After three weeks on the road, the Daleville Warhawks (0-6, 0-4) return home this Friday, Oct. 8, for a Class 3A, Region 2 clash with the Slocomb Red Tops (3-3, 2-1).
Daleville is coming off a frustrating 66-22 loss to Wicksburg, while Slocomb knocked off New Brockton 35-7 a week ago.
Despite that lopsided score – like many of Daleville’s this year – the Warhawks were able to hang with Wicksburg in the first half and head coach Will Garner is emphatic that his team continues to grow, even in defeat.
“You see some lopsided (losses) and everybody is like ‘Daleville isn’t getting any better,’ but if you come out to the football games on Friday nights you’ll see that’s not true,” Garner said. “This young group is growing and getting better every single week and the future is bright for this group.
“They just have to keep hanging in there and continuing to grow towards the future.”
One of those players that Garner is excited about is freshman receiver Marcus Smith, who had more than 100 yards receiving and his first ever touchdown last week.
“Marcus Smith is a first-time football player this year and he scored his first touchdown ever on Friday,” Garner continued. “He was ecstatic about it and it was great to finally get him in the end-zone.
“He has been one of our most consistent players all year long. He’s still learning how the game works and how things flow, but it is really fun to watch him mature and grow and I think he’s going to grow into a big-time football player for us.”
As Daleville gets set for Slocomb they’ll have to contend with a defense that forced eight turnovers last week – all of them interceptions – but the Red Tops also boast a talented group of skill players on offense.
“Slocomb is really, really good,” Garner said. “They have some of the best Wiregrass athletes that have been around in a long time and Coach (Richard) Tisdale does a really good job of mixing up formations to get their guys in situations where they can get the ball out in space.
“Slocomb this week is another tough challenge but something I think we can handle for a homecoming night that is going to be exciting. This young group will require top notch execution to get the job done Friday night.”