Oct. 5—If your favorite high school football team is racking up wins this season, then you most likely think it's been a great season.
If your favorite team is down in the dumps this season, you probably think it's been a disaster.
Judging the success of a high school football season depends on your point of view. There's no doubt a lot of people are enjoying this season.
If you look at the overall picture, which in our case is 19 teams in the Daily's coverage area, it's been a great season so far. The final four weeks could make it even better.
After seven weeks, three teams are undefeated, Hartselle (7-0), Decatur (6-0) and Priceville (7-0). Two teams have just one loss, West Morgan (5-1) and Hatton (5-1). West Morgan's loss was to undefeated Deshler, 21-6. Austin (5-2) has won five straight since opening the season with losses to undefeated Hartselle and undefeated Decatur.
One way to determine if this season is exceptional is to look at region championships. Four teams are in first place in their regions. They are Austin in Class 7A, Region 4, Decatur and Hartselle in Class 6A, Region 7 and Priceville in Class 4A, Region 8.
Right now West Morgan in Class 4A, Region 7 and Hatton in Class 2A, Region 8 are not in first place in their regions, but they both are certainly in the mix to finish on top when region play ends in three weeks.
So there's a chance at five region championships for area teams. That's a lot judging on what has happened since 2000. Only one time since the turn of the century have five area schools won region championships in the same season and it wasn't that long ago.
In 2020, region championships were won by Austin, Decatur Heritage, Athens, West Limestone and East Lawrence. That was an exceptional season.
The only other season close to that since 2000 was in 2000 when four schools, Decatur, West Morgan, Athens and Hatton, won region championships. Three schools were region champions in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2015.
Nine times there were just two region champions. Five times there was only one region champion. In 2006, no area school won a region championship.
Muscle Shoals (5-1, 2-1) at Decatur (6-0, 3-0) at Ogle Stadium this Friday is one of the biggest games of the season. It's going to have a big say in the Class 6A, Region 7 championship and which two schools among Hartselle, Decatur and Muscle Shoals host first round playoff games.
Also big is the record for the two head coaches.
Muscle Shoals head coach Scott Basden has won 132 games in 15 seasons at Muscle Shoals. Overall, the Trinity native's coaching record is 201-73. Decatur head coach Jere Adcock is 184-117 in 27 seasons, all at Decatur.
Combine the two records and it's 385 wins. You will have to look hard to find a matchup anywhere with more combined wins.
Look at it this way. A perfect high school season with a state championship at the end means a 15-0 record. Do that 25 times and you have 375 wins.
Players to watch
It will be a battle of which West is best when West Limestone (5-2, 2-2) visits West Morgan (5-1, 3-1) on Friday.
The game features two of the best running backs in the area in West Limestone's Easton Smith and West Morgan's Jalen Fletcher.
Smith's numbers in seven games have him with 159 carries for 1,085 yards and 18 touchdowns. He averages 6.82 yards a carry and 155 yards a game.
Fletcher's numbers in six games have him with 85 carries for 662 yards and nine touchdowns. He averages 7.8 yards a carry and 110.3 yards a game.
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