Fountain:Grateful to the Game
Over the years, T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal have produced some football greats.
Many players have gone on after graduation to play on some of the nation’s best known and loved college and NFL teams.
The trend continues to this day.
Football here isn’t just a game.
It’s a passion, religion, and way of life.
To one man, it is life.
Hugh Fountain, was born and reared in the East Brewton area.
He was one of five brothers and sisters.
Fountain attended W.S. Neal his entire childhood and was reared a few streets over on Forrest Ave.
Starting at a very young age, he began to gain a love for the football and being on the gridiron.
The game was just part of his family and upbringing and was in a way, a family tradition.
1979 marked the start of his freshman year and high school football career.
“I remember that I was playing spring ball that year. We would match against three other county schools and play. We were playing in a game that year against T.R. Miller and I was taken out the game. I was told that they were about to run the option and I was up against Walter Lewis. I was not ready to matchup against a guy like Lewis. Another guy was put in and Lewis scored anyway,” Fountain said.
Lewis later went on to play in the NFL and was arguably one of the best players that the area would ever produce.
“I started playing varsity ball my sophomore year. In those days, grown men played football. Willie Ferris, was perhaps my favorite coach along with the rest of the coaching staff. We always came up wanting to play football at Neal,” Fountain said.
“It was always Miller and Neal. We grew up across the tracks from those guys and knew them. That was always the game that you wanted to win. Football was king in Brewton. Football has always been the sport and is important to both sides of the tracks.”
Fountain started his senior year in 1981 at WSN, and it was a year he was very fond of.
He transitioned that year from defensive end to center.
“We had a great football team my senior year, and we beat Miller 12-0 that year. I will always remember that game because Miller had been king for a number of years in a row, and we were able to win that game at home,” Fountain said.
Fountain went on to graduate in 1982 and started at Marion Military Institute.
He played center and served as team captain for M.M.I. for the 1982 and 1983 seasons and then transferred to Troy.
He went on to play at Troy and was part of the 1984 national championship team.
“Playing at those two schools was a great experience for me,” Fountain said.
After graduation from Troy, Fountain went on to coach.
He first coached at Flomaton High School in 1987 as an assistant coach and then transferred to Evergreen High as the head football coach.
“I was a young puppy and had no clue what I was doing and had to wing it at first. I left there and went to Neal as the head coach. I was there from 1989-1995. I left there and went to Charles Henderson in Troy as coach. I stayed there for 16 years. I then retired and came to Escambia Academy,” Fountain said.
Fountain, now finds himself, holding both the role as headmaster and football coach at E.A. and won a state championship there last season.
“I am a lucky guy. I have had a great life playing and coaching. I love working with these kids. I can make a difference in their lives. The game is an equalizer to these kids. It gives them the opportunity to dream and equals them to everyone else despite what troubles they may be dealing with. Football has been my life. My dream was always to coach and these kids are everything to me. I can relate to them. The game has given me the opportunity to live my life doing what I love and for that I will be forever grateful to the game.”