Big night for city’s high school football teams against suburban foes

By Solomon Crenshaw Jr.

For The Birmingham Times

Scotty Colson, assistant to Birmingham Mayor William Bell.
Scotty Colson, assistant to Birmingham Mayor William Bell. (Gina Thomas)

On Saturday morning, Scotty Colson scrolled through the email from the Alabama High School Athletic Association and the football scoreboard filled the 1976 West End High alumnus with pride.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God! Look at that! We had a heck of a night.’”

Colson took to the “I Believe In Birmingham” Facebook page to acknowledge that Birmingham City Schools had experienced a level of football success against their suburban rivals that they had not seen in two decades.

Huffman defeated Oak Mountain 21-11, Parker beat Homewood 28-25, Ramsay stopped Shades Valley 42-6 and Carver outlasted Center Point 28-26.

“That was an amazing night for us,” said Colson, who is assistant to Birmingham Mayor William Bell. “It was like going back in time to the early 80s when our schools would traditionally be competitive and beat them. I’ll know we’re really back when one of our teams beats Hoover. But Homewood, that’s a traditional power.”

Colson added that Birmingham Schools Jackson-Olin and Wenonah are both 2-0 so far this football season.

“It’s really neat to see,” he said. “Folks have been beating up and kicking sand in our face for a decade or two. We finally got to say, ‘Hey, the skinny kid on the beach has been working out.’”

Buck Johnson, athletic director of Birmingham City Schools and a 1982 product of Hayes High School, said coaches and athletic directors at city schools have done a fantastic job.

“They all have been very resilient . . . in some cases, with the lack of resources or field usage or some of the disadvantages that we do suffer from,” he said. “We’re excited, we’re enthused about it. We’re encouraging our coaches to keep it going.

“I’m just hoping we can sustain it,” Johnson continued. “It was a great weekend for us. This hasn’t happened in a long time, that our schools have been able to go out and compete outside the system, be competitive and win those games. It’s very encouraging and we look to sustain it.”