FFN Countdown Day 1: Alma Airedales
Coach: Doug Loughridge
Conference: 5A West
2012: 7-5, 4-3
Returning Starters: 5 OFF/8 DEF
Sept. 6 at Van Buren
Sept. 13 Greenwood
Sept. 20 at Russellville
Sept. 27 Clarksville
Oct. 4 at Morrilton
Oct. 11 at Harrison
Oct. 18 Huntsville
Oct. 25 Vilonia
Nov. 1 at Greenbrier
Nov. 8 Shiloh Christian
The Alma Airedales have a brand new look with a brand new coach in 2013.
It was quite a steal with this one as Doug Loughridge comes to Crawford County.
Loughridge takes over at Alma after spending six seasons at Charleston. He has brought a proven track record, winning 68 games, five conference championships and two state titles.
“The coaches have to have a winning mentality and think that every Friday night we are going to win ball games,” he said. “But we have to go deeper than that. Our players have to believe that every Friday night and every time we step on the field. We got to think that no matter who we are playing we can win the football game.”
That winning attitude has rubbed off onto the players. They believe the sky is the limit when it comes to what they can accomplish this season.
“The attitude is a lot stronger this year in the fact that we know we can win,” said wide receiver Tyler Mlakar. “Not just the fact that we are just trying to go out there and play. We are going to beat who ever we are playing.”
Alma linebacker Alex Burris agrees.
“Coach Loughridge brings in the confidence and brings out the work ethic and what we need to get to the next level,” he said.
Along with a new attitude, Loughridge has also brought a physical brand of football.
“We may not be the biggest team or the fastest team but we will be the most physical team,” said cornerback Keith Schultz. “We are always going to be willing to go and hit somebody.”
The Airedales are picked to finish first in the 5A west this season, but they know that is just a prediction.
“Not only do we have to come out every Friday night but we have to come out every day,” Loughridge said. “Every day is a new experience and we have to build daily what we want to do Friday nights. We got to work Monday through Thursday to get our wins on Friday.”