The Boaz football team returned to the state playoffs in 2018 for the first time since 2014.
The Pirates finished as the No. 3 seed in Class 5A, Region 6. In the first round, they lost a 53-33 shootout at East Limestone.
Etowah, ranked ninth in the preseason 5A poll, is the defending Region 6 champion. Southside, Sardis, Crossville, Douglas and Alexandria are Boaz’s other region rivals.
“We’ve got some really good teams in the region,” third-year Boaz head coach Jeremy Sullivan said.
“Etowah, you’ve got to start there. They have to be the favorite just because of the amount of talent they have, the amount of talent they have coming back.
“I know they had the coaching change, but it’s not like they went and hired a bad coach. They hired Coach [John] Holladay, who’s got a lot of experience and who’s done a great job at other places he’s been. They’re going to be a well-coached team. They’ll probably be the most athletic team in the region.”
Last season, the Pirates posted their first-ever win over Alexandria, beating the Valley Cubs 14-7 at L.F. Corley Jr. Stadium in a physical contest dominated by defense and the running game.
Southside and Etowah beat the Pirates in their final two region games a year ago. The losses cost Boaz a home game in the opening round of the postseason.
Sullivan sees Alexandria and Southside as the next-best teams behind Etowah in 2019.
“With Southside moving down from 6A, they had a good year last year, and then Alexandria is Alexandria,” Sullivan said. “They’re always going to be a tough, physical football team.
“Those three teams are the ones you have to beat to get into that top-two spot, and I think most people would agree with that. After that, you’ve kind of got us, Crossville and Sardis kind of battling to try to establish a playoff spot.”
Boaz reserved seats are on sale to previous ticket holders in the school office. Tickets go on sale to the public Thursday.
Cost is $80 each, which includes admission, parking and seat.
Boaz’s 2019 home games are:
Aug. 23, Arab
Aug. 30, Guntersville (academic recognition)
Sept. 6, Douglas (BHS Wall of Fame)
Oct. 11, Sardis (homecoming)
Oct. 25, Etowah (senior night)
Meet the Pirates
The Boaz Quarterback Club will sponsor Meet the Pirates on Friday at 6 p.m. at L.F. Corley Jr. Stadium.
Admission is $5, which includes a hotdog dinner plate and a drink.
All Boaz football teams (youth, middle school and high school), the BHS band and cheerleaders will be recognized.
The varsity football team will scrimmage to end the night.