By Lee Davis
Decades from now, the 2013 high school football season will be remembered for a particular team and a particular coach.
The team, of course, was the Hoover Buccaneers. Hoover posted a 15-0 record to win its second consecutive state 6A championship. In addition to stretching their winning streak to 30 games, the Bucs were named national co-champions by the USA Football Network.
The coach with the milestone year was Buddy Anderson of Vestavia Hills. Anderson earned his 300th career win with a 30-8 rout of Huffman in September. His victory total reached 308 by the season’s end as the Rebels compiled an 11-3 mark for the year. Two of Vestavia’s three losses came at the hands of the eventual state champs.
Hoover’s and Anderson’s memorable seasons are reflected by the 2013 All-Over the Mountain team. Nine Buccaneers qualified for the unit, which was selected by an exclusive poll of the eight head coaches of the Over the Mountain schools that play in Class 6A or 5A. Anderson was chosen by his peers as the 2013 Over the Mountain Coach of the Year.
“None of this was ever about me,” said Anderson, whose 38-year worksheet is 308-125. “This is about every kid who ever played football for Vestavia Hills High School. I’ve been saying this from the beginning. It’s all about the players and coaches.”
Anderson was being characteristically modest, but surely he knows the significance of his accomplishments. Entering 2014, he needs only two victories to become the winningest coach in the history of Alabama high school football. Just as significantly, he has achieved every single victory as head coach of the Rebels.
The coaches also chose Hoover defensive back/kick returner Marlon Humphrey and Vestavia defensive end Dalton Campbell as the 2013 Over the Mountain Players of the Year.
Humphrey, a senior, led the rugged Buccaneer defensive corps and is among the most highly recruited defensive backs in the nation. He had 44 tackles, broke up seven passes and forced two fumbles. Humphrey’s father Bobby was an All-American running back at the University of Alabama in the 1980s.
Campbell, also a senior, led a tough defense that sparked the Rebels to the state Class 6A semifinals. He recorded 88 tackles, including 26 stops for losses and 10 quarterback sacks. He also blocked two punts, caused four fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Vestavia placed eight players on the team, while six Spain Park Jaguars earned their way onto the elite squad.
The Rebels’ Landon Crowder and Mickey Todd Forrest of Spain Park were named quarterbacks for the team. Joining them in the backfield were Jordan Johnson of Vestavia, Walter Rutledge of Homewood, Otis Harris of Spain Park, Victor Jerald of Briarwood and Bradrick Shaw of Hoover.
Dalton Brown of Spain Park and Hunter Branch of Mountain Brook are the wide receivers. Kyle Sitzler of Vestavia is the tight end.
Thomas Taylor of Spain Park is the team’s placekicker.
An outstanding offensive line includes Jordan Sims and John Yarbrough of Homewood, Nick Bodden and Vince Brown of Hoover, Ryan Childers of Vestavia and Christian Anderson of Mountain Brook.
The 2013 All-Over the Mountain defensive unit is one of the most talented and deepest in history. Chosen for the front wall are Tristan Tahmaseb and Campbell of Vestavia, Christian Bell and Dylan Ackerson of Hoover, Daniel Scott of Briarwood and Devin Pughsley of Spain Park.
As always, the Over the Mountain area features standouts at linebacker. Earning places on this year’s team are Chandler Coskery and Darrell Williams of Hoover, Buddy Pell of Mountain Brook, Bobby Morgan of Vestavia, Riley Fowler of Oak Mountain, Perry Young of Spain Park and Ethan Simmons of Briarwood.
The defensive backs may be among the best ever featured. Humphrey is joined by Hoover teammate Brooks Bennett. Also included are Chris Johnson of Oak Mountain, Devonta Barnfield-Rapley of Homewood and Nicholas Hilburn of Vestavia.
Blake Miller of Oak Mountain is the punter.