Friday Night Football Fever Preview: Alabama Christian Academy
After spending 10 seasons as the defensive coordinator at Alabama Christian Academy, Michael Summers stepped into his new role as head coach. The Eagles will open the season against Trinity on Aug. 19.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - In just over a week, we’ll have our first high school football games kick off across the state, one of those teams being Alabama Christian Academy. The Eagles will open the season next Thursday after finishing 2020 at 10-3.
That included a perfect 7-0 record in league play. In fact, ACA rattled off eight straight wins before falling to Montgomery Academy in a non-region game last October. Their season came to a close after losing to American Christian Academy 38-7 in the state quarterfinals.
The team has since added a new head coach in Michael Summers, who is all too familiar with the program. Summers spent the last decade as the Eagles defensive coordinator. As head coach, however, and important part of his new coaching style is to make sure the entire program feels like a family.
“It’s been exciting. We’ve been trying all summer to build a community,” said Summers. “That’s one of the challenges of a private school is we don’t have that built-in proximity, so we’re trying to develop a closeness at the school really getting these high school kids involved with the elementary school kids, and getting our middle school programs going.”
And as a result, his new coaching staff will focus heavily on player and program development.
“A lot of the hires we made were made based on their ability to be relational,” said Summers. “We felt like that was the most important thing going forward: how are these guys relational? We can get them where we want them as a football coach, but do they invest in these guys, and that’s really what we’ve tried to focus on this summer.”
Summers says the football is coming along well, though. The guys are locked into the gridiron and will lean on experience to carry them into the new season.
”100% buy in. A hunger to be successful as a team, but a hunger to really excel as an individual from day one,” said Summers. “We’ve got a lot of guys coming back skill-wise so I think there’s experience there. We’ve tried to develop a physicality up front - as much as you can not being in pads - just trying to get more physical on the offensive and defensive fronts, so I’m just interested to see how these guys can do and I think they’ll do well.”
“I’ve very excited to get back on the field,” added senior receiver and safety D’Andre Snead. “I’m ready to see what we can do. Of course, the goal is to always go farther than you went the year before and my expectations are to do that, so I’m excited.”
“We just want to come out of the gate showing that we are a family, we’re here to play and we’re gonna do what we need to do,” added senior linebacker Jack Thomas. “We have one goal in mind, and that is to go as far as we possibly can. I’m probably more excited about my senior year of football than all the past years I’ve ever played in my life, so it’s going to be fun this year.”
Alabama Christian will open the season on the road at Trinity on Aug. 19.
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