for us for four years. He saw most of his playing time through special teams, especially on the returns. Jacob was a real good practice player for us," Riggs said.
Josh Gilmore (OL/DL): "Josh didn't play as a sophomore, but he came back to the program and earned some starting time at nose guard this season," Riggs said.
Kevin Ard (OT/DT): "Kevin was injured during the preseason and it probably took until about the middle of the season before he got back in full swing. He saw a lot of time at offensive and defensive tackle for us," Riggs said.
Demetris Preyer (OL/LB): "Demetris had a great career for us. He actually started a couple of games as a freshman. This year we played him a lot at outside linebacker. He also had a great year blocking," Riggs said.
David Padgett (C): "David was our starting center this season. This was his first year as a starter. I thought he and Brad communicated well with their snaps," Riggs said.
Danny Brooks (DT): "Danny transferred to us from W.S. Neal this year. He was a substitute at defensive tackle. He worked hard and had a great attitude," Riggs said.
Kendrick Deere (OL): "During his career Kendrick played every guard and tackle spot. He was a three-year starter and one of our captains this year," Riggs said.
Kurt Prater (OL/DL): "Kurt played offensive guard and defensive tackle for us. He played extremely well for us the second half of the season with his blocking. He was also our Challenge Winner for this season," Riggs said.
Jason Maddox (LB): "Jason didn't play last season. He came out this season and was a substitue at linebacker," Riggs said.
Trent Davidson (TE): "Trent has been a three-year starter for us. During that time he developed into one of the best leaders we've ever had. Trent was both a great receiver and blocker for us. Obviously he still has some ball yet to play (at Alabama)," Riggs said.
Chris Cone (TE): "With Trent in front of him Chris didn't get to see a lot of playing time at tight end, but we got him in some games. He was a very valuable practice player and had a great attitude," Riggs said.
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The Tigers finished the season with a school record 556 points for the season, good for 12th place on the all-time state list.
Pike County's 35 points Friday pushed its season total to 561 points, good for 10th place on the all-time list.
T.R. Miller's 2004 schedule is set. The Tigers will open up play August 27 with a non-region game at Escambia County. The Class 3A Region 1 opener is the following week on September 3 at Straughn. The home opener is September 10 against Dale County.
The Tigers' remaining schedule includes a trip to Abbeville on September 17 and a non-region home game against Andalusia on September 24. T.R. Miller will get back into region play October 1 at Slocomb. Homecoming is set for October 8 against Headland. The Tigers head to Pike County October 15. Their final region game is a home date against W.S. Neal on October 22. The final regular season contest is a non-region game at home against Jay (Fla.) on October 29.
Only one of last year's Super Six state champions will have the opportunity to repeat at this week's finals.
Hoover (13-1) will have the opportunity to defend its Class 6A state title when it takes on Daphne (14-0).
Two of last year's champions fell in the semifinals Friday. In addition to T.R.
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Miller in Class 3A, Homewood's reign in Class 5A ended with its 34-7 loss to Briarwood Christian.
UMS-Wright, which won Class 4A last year, was beaten in the quarterfinals by Demopolis. Defending Class 2A champ Southern Choctaw fell in the second round to Houston Academy.
Clay County had the earliest postseason departure and the worst record of last year's champions. Clay County lost in the first round to Addison and finished its season barely above .500 at 6-5.