The Carroll Football Team hit rock bottom on May 24th. That's the day head football coach Stacy Watters was killed in a car accident in Orlando, along with his two children.
In the blink of an eye, the Eagles had lost their leader, a man set on turning things around in Ozark. Watters was 3-7 in his only season with the team, but his impact ran much deeper, and his loss shook the team, the school and the community to it's very core.
In the wake of the tragedy, Carroll turned to one of it's own, promoting assistant Kenneth Valrie to coach the team. Valrie says the past few months have bee tough, but he's been proud of how the players have fought through adversity and stuck together in their darkest hours.
"The seniors have stepped up greatly," Valrie said. "They've led the team. They're doing what we expect out of them, in terms of leadership.
"We couldn't have asked for a better group of kids."
Valrie says the team's resiliency is especially impressive, since none of the players has played for the same coach two years in a row.
"It's pretty hard on them, not just losing coach Watters, but also this is their fourth head coach since they've been playing football," Valrie said.
Carroll will host Northview for a pre-season game on Friday, August 24th. The Eagles open the regular season on the road, visiting Ashford on August 31st.
Carroll 2012 Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Fri., Aug. 31 @ Ashford (4A)
Fri., Sep. 7 @ Russell County (5A) *
Fri., Sep. 14 vs. Valley (5A) *
Fri., Sep. 21 @ B.T. Washington (5A) *
Fri., Sep. 28 vs. Dothan (6A)
Fri., Oct. 5 @ Marbury (5A) *
Fri., Oct. 12 vs. Eufaula (5A) *
Fri., Oct. 19 vs. Benjamin Russell (5A) *
Fri., Oct. 26 vs. Rehobeth (5A) *
Thu., Nov. 1 vs. Dale County (3A)
* denotes region game