Last year didn’t prove to be super kind to the Coosa Eagles, but as Coosa and third-year coach Joey Mathis head into a new region, there are reasons for optimism. 

First, last season’s 1-9 record doesn’t look amazing, but the Eagles fought hard in several games playing with many younger players who now have an extra year of experience under their belt. Along with that, even though the Eagles faced long odds and tough games last year, they never gave up and fought hard even if some scores ended up lopsided. 

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The Eagles face a tough no-region schedule but have a couple of intriguing games. Games against Class 4A Southeast Whitfield and Class 5A Woodland can test the Eagles, but Coosa should be able to get some solid competition with them. They also visit Class 2A Gordon Central, a former region foe Coosa has had success against, and play Region 8-A, Division II Towns County before opening the Region 7A, Division 1 slate on Sept. 23 at home against Armuchee. 

Although the Region 7A, Division 1 serves as a new destination for the Eagles, they are familiar with all of the opponents, having played them over the past few years. Most of the squads were in Region 7-AA with the Eagle last season, while Armuchee and Darlington are Floyd County opponents with which Coosa has plenty of history. 

In preseason talk, most of the new region’s coaches believe it will be super tough, and super competitive with a chance to have almost every team fighting for one of the region’s four playoff berths. 

As for personnel, Coosa brings back Harley Brock who made the 7-AA all-region team in 2021 as a defensive back. Others gracing the all-region first or second team from Coosa and returning this season are running back DJ Hames and offensive lineman Connor Soales. Five other Coosa underclassmen also made honorable mention and give the Eagles a solid group of returners for the year. 

With the talent returning and a lot of experience gained from the 2021 season, the Eagles have a solid chance to better last year’s record. If they can pull an upset or two, they might find themselves in the thick of the race for a spot in the playoffs. 

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An injury while running at Auburn ended Jim Alred’s long-shot hopes of possibly competing in the Olympics, so he turned to writing and has been crafting award-winning stories across multiple mediums ever since. Along the way he’s been chased by a grizzly bear, worked as Goofy at Walt Disney World, been nominated for two Emmys, interviewed celebrities like Tiger Woods, Bo Jackson, Bill Clinton, coaches his daughters in cross country and soccer and can often be found running with his wife, Tara, around Rome.