1012 Spain ParkSpain Park quarterback Nick Mullins (9) takes down a Chelsea ball carrier on Sept. 14. Photo courtesy of Cari Dean.
Coming off a hard-fought and disappointing loss to Austin High School on September 14, Spain Park Head Football Coach Chip Lindsey said the goal for the rest of the season is to take things one game at a time. And while staring down a challenging road through October, he’s making sure his Jaguars follow his lead.
“We have a really mature team, and our seniors are fantastic leaders,” Lindsey said. “But don’t think for one minute that I’m thinking about anything but the next opponent.”
After three games, the Jaguars were on top of 6A Region 6 with a record of 2-1. The team’s maturity had led them past last year’s state champions, the Prattville Lions, and nearby Chelsea, which already had big wins in against John Carroll Catholic School and Thompson.
But the Jags stumbled in the following game against Austin, losing 37-24. The Alabama Sports Writers’ Association ranked Austin No. 7 in the state the next week.
The week after Austin, Spain Park traveled to Wetumpka to face an unfamiliar team that lost to Prattville by 30 points earlier in the season. Going into that game, the Jags were averaging 29 points a game and allowing 26. And though the scores were mostly in their favor, their opponents were averaging 417 yards per game to Spain Park’s 401. Lindsey said the team was inexperienced at the offensive line and secondary positions, but they were working daily to find the right combination of players in those positions.
“We’ve got a lot of improving to do, but I really like the program,” Lindsey said.
At the close of the game against Austin, Jaguar quarterback Nick Mullins had completed 81 passes for 874 yards and nine scores and the Jags’ running back duo of Otis Harris and Kevron McMillin combined for 226 total yards on 102 carries. Mullins top target, receiver Ben Olinger, pulled in 23 of 27passes thrown his way, racking up 285 total yards.
On defense, Jacob Wolkow led the team with 31 total tackles and a pair of sacks.
Lindsey said he biggest challenge facing Spain Park this month will be its regional match up against rival Oak Mountain High School on October 12, but games against Stanhope-Elmore (2-1) and rival Pelham (2-1) the two weeks after will make it easy for the Jaguars to stay focused on what’s around the bend rather than what’s on the horizon.