Two out of three ain’t bad.
And for a pair of local schools, it’s pretty darn good.
Tanner High School and Madison Academy are just 20 miles apart but they are now back-to-back state football champions.
Tanner won its second straight 2A championship Friday and Madison Academy won Thursday to bring home its second back-to-back 3A title.
For both teams, it was the third consecutive trip to the championship game, each losing two years ago at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The teams were young and players from both programs promised to return to the title game.
And both stuck to their vows, winning last year at Auburn and repeating this week.
By the way, last year’s state championships were the first for each team in football.
There are more similarities for the Rattlers and Mustangs.
They opened the season against each other the last two seasons. The Rattlers won in 2012 and the Mustangs won the rematch this year.
But it’s not just football where they are similar.
Last year, the schools’ boys basketball teams won their respective state championships.
In 2011, Tanner and Madison Academy’s girls basketball teams won the 2A title.
The schools are actually K-12, instead of typical high schools with grades 9-12. Tanner and Madison Academy also have about 750-800 students each.
When you’re at Tanner, you feel a sense of belonging, a family atmosphere. Everyone knows your name and they’ve seen the kids grow up to become state champs.
At Madison Academy, even though the private school draws students from different towns and, counties, it’s also a family-like environment. The kids grew up playing together in Pop Warner football where they won championships then and now.
Now, back to football.
The Rattlers and Mustangs have several top players returning next season – including dual-threat quarterback JonJon Fletcher for Tanner and running back Kerryon Johnson for Madison Academy.
And they have a couple of talented sophomore running backs who will be juniors next year in Ty Mayberry for the Rattlers and Malik Miller for the Mustangs.
Tanner has won 42 games during the last three years, with only two losses, while Madison Academy is 40-5 since 2011.
The two little schools have done things in a big way, and it looks like it will continue.
Three in a row in 2014?
Tanner, Madison Academy combine for 6 Super Six appearances, 4 football titles in 3 seasons
Two out of three ain’t bad.
- Local News 2
Prep Football Preview: Clements
The school turned to 28-year-old Cody McCain to turn around the program that made four straight playoff appearances from 2006-2009. McCain will become the Colts’ third head coach in as many years and the youngest varsity head coach in Limestone County.
Prep Football Preview: Elkmont
The Red Devils return 15 starters with more than two-dozen juniors and seniors who have played significant minutes on the depth chart.
West Limestone’s Siniard picks Southern Miss
Siniard committed to the Golden Eagles Saturday after visiting the campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound offensive and defensive tackle has started for the varsity since he was a freshman.
TRACTOR PULL: A new generation takes over in Tanner
One of the first families of the Tanner pull is the Haneys. Horace Haney, along with brother, Shirley, co-founded the event in 1976 that draws thousands to the county each year. The sons of those pulling pioneers now run the show.
Clay Haney follows in father’s footsteps
After watching his dad pull for the past 20 years, Clay finally got his chance. Although he has pulled multiple times over the years, this will be the first year to compete for points in the Mid-South Pullers Association.
North win streak improves to 12
The South last won 85-76 in in 2002.
Local athletes lead North to soccer sweep
East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.
Davidson helps North tie
She was one of only three North players to record a hit in the opener, which ended 3-3.
Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.
Tedford, Potts take on the South in All-Star hoops game
Stace Tedford has had a busy year at Athens. After leading the basketball team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins and regional finals appearance, he jumped straight into soccer season, where he took the varsity girls soccer team to another 5A state championship game.
Wednesday, Tedford will be on the court again, coaching in the North-South All-Star basketball game.
Strong local presence at state All-Star Week
Some of the top rising seniors from the Athens-Limestone area will play in six of the games, beginning with softball and soccer games Tuesday.
- More Local News 2 Headlines
- Prep Football Preview: Clements