Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A 2008 Champion Prattville Lions
As much as the devotion of football fans in Alabama tends to be aimed at the universities, the lifeblood of the sport is in the high school programs. The fierce battles for recruits underscore the importance of these programs to the quality of play we see on Saturdays.
The Randolph Leader in Roanoke just wrapped up a three part series looking at prep ball in Alabama in an effort to discern where the best HS football is to be found and, more importantly, why. The research was based on the work done by the Alabama High School Football Historical Society.
The paper's analysis found that schools in metropolitan areas don’t necessarily have an advantage over programs from rural areas, that funding doesn’t guarantee a successful program and that coaching was often the critical difference between successful and unsuccessful teams. It's an interesting breakdown and, given the premium placed on the quality of in-state recruitment, one worth taking some time to read.