Donoho, Weaver off to Saintly starts this season
Sep 03, 2010 | 3297 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The New Orleans Saints started something by winning the Super Bowl, and it’s catching on in area prep football.

Teams that haven’t won much are winning, and their long-suffering fans are buying in like investors to gold.

It doesn’t need to be Friday night for a glow to shine over Weaver.

The mood around the Donoho School lights the soon-to-be Eastern Bypass.

Their teams are suddenly marching to the Saints’ tune, and students and fans are reveling.

“It’s not just the school. It’s the community,” Weaver principal Frances Shipp said. “There’s a buzz about the success we’re having thus far.”

Let’s back up, because these Saints hope-to-bes were once Ain’ts.

Weaver was 0-10 in 2009, and the Bearcats’ 12-game losing streak stretched back into 2008.

Donoho, a team that went undefeated through the 2006 regular season, lost 21 consecutive games stretching from 2007-09.

But just as the 2009 Saints were rallying a city suffering the reaching effects of a 4-year-old hurricane, things started to turn our area’s two most struggling prep teams.

Donoho ended its 2009 season with a victory over Skyline, and the Falcons beat Skyline again in their spring jamboree.

The skid-ending victories helped to lure more than 20 varsity players and nearly 30 junior varsity players out for 2010. In 2009, Donoho’s varsity team had as few as 14 available players at one point.

With more players in maroon, Donoho opened this season with a 36-7 victory over Decatur Heritage.

Skyline is no powerhouse, and Decatur Heritage was playing its first varsity game. Regardless, Donoho officially carries a two-game winning streak into tonight’s home region counter against Ragland.

The feeling surrounding a winning streak of any kind sure beats the malaise of a 21-game losing streak.

“The atmosphere in the pep rallies is very energizing,” Donoho president Jan Hurd said. “Everybody’s on an emotional high right now in anticipation of a winning season.”

Out Weaver way, winning hasn’t officially become a streak, but don’t tell Bearcat backers that only regular-season games count.

Weaver beat Pleasant Valley 14-6 in a jamboree a week before opening the season against Susan Moore. Enthusiasm from a mere jamboree carried into the next week, with a pep rally Shipp called “one of the best we’ve had in a while.”

The Bearcats won in Daryl Hamby’s first game as their head coach, 24-21. Weaver won a Class 3A, Region 6 game against a team that reached the second round of the 3A playoffs in 2009.

Emotionally, Weaver rides a two-game winning streak headed into its region counter tonight at Calhoun County rival White Plains.

“People seeing me out and about, I can see a difference,” Shipp said. “I can see a difference in the kids, and it’s basically just positive comments.”

Weaver’s theme going into week one was “Blackout Susan Moore,” with fans encouraged to wear black T-shirts. This week’s theme is “wacky” dress, or non-matching clothes.

Whether Weaver and Donoho carry their Saintly ways forward this season, folks at both schools will no doubt say the same thing. It’s nice to dress like winners again.

Joe Medley is The Star’s sports columnist. He can be reached at 235-3576 or jmedley@annistonstar.com.

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