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Alcovy over the hump
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Depending on the context, two may not sound like much; however, regarding the number of wins Alcovy's football team had this season it's enormous, especially when compared to 2006.

Overall, the Tigers were 2-8 this season with a 1-4 Region 8-AAAA, Sub-region B record. It was certainly a step up considering last year they were 0-10 in their inaugural campaign.

"We got better," admitted Alcovy head coach Kirk Hoffmann, "and there's a couple reasons for that: our off-season program and the kids. We've still got a long ways to go, but I think if you've talked to anybody (who's) started a program it takes time and you've got to be patient. Unfortunately, patience is one those things that's tough for everybody to hang in there with."

The Tigers, who scored 141 points this season in 10 games, averaged 14.1 per game. Last season they averaged 10.4 points per game, scoring just 104 overall.

Defensively, the Tigers allowed 209 points this year, averaging 20.9 per contest. Last season they were even worse, having allowed 355 points (35.5 per game).

At the same token, the Tigers didn't even get into the weight room last year until the eighth week of the season, since it hadn't yet been completed.

"Looking back on it, are we doing it the right way?" questioned Hoffmann. "I think so (because) the numbers are good, we're giving kids the opportunity to play and we've gotten better, and that's all you can ask."

Last year the Tigers were shut out twice, yet this season they scored at least three points in every single game. Again, it may not seem like much, but considering the Newton Rams were blanked three times this year it's colossal.

Of course, with success comes a price, and in this case Alcovy is no exception. The Tigers will be losing 20 seniors; however, last season the Tigers only had four seniors on their team.

"You've got to take your hat off," praised Hoffmann regarding his upperclassmen. "Those kids did the right thing; they played for the love of the game. I think that we as a society at times lose sight of the fact that this is high school football; it's not professional or college. These kids are out here because they love the game, not because they're getting a paycheck, and that's one thing I'll remember about this team.

"This group of kids went from ground zero to laying a pretty good foundation for our program," added Hoffmann.

Not only will the Tigers be losing starting quarterback Ryan Ledford, but they will also lose one, if not the best, wide receivers in Newton County, Eric Strozier.

Despite the loss of talent, Hoffmann remains optimistic regarding the 2008 season.

"Well, when we look at the goals for next season I think we need to look at the short-term," said Hoffmann. "We're going to get together as a staff this week and set some goals for our off-season program. I thought we made huge strides last year in our off-season program, and that's what we're going to talk about this week as a staff; that's my first priority right now."