Inside the Huddle with the Fyffe Red Devils
June 20, 2017
Southern Torch (3284 articles)
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Inside the Huddle with the Fyffe Red Devils

PHOTO: The Fyffe Red Devils charge the field during a practice last week.

By Marla Jones, Sports Editor

marla@southerntorch.com

FYFFE, Ala.—What better way to kick off my second season of “Inside the Huddle” than with a visit with the 2016 Class 2A State Champions, the Fyffe Red Devil football team!

I started the visit off right, being ten minutes late. With Coach Benefield, you are on Lombardi time. He goes by the “Lombardi Rules”, meaning that if practice starts at 5 p.m., you are on the field at 4:45 p.m. I did not receive that memo and nearly had to run two laps. Coach Benefield runs a tight ship, and it shows in his team. My partner-in-crime, Amy Thrash’s phone rang during practice and I started to throw it across the field. We were scared. All joking aside, the Red Devils welcomed us with open arms. Coach Benefield allowed me to take over his practice. I called out drills, timed runners and even showed the players a thing or two. I do not want to let the cat out of the bag but there are talks of adding the “Marla Play” to their offense. Having this opportunity is a dream come true for me. I am sure that my parents never thought their un-athletic child would someday be on the football field praying she would not get ran over. This is where all the kids in elementary school, that picked me last in dodgeball, are regretting their decisions. Coach Benefield may be telling a small fib but he did allude to my visit last year and a State Championship trophy. Coincidence? I think not.

The Fyffe Football team finished the 2016 season with a perfect 15-0 record and were Region Champions. In the Class 2A State Championship at Jordan-Hare Stadium, they shut out the Aliceville Yellowjackets, 28-0, their sixth shutout of the season. Fyffe outscored opponents 700-113 with the championship game win.

The Red Devils practice four days a week, beginning at 5 p.m. When you are a State Championship team, rain or heat will stop you. I lost count of how many sets that the team ran. I was winded just watching them. Champions aren’t made overnight or in a couple of practices.

The Red Devils have 14 Seniors this season. The team have five returning starters on offense and seven on defense.

Coach Benefield will return for his twentieth season as Head Coach for the Red Devils. His staff includes: Steve Edge-Defensive Line, Tim Cochran-Offensive Line, Brad Thomas-Defensive Backs, Rodney Coots-Linebackers, Brad Martin and Teddy Whitmire-Junior Varsity and last by not least, Marla Jones-Honorary Coach.

Fyffe will begin their season playing in the 12th annual AHSAA Champions Challenge Football Classic Aug. 24-25 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.

The 2016 Champions Challenge, which will kick off the 2017 prep football season, will begin at 7 pm. They will meet defending 1A state champion Maplesville. The pairings were announced by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA), the AHSAA’s coaching organization, which hosts the event each year.

“We are very excited about the games we have lined up,” Briggs said. “The Fyffe versus Mapleville game pits two schools that were undefeated last season. Each have storied histories and strong communities that love high school football.” The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast the game live over its statewide radio network.

Fyffe will kick off their regular season play on the road, beginning with the Geraldine Bulldogs on September 1, 2017. On September 8, the Red Devils will be on the road again as they face the Asbury Rams. The Devils will play their first region game at home on September 15 against the Westbrook Christian Warriors. The Devils will travel to Ider for their second region game of the season on September 22. Fyffe will face the Plainview Bears at home on September 29. Fyffe will host the Sand Rock Wildcats for a region game on October 6. The Red Devils will host the Collinsville Panthers for region play on October 13. Fyffe will travel to face the Section Lions for a region game on October 20. For the last Red Devil home game, they will face Gaston for region play on October 27. To finish the last regular season game, they will travel to Cleburne County on November 3, 2017.

After watching the intense practice with the Red Devils, I am making my plans to attend the next State Championship Game in December. I am sure the Red Devils will be there in Class 2A action. Go Big Red!

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

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