DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. - The High 5 Sports Game of the Week heads to Alexander High School on Friday, where the Cougars football team is off to a hot start reeling off three consecutive wins after suffering an opening loss at Allatoona. They'll host the Northgate Vikings (3-2) in what has turned into a nice 5-AAAAAA rivalry game.
"Northgate has turned into a great friendly rivalry," said Alexander Principal Nathan Hand. "The administrations have a lot of common goals to promote football and bring our communities together."
Northgate Head Coach Kelsey Dalrymple agrees. "They've (Alexander) done an outstanding job of building their athletic programs. We mirror each other in the same way, stressing academics and character with our kids."
Dalrymple served as offensive coordinator for longtime Vikings head coach Tommy Walburn, but he's now in charge after Walburn retired following last year's second round playoff loss to Valdosta. The Vikings run the Wing-T offense led by 3-year starter Kyle McLaren and B-back Nick Carter who's scored eight touchdowns and rushed for over 600 yards so far this season.
"We've got a young football team," said Dalrymple. "We lost 16 starters this year and the kids are still learning how to play. It's a growth process. You've got the human element because these kids are still high school students."
Matt Combs has quickly vaulted the Alexander football program into the spotlight. The Cougars have compiled four consecutive winning seasons for a school that had lost its way under previous leadership. The blueprint is pretty simple according to Alexander's head coach-now in his eighth year at the Douglasville school.
"Our guys come in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and get the game plan and they do what they need to do. They put the little extra time on film, and then they get away and be teenagers because that's important," Combs told us.
It's homecoming week for Alexander so expect the game to have some extra pageantry including their famous National Anthem ceremony featuring a giant American flag hoisted up by fifty people.
Bill Hartman and "Super" Blaine Kummet will report live from Cougars Stadium beginning at 5 o'clock and have a full wrap of the game action at 11 o'clock on the big show.