The Samson Football Team has struggled in recent years to be competitive in Class 2A. But, the Tigers appeared to be turning the corner over the past two seasons under the leadership of veteran Wiregrass coach Donnie Chesteen.
However, Chesteen left Samson after last season, taking the head coaching job at Geneva. The Tigers turned to another coaching veteran to lead their team, hiring Robert Bradford to replace Chesteen.
Bradford is the former head coach at Pleasant Home, and he spent last season as an assistant at Enterprise. Now, he takes over a team coming off a 4-6 season.
The Tigers are in rebuilding mode after losing many of their key players from last year's team to graduation. Bradford says he plans to build on the solid foundation left behind by Chesteen, as he believes his young team is responding well to the coaching change.
"We're blessed to have some pretty good skill kids here," Bradford said. "We've been playing seven-on-seven all summer, and the kids have done a great job."
Bradford says Samson fans will see plenty of new things this fall, and he's been pleased with how quickly his young team has adapted to so much new information.
"We're running a whole new offense and a whole new defense than what they've done before, so there's a pretty big learning curve to what we're doing. The kids have smiled through the whole thing, and they've done exactly what I've asked them to do.
"I think they're going to have success, with doing the the things that we're asking them to do."
A coaching change isn't the only curveball for Samson this season. The Tigers have also changed regions, leaving behind the likes of Elba and New Brockton to face teams like Houston Academy and Cottonwood in Region 2.
Samson opens the regular season at home on August 31st, hosting Kinston.
Samson 2012 Schedule
Date Opponent Score
Fri., Aug. 31 vs. Kinston (1A)
Fri., Sep. 7 @ G.W. Long (2A) *
Fri., Sep. 14 vs. Ariton (2A) *
Fri., Sep. 21 vs. Houston County (2A) *
Fri., Sep. 28 @ Red Level (1A)
Fri., Oct. 5 @ Providence Christian (2A) *
Fri., Oct. 12 @ Houston Academy (2A) *
Fri., Oct. 19 vs. Cottonwood (2A) *
Fri., Oct. 26 vs. Wicksburg (2A) *
Thu., Nov. 1 @ Daleville (3A)
* denotes region game