FAIRHOPE — Baldwin County’s newest football team, the Bayshore Christian Eagles, played their first game in their hometown of Fairhope Monday night on W.C. Majors Field. Bayshore …
FAIRHOPE — Baldwin County’s newest football team, the Bayshore Christian Eagles, played their first game in their hometown of Fairhope Monday night on W.C. Majors Field. Bayshore Christian served as the away team against the St. Michael Catholic Cardinals and fell 24-0 to drop to 1-1 overall.
As a first-year program, the Eagles are playing a junior-varsity schedule this season before head coach Phil Lazenby plans on being in the 2024 realignment of the Alabama High School Athletic Association for varsity play.
While the final score wasn’t quite the result he and the staff were looking for, they knew it was a special gameday in Fairhope.
“I was so proud of our crowd because they’re so excited about having a football team,” Lazenby said after the game. “It felt really good, these kids were pumped up to play here so badly, they were excited.”
Eagle offense has tough sledding
After Bayshore Christian lost junior running back Jack Malone to a broken leg on the last play of last week’s 40-0 win over Mobile Christian, the Eagle offense couldn’t get much going against the St. Michael defensive front.
Junior quarterback Nate Crooms picked up two first downs with his legs as a runner but didn’t have as much time to find his weapons through the air as Lazenby would have liked. Still, the head coach could see some room for improvement in Crooms’ throwing mechanics as he maneuvers the transition from the baseball diamond to the gridiron.
“Nate needs to finish his throws, he’s stepping away and he’s not finishing his throw,” Lazenby said of what he saw out of his quarterback. “But he’s a great leader and a great kid, he’s going to be just fine.”
Young squad continuing to learn nuances
The head coach had a similar thought about the rest of the Bayshore Christian squad, a majority of which had not played football before, that they’ll get better as they pick up more game lessons.
“They’re learning and it’s going to take a while,” Lazenby said. “Especially the part about stepping up when you get tired, or after you get beat on a play, to not let it bother you. Just get right back up and get ready to go again.”
Some of that short-term memory loss will be part of the team’s preparation as the Eagles will get right back to work tomorrow.
“Don’t worry about this, this one’s over and we’ve got to work to get better,” the head coach said of his message to the team. “We’ll go in the weight room tomorrow and then Wednesday we’ll practice. We’ll work on some stuff and we’ll try to get better. We’ll simplify a few things and try to make it easier for them.”
Bayshore Christian will have a week off before taking its 1-1 record on the road to face the Orange Beach Makos. The Eagles also have an away contest scheduled for Oct. 16 against St. Paul’s.
“I told them we’re ok, just take it easy and we’ll be alright,” Lazenby said. “I like the kids and they played hard.”