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SULLIGENT, Ala. (WCBI Sports) – Sulligent will aim to continue to take steps forward under a new head coach.

29-year-old Daniel Merchant takes over. The Sulligent grad is a former Oak Hill Academy and West Lowndes assistant. The Blue Devils won six games in 2A last year, which is four more than the year prior.

“Last year was a good step forward for the program,” Merchant said. “They’ve had some down years, they’ve had some good years. Just a few years ago they were in the state championship game. Right now it’s just getting the mental toughness back in the program.”

The players say chemistry played a part in last season’s success.

“When we came more together, we were playing more as a team,” senior tight end Riley Cagle said. “And then we started winning games.”

The Blue Devils will be a young team, particularly on the offensive line. Merchant says the team will run the ball more this season.

“We’ll play more physical than they have in the past,” Merchant said.

For the players, it’s about moving past prior failures.

“We want to move forward, strive for greatness this year,” senior fullback Caleb Williams said.

The program aims to return to the days of state title game appearances, the last of which being in 2008.


Aug 21 Hale County home
Aug 28 Hamilton away
Sept 4 Hatton away
Sept 11 Red Bay home
Sept 18 Tharptown away
Sept 25 Lamar County home
Oct 2 Cherokee home
Oct 9 Open
Oct 16 Phil Campbell away
Oct 23 Mars Hill home
Oct 29 South Lamar away
*District games

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