Sylacauga’s Matt Griffith has built a consistent program with seven-straight playoff appearances as head coach of the Aggies. Griffith is entering his 15th season as head coach, and he said the expectation is the same as it is every year: win seven games, make the playoffs and make some noise in the state.
Last season, Sylacauga finished 7-4, losing 34-20 to Jasper in the first round of the playoffs. The Aggies were fourth in the region. Through the first seven games, Sylacauga was 6-1 and did not allow more than 14 points in any contest. The defense was stingy, allowing 11.4 points per game during the seven-game stretch. Offensively, the Aggies averaged 25.2 points per game for the year.
Key Unit: Running backs
At Talladega County High School Football Media Day, Griffith was visibly excited about his backfield, which features Malik Pope and Jordan Ridgeway. The Aggies will be breaking in a new quarterback in JD DeLoach, so it will be important for the running backs to help shoulder the load. With depth and explosiveness in the backfield, the running backs will lead the offense in 2019.
Key Player: Malik Pope, sophomore, running back and safety
Griffith said the coaching staff brought Pope along slowly, but when he got his shot at running back, Pope burst onto the scene. A two-way player at running back and safety, Pope could take a big step forward in his development as he enters his sophomore season. He is one of the most athletic players on the offensive side of the ball. At the high school level, that means he will touch the football a lot.
Key Game: October 25 vs. Munford
Last season, Sylacauga’s game versus Munford was for a playoff spot. The Aggies play in a difficult region, and this year could be the same story. It’s the last game of the season, so the game is an opportunity for Sylacauga to build momentum entering the postseason. With the goal being to make some noise in the state, momentum entering the playoffs is necessary.
8/23 at Leeds
8/30 vs. Chilton County
9/6 at Springville*
9/13 vs. Moody*
9/20 at Mortimer Jordan*
9/27 vs. Childersburg
10/4 at St. Clair County*
10/11 vs. Center Point*
10/18 at Central Clay County*
10/25 vs. Munford*