ORANGE BEACH — The 2022 fall sports Makos were introduced to the Orange Beach community last Friday night at the Meet the Makos event at the Sportsplex just seven days away from the …
ORANGE BEACH — The 2022 fall sports Makos were introduced to the Orange Beach community last Friday night at the Meet the Makos event at the Sportsplex just seven days away from the season-opening football game in Pensacola.
Middle school and high school athletes on cheerleading, football, volleyball, cross country and swimming and diving teams were introduced on the field before the football team returned for an intrasquad scrimmage.
Head football coach Jamey DuBose, entering his 15th year as a head coach in Alabama and first in Orange Beach, said it was the first taste of what Mako fans can come to find on Friday nights in the fall moving forward.
"You saw the atmosphere we're going to put on each and every week, Coach (Rob) Morales is in charge of doing a lot of things, our AD, we've got music playing and it's going to be a college-type atmosphere," DuBose said. "This is a great place to be, and we're excited with what everything is going to be. And when I say 'be,' we're excited to be here now but what we're going to look at about Week 10 and in the future is going to be really big."
He was joined by another coach that was entering their first year as a head coach at Orange Beach High School, but one that was no stranger to their sport.
Sunne Young was announced as the Makos' head volleyball coach just two weeks prior, July 31, but made her splash on the field as she and her team hit the Griddy dance and skipped through the gauntlet of cheerleaders when they were introduced.
While she was a semi-pro beach volleyball player, she's also coached volleyball for more than 20 years at various ranks, including at the club level in Orange Beach. Her familiarity with nearly a dozen of the current Makos smoothened the transition and although her family has been part of the community already, she could feel a special energy in the air that night.
"There's no better city in the state of Alabama than Orange Beach. You can feel the electricity, the excitement, everyone's ready to support all of these teams," Young said. "Everyone is ready and here to support and be the biggest fans they can be. It's just electric and there's so much enthusiasm and energy out here."
Rachel Ellsworth, head cross country coach, agreed it was a special night at the end of what had been a busy week.
"This is fun, this is the kind of stuff that makes you want to be a part of everything. I'm so proud of our city and what all we have going on, I think the sky is the limit and it's exciting," Ellsworth said. "This has been a crazy week for us all starting school and so to show up again on a Friday night, when you just want to go home and call it a week, it makes me proud."
DuBose was proud of the effort from the Makos' football intrasquad scrimmage as well, although it wasn't as intense as a true preseason game. He said some of the goals were to get in front of officials, get out injury free and hit the grass at the Sportsplex under the lights for the first time.
"The key to tonight was to come out tonight and get under these lights, it was the first time being on this field, that's number one. Number two, it was the first time with officials and number three, we wanted to get out of tonight with no injuries and we were able to do that," DuBose said. "Now it's game week, and we're excited to have the opportunity to play next Friday night and hopefully what we've done all summer and through preseason camp will show up and do well."
For a more in-depth look at Orange Beach's squads entering the 2022 seasons, be on the lookout for Gulf Coast Media's Fall Sports Preview tab scheduled to publish Aug. 26.