Tri-County Power Rankings for the 2022 football season

Published 9:43 pm Thursday, December 29, 2022

The 2022 football season brought happiness for some and heartbreak for others as coaches and players on 11 teams in the tri-county area poured their collective blood, sweat, tears, and hard work into each game.

With the dust settled, the time comes to rank where each program ranks among the field:

  1. Lowndes Academy: Rebels head coach Shane Moye remained humble and downplayed talk of a potential dynasty after his team won its second Alabama Independent Schools Association Class A state title in as many seasons. With several core components of his squad returning in 2023, it would be difficult to imagine the Rebels not making a run at a potential three-peat.
  2. Highland Home – The Flying Squadron put together arguably one of the best seasons in school history, finishing 12-2 and falling to B.B. Comer 44-15 in a Class 2A semifinal at Sylacauga. Highland Home Will Pouncey’s program should continue to excel in one of 2A’s toughest regions.
  3. Crenshaw Christian Academy – The Cougars overcame an injury to original starting quarterback Logan Owens and rallied around Brayden Moore. In a season where Crenshaw Christian lost a close contest to the defending state champion Rebels and reached the semifinals, the Cougars showed they can contend with the best in their association.
  4. Brantley – Most people wouldn’t call a 10-3 season a step backward from the previous year, but the Bulldogs fell in the 1A quarterfinals to eventual state champion Leroy. Brantley head coach Roland Jones Jr. and his players can use the playoff losses from the past two seasons as motivators as the group looks to finish 2023 holding a blue map at the end of the season instead of being a stop on someone else’s journey to a title.
  5. Georgiana – Leading a group from an 0-10 season in 2021 to a 7-4 record and a playoff berth in 2022 marked an incredible turnaround for Panthers head coach Berry Bess in his second season. Like Brantley, Bess and his team saw the season end courtesy of Leroy, but Bess and his players can study the film, evaluate the reps each player received, and build on the season they had.
  6. Luverne – Tigers head coach Jason Rowell called his region the “SEC West” of 2A prior to the 2022 season, and he certainly has a case for it. Luverne finished 6-5 and fell to a tough Vincent squad in the opening round of the playoffs. With more than a dozen seniors set to depart the program, Rowell will have to reload and refocus in the offseason to stay competitive in a challenging region.
  7. Fort Dale Academy – Eagles head coach Eric Folmar doubled his win total from his previous season, guiding his squad to a 4-6 record and missing out on the postseason by a handful of plays. When the offense gets going, it can churn up points in quick fashion. If the Eagles can avoid injuries to its most prominent playmakers, the playoffs aren’t outside the realm of possibility for this bunch.
  8. Central Hayneville – Lions head coach Corvin Johnson took the job weeks before the football season began, yet he had his team in playoff contention until the final week of the season. With a full offseason to learn Johnson’s system and enough players stepping up into leadership roles, Central Hayneville could improve on its 3-6 season.
  9. McKenzie – Despite a 1-8 season, McKenzie’s players didn’t quit on head coach Ezell Powell, including Bo Daniels, who amassed a 1,000-yard season rushing and 10 touchdowns despite missing several games due to injury, and Osten Lee, a lineman who played every game despite having a torn ACL. Time will tell what McKenzie will be able to accomplish in Powell’s second season.
  10. Greenville – The Tigers opened the season in a thrilling 25-19 overtime win over 6A Park Crossing, but struggled to find their footing in a season ending on a nine-game losing streak. Patience may be key as Greenville head coach Patrick Browning works to instill his brand of culture to the program and figure out which players are willing to buy in and stay committed to the cause in 2023.
  11. Calhoun – Youth got in the way of the Tigers at many points during the 2022 season, but the Tigers broke a 17-year streak of losing home openers. As this large group of freshmen improves under head coach Ervin Starr and his staff, Starr must set incremental goals for his program as he continues his work to change the culture at The Calhoun School.