E.A. Sports Today

A look back – Piedmont

EDITOR’S NOTE: The coronavirus pandemic has turned our world upside down these past few months and the absence of sports has been tough on avid sports fans. We can only hope the football seasons can go off as scheduled this fall. As we wait, there has been plenty of time to reflect on high school football in Calhoun County.
The following is part of a 14-part series compiled by East Alabama Sports Today contributor Brant Locklier that looks back on the past decade of football for each of the 13 county football-playing schools. The 2020 season that may or may not be will be center stage for the first time at the Calhoun County QB Club Media Day July 24.
Special thanks goes to Ashleigh Jackson, who keyed in all the scores and the website, “The History of Alabama High School Football,” for their information. 

Piedmont – True Dynasty in Decade

Summary: When you live in Calhoun County you know the Piedmont Bulldogs are a good football team. They play a tough schedule each year and they always seem to be hanging around a state championship final. However, if you take a much closer look, the numbers show they may have one of the greatest programs over a 10-year period that the county has ever seen. They are much, much better than we would think.
Coach Steve Smith is the winningest coach in school history with a 161-29 mark since his arrival in 2006. The Bulldogs amassed three state titles in the decade and lost in the finals once. They were a remarkable 121-17 in the decade. Only an 8-4 season in 2014 kept them from having at least 10 wins in every season.
They piled up eight region titles in the decade and were 65-4 in region play. The Bulldogs were an amazing 70-5 at home and only lost two regular season games at home the entire decade.
It was the best decade in Piedmont history as they bested a 67-47 mark in the 90’s by 54 wins. They won 31 play-off games alone during the decade, while only losing seven.
The Bulldogs set school records for wins in a season (15) and points scored in a season 622 (in 2016). They were 90-10 during the regular season in the decade and 84-6 if you take out the 8-4 2014 season hiccup.
Last year was to be a rebuilding year as the Bulldogs had to start a bunch of freshmen and sophomores due to graduation the previous year. The results were another state championship and the team is set to contend for many more in the future.
High Point: State championships in 2016, 2017 and 2019 will be the high point of any season and any decade.
Low Point: There were very few low points during the decade. Back-to back regular season losses to Glencoe (31-28) and Leeds (42-18) in the 2014 season was a low point as was back-to-back losses to Jacksonville (28-21) and Saks (25-13) in 2018.
Home Record: The Bulldogs were almost unbeatable at home. They posted an incredible 70-5 home record and 48-2 at home during the regular season. Those two losses were to Leeds 42-18 in 2014 and Saks 25-13 in 2018.
Away Record: Piedmont was 51-11 on the road in the decade. They were 6-0 in 2016 and eight other times they only lost one road game.
Play-Offs: The Bulldogs won 31 play-off games in the decade. That is an average of three wins a year. They made the play-offs every year and have a streak of 14 straight play-off appearances going on under Smith. They have won three of the last five Class 3A state championships.
Streaks: The decade saw many streaks. They had region winning streaks of 28 and 24 games. There was a 25-game winning streak in 2015 and 2016. The Bulldogs won 26 straight home games between 2014 and 2017. They have a current streak of five straight region titles. They won 30 straight regular season home games between 2010 to 2013.
Coaches: Steve Smith became the head coach in 2006 and the Bulldogs have not looked back. Smith has put together a 161-29 record and four state championships since arriving.
Players: The number of all-state players for Piedmont over the last decade is massive.
2019 – Defensive lineman Bryson Ingram, quarterback Jack Hayes, defensive back Jakari Foster, linebacker Landon Smart, defensive lineman Sean Smith and wide receiver Silas Thompson.
2018 – Defensive lineman Bryson Ingram, defensive back Carl Myers, defensive back Kaedon Jenkins, defensive lineman Sean Smith and athlete T.J. Fairs.
2017 – Athlete Cardavian Myers, defensive back Kaedon Jenkins, defensive lineman Logan Beedles, defensive lineman Matthew Thornton and running back Lee Stanley.
2016 – Linebacker Austin Brazier, defensive back Cardavian Myers, offensive lineman Krae Keener, running back Lee Stanley, defensive lineman Logan Beedles, offensive lineman Mason Langley and quarterback Taylor Hayes.
2015 – Athlete Bayley Blanchard, defensive back Cardavian Myers, defensive lineman Chase Bobbitt, running back Darnell Jackson, offensive lineman Krae Keener, offensive lineman Mason Langley, linebacker Neonta Alexander and quarterback Taylor Hayes.
2014 – Defensive lineman Chase Bobbitt, wide receiver C.J. Savage, athlete Dreek Thompson, linebacker Neonta Alexander, linebacker Taylor Hayes and quarterback Tyler Lusk.
2013 – Defensive back Darnell Jackson, athlete Denard Spears, defensive lineman Exavyer Jackson, linebacker Neonta Alexander, linebacker Taylor Hayes and quarterback Ty Sparks.
2012 – Wide receiver C.J. Savage, kicker Dillan Terry, defensive lineman Exavyer Jackson, defensive back Jamie Major, defensive lineman Laphonso Burroughs and defensive lineman Marquez Gamble.
2011 – Linebacker Clay Dent, offensive lineman Jameson Trammell, defensive back Jamie Major, defensive lineman Marquez Gamble and wide receiver Sloan Garner.
2010 – Defensive back Jamaal Johnson, linebacker Jamie Major, defensive lineman Mickey Jackson, wide receiver Noah Willis and offensive lineman Warren Alexander.
Toughest Opponent: Saks and Leeds were the toughest opponents for the Bulldogs during the decade. Piedmont was 4-2 against both teams. Madison Academy handed Piedmont two play-off losses during the decade.
Easiest Opponent: The Bulldogs went 11-0 against Weaver in the decade and were 9-1 against Glencoe. Piedmont was 8-0 against Cherokee County, 6-0 against Pleasant Valley and 5-0 against Ohatchee. 
Best Offense: The 2013 team averaged 43.2 points a game in 13 games, while the 2016 team averaged 41.5 points per contest.
Best Defense: The Bulldogs only allowed 15.2 points per game for the entire decade. The 2012 team only allowed 9.5 points per game and went seven straight games without allowing more than 7 points in total. The 2015 team only allowed 12.0 points per game and the 2019 team was right behind them at 12.9 points per game. 
Best Team: When you have three state champions in a decade, it is hard to say which team was best, but we will go with the unbeaten (15-0) state championship team of 2016. They averaged 41.5 points a game and allowed only 18.5 points per game.
2020 Piedmont Schedule
(Pre-pandemic, opponent 2019 record in parenthesis)
Aug. 28 – at Cherokee County (6-4)
Sept. 4 – Saks (4-5)
Sept. 11 – at Glencoe (1-9)
Sept. 18 – Weaver (0-10)
Sept. 25 – Jacksonville (12-3)
Oct. 2 – Ohatchee (10-1)
Oct. 9 – at Pleasant Valley (5-5)
Oct. 16 – Hokes Bluff (7-4)
Oct. 23 – at Wellborn (12-2)
Oct. 30 – at Alexandria (8-3)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login