Photos Andy Calvert - L-R: #51 OMARION MOORE-T/NG #7 DALTON DENTON-WR/MLB #70 DEOLIS MILLSAP-T/DT
2020 RECORD: 4-4, overall (1-3, REGION 7-AA)
HEAD COACH: Joey Mathis (4-4, 1 year at Coosa, 30-27 career)
ALL TIME RECORD: 688 games – 341 – 331 – 16 (51%)
TOTAL SEASONS: 66 FIRST SEASON: 1955 ALL STATE PLAYERS: 42
REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS: 5 (1975 LAST)
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2 (1969 LAST)
Coach Joey Mathis came to Coosa with the idea of creating a great culture both on and off the field. Despite many obstacles, he never wavered from his plan. Mathis didn’t meet his players until July 8th of last year, and he had to go on a house-to-house tour to meet them, as well as to sell himself and his football philosophy. Coosa finished the season 4-4, the first non-losing season since 2017.
Coach Mathis will tell you this offseason is a lot better than his first one was. “We’ve had a productive summer with not having to deal with the pandemic or any related interruptions,” Mathis says. “We’re getting an opportunity to get a full offseason in with weight training and putting our terminology in. And the players are getting to mature and grow as a team.”
Coosa’s offense will again be a run first attack, with a running back by committee approach. Senior DJ Driver and Sophomore Harrison East will definitely be two of the ball carriers in that committee.
Athletes Josh Dixon, a junior, and senior Dalton Denton will be helping the Eagles all over the field on offense, every game taking advantage of their skillsets.
Up front, Coosa is solidifying the trenches on both sides of the ball with senior offensive tackle and defensive nose guard Omarion Moore, senior offensive and defensive tackle Deolis Millsap, and senior offensive tackle Tyler Hart.
Denton and Driver will also have big roles on the defensive side of the ball along with Millsap and Moore in 2021. The other defensive positions will be filled by players who put in the work and show they want to earn a place on the field.
Coach Mathis has his eyes on today and the future. The 2021 team is going to be young, as he only had 27 players when he arrived at the school. “The good thing about playing young players is that they get valuable gametime experience,” Mathis says. “The bad thing is getting your brains beat in sometimes. It’s not necessarily the win that counts, it’s being in the game. Every Friday you want to be in the ballgame. You may not always win, but you want to be in the game.”
Mathis is building up the middle school football program. He brought in new coaches and developed a system to get the middle school football participation numbers up. So far, they have gone from 18 kids last year to 66 in this year’s spring training. Mathis insists: “You have to invest in that foundation with hopes it works its way up to you.”
Mathis has the support of the Coosa Community as well as the school’s administration. Even the fans are involved with Mathis’12th man culture.
Back to 2021: there are expectations and goals for this team, especially the senior class. From his seniors, Mathis expects leadership and mental toughness on a daily basis. “We want them to come in and lead,” he says, “and when we say lead, it doesn’t mean be perfect, it means to be accountable and show up every day ready to work and give a good effort.”
From his senior class leadership, it can be shown that the Eagles want to be physical and be known as fundamentally sound. “You never want to beat yourself,” Mathis says. “More games are lost instead of won. You don’t wanna be the team that did it to yourself.”
2021 GAMES OF SIGNIFICANCE
- 8/27/2021 @ Trion
A rematch of Coach Joey Mathis’ debut at Coosa that turned out to be a four-overtime classic that Coosa won 51-45.
- 10/1/2021 @ Model
Rivalry game. Model has won the last two meetings.
- 11/5/2021 @ Pepperell
Rivalry Game. The Dragons have won the last five meetings.