Same story, new year. New Albany will travel to Itawamba this Friday to take on the Indians, who are the top ranked team in 4A. NAHS will be looking for their first divisional win, and it will be a tough test against the undefeated Indians.
“Whenever you get film on teams, you try to look for their weaknesses, and it’s extremely hard to find one with this team,” NAHS head coach Ron Price said. “They’re fundamentally sound both offensively and defensively, and they have a great coaching staff. They play with an attitude, and it’s everything we want our program to get to, and I really respect what Coach Mitchell has done since he’s gotten to Itawamba.”
The Indians defeated the Bulldogs 44-17 in 2008 despite a two-touchdown performance by Kareem Brown. Price hopes to see his running games established early in hopes to open up New Albany’s arial attack.
“We need to be able to run. We never had the chance to establish the run last week, so we need to establish our running game,” Price said. “We have to be able to score a lot of points because we know Itawamba is going to.”
Price and his staff have worked this week on changing the attitude of their squad. Price feels that more confidence will bring better results on the field.
“To get to a playoff level and to get to a level where teams respect you, you have to have a little swagger in your step. We’ve really challenged our kids this week to take pride in what they’re doing, to have an attitude when they step on the field and make people respect us because we are New Albany and we are a good football team,” Price explained. “We want to develop a reputation where people respect us and they’re not excited to see New Albany on the football schedule, rather when they see us on their schedule, they know they’re going to have a battle on their hands. I think we’re close to that point, but we still need to move in that direction.”
NAHS and Itawamba will square off at 7:00 p.m. Friday night.