High School Football Tour: Pickens Academy (AL)

Pickens Academy High School Pirates (AL)

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CARROLLTON, Ala. (WCBI Sports) - Pickens Academy is coming off a deep playoff run in 2012. The Pirates won their first eight games. The team loses ten players from that squad and its coach.

New head man Josh Thacker has a tough-minded approach and says all positions are an open competition.

DIVISION 1A | REG | DIST
HEAD COACH: JOSH THACKER
Aug 30 Sparta Ac away
Sept 6 Sumter Ac home
Sept 13 Southern Ac home
Sept 20 S Choctaw Ac away
Sept 27 Eastwood Chr* away
Oct 4 Jackson Ac* home
Oct 11 Marengo Ac* away
Oct 18 Meadowview Chr* home
Oct 25 Patrician Ac away
Nov 1 Clarke Prep home
*District games

“Hard work, just work hard, the best that you can,” Thacker said. “Put your best foot forward every day. Put your head down, go to work. When one guy goes down or one guy goes out for a breather, the next guy steps in. We try not to miss a beat. We have everybody on the same page. We don’t have a junior high program. We don’t have a freshman program. We have one big football family. From seventh grade to twelfth grade, we’re all doing the same thing.”

Thacker says his team is getting back to its roots. There are lots of farmers around Pickens County. It’s that dedication he says he’s shooting for.

Senior quarterback Josh Lewis returns. He gets it done with his arm and his legs and Thacker says he has a chance to play at the next level, even if it’s at a different position.

“Great athlete, projected college receiver, hopefully sometime down the road, but right now he’s just working his butt off. He’s a great kid, outside of the football field he’s a yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am, makes great grades. Josh is a great kid,” Thacker said.

Last season saw success, but it’s a new attitude for Pickens Academy.

“I don’t find a lot of motivation from last season. We dropped two games at the end of the season because we got kind of lackadaisical,” Thacker said. “We got in the playoffs and pretty much got beat pretty bad by Restoration. It seemed like we had the mentality of ‘second place is O.K.’ and that’s not O.K. for us. We want to finish this year on a very strong note. It’s not O.K. to go 9-0 and then drop the last two games of the season and then be O.K. to make the playoffs. That’s not a championship mentality and that’s not what we’re trying to do. To me, that’s average, and I hate that word and that’s not something you’ll ever hear us say.”

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