Demopolis coaches review, critique game tapes

by dentonramsey

Demopolis coaches review, critique game tapes


By Denton Ramsey/Sports Editor

It’s a cold, damp evening and the Demopolis Tigers have just finished another day of tough practice.

But practice isn’t over until Devin Goodwin can connect successfully on a field goal.

Any miss means another set of runs.

And on Wednesday night, the Tigers ended their practice covered in sweat and smiles as Goodwin’s 35-yard field goal attempt sailed up and bounced off the center pole and through the uprights successfully.

The reaction from the players and coaches would make one assume that the Tigers had just beat UMS-Wright with a game-winning field goal in the closing seconds.


But such is the life of the Demopolis Tigers.

Head coach Doug Goodwin and his superior staff have guided the Tigers to an undefeated season and have proven to doubters that they are one of the best high school football teams in the state of Alabama.

Not just in Class 4A, but overall.

Dominant defense, overwhelming offense, and superb special teams.

Those are just a few words to describe the different aspects of the Tigers game.

After Goodwin’s field goal sailed through the uprights successfully and the team gathered at midfield for a quick prep talk and a moment to recite The Lord’s Prayer, it was time to hit the weight room and review some tape footage.

Sitting near defensive coordinator Freddy Lawrence, with coach Goodwin close by at the helm, the Tigers sat quietly as their coaches pointed out some key factors in the way UMS-Wright goes about playing the game of football.

Tonight’s game will be a battle for Birmingham, and the coaching staff is going to do whatever it takes to prepare their team for the fight.

The atmosphere in the weight room was electric – one could just feel the energy and excitement that comes along with the wonderful sport of high school football.

Coaches cracked a few jokes about the tape to ease the mood in the room as the players sat chatting about their upcoming game.

Coach Goodwin critiqued every play like an NFL coach preparing for the Super Bowl, pointing out each and every error the UMS-Wright Bulldogs made.

And also pointing out where they might line up trying to trick the defense.

Whatever it takes to win.

With a brilliant coaching staff teaching their players what to watch for come game time, its no wonder the Tigers are so successful.

Coach Goodwin would even at times quiz his players like a professor in a college classroom.

Goodwin posed the question to his team, “they’re in man-to-man, how do we know?”

If the coaching staff can instill the football knowledge they carry with them on a daily basis, there is no way anyone can defeat the Tigers.

A few minutes go by, and coach Goodwin asks his team again, “what are they playing there? What coverage are they in?”

If the players can learn to read the defense, they can adjust to it and be much more successful.

And coach Goodwin knows exactly what he is doing.

One of the keys to the Tigers winning tonight will be stopping number three – senior running back Milan Williams.

Williams has rushed for 1,601 yards on 183 carries for 22 touchdowns, averaging 8.7 yards per carry.

Williams also has two punt returns for touchdowns.

So one big key will be to nail number three.

“We’ve got to stop number three,” coach Goodwin said. “Stop number three and we stop UMS.”

The Bulldogs are tailback oriented, so one of the main things the Tigers need to do defensively is attack the UMS line.

And if the Demopolis players watched, listened, and soaked in the advice from the coaching staff on Wednesday night, the Tigers should be able to come out victorious tonight in Mobile.

After reviewing the UMS/Elmore County game tape for a little over half an hour, coach Goodwin and his staff could tell their boys were getting restless and were ready to eat.

And everyone knows that a homegrown team deserves a home cooked meal.

Many of the players’ parents provided a team dinner for the Tigers following Wednesday night’s practice and tape review.

On a crisp, cool Wednesday night, the Tigers appeared more prepared and energized than after any practice all season long.

And they have every reason to be ecstatic.

The Tigers are on their way to the semifinals.

From there, it’s on to Birmingham as long as the players soak in what they have learned throughout the entire season.

The second season is coming to a close, and the Tigers expect to be on top when Birmingham entertains the state with next week’s championship game.