FAIRHOPE, Ala. – The Fairhope Storm kicks off their second season with a road game at Biloxi. Although the semi-pro team, like others, has had to deal with the pandemic, they …
FAIRHOPE, Ala. – The Fairhope Storm kicks off their second season with a road game at Biloxi on March 13. Although the semi-pro team, like others, has had to deal with the pandemic, they accomplished a lot as a novice program in a novel league since last spring. The Storm made the playoffs in 2020 and finished 11th overall in it’s rookie season in a league totaling 35 teams. They also won their first round playoff the 2020 post season , but lost to the eventual West Division champions.
Head coach Fred Riley said the team has about half of 2020’s roster returning with the other half a mix of experience and first-year players
“It’s looking and feeling like the chemistry and energy is really good. Just a lot of potential for us this year,” he said.
“We think that we are also a little older and a little wiser as a staff having learned a lot last year about what it takes to win in semi-pro football. We like this team we’ve put together. It’s actually a little younger overall compared to last year. But I think the youthful talent together with the experienced guys coming back will be a good fit for us.
"It’s a near half-and-half mixture of new guys and veterans and that will be a real positive thing for us overall. Of course, we always emphasize the sense of ministry and service here. We each have each others’ back. And the chemistry feels right.”
Some returning key players include Darius Powell of Foley High, LaMarcus Farmer who also played at UAB out of Spain Park, inside linebacker Austin Lindsey who returns as a team captain. Jarius Bush at center also returns with solid playing experience as well as leadership-role-model credibility.
“We’re expecting big things from Austin as a player and a leader and Jarius, too. He will be a real impact player on the offensive side, of the ball” Riley said.
Another local player returning to the Storm will be Storm special team’s place kicker Jose Mendoza. He is also a former Foley Lion who Riley believes was the best kicker in the league last year along with long snapper Tristan Catlin (also of Foley High).
Paris Chambers out of McGill-Toolen Catholic is a newcomer but is expected to make a big impact at quarterback. Chambers led the Yellow Jackets to the state championship in 2015. Riley added that up front helping to protect the ball handlers will be Hercules Keil (Foley) and Gabe McKinney (W.S.Neal).
“Adding some guys like Gabe and Hercules will have a positive impact and allow us to do a lot more offensively,” Riley said.
The offensive formation will probably return to a basic spread look, especially early, in order to adjust to personnel – especially at tight end.
On the defensive side, the Storm will show a “basic” three-four as well as a “pressure” three-four.
Storm defensive coordinator Edwin Frazier likes what he sees so far on that side of the ball.
“My philosophy is and always has been to be aggressive and fly to the ball,” he said. “We create turnovers and give the ball back to the offense. I’m defensive minded – like that old saying: “Offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships,” is something I believe.“
The former Williamson High and University of Florida player added that it still takes talent and dedication to stop opposing offenses in their tracks.
“Of course, you have to have the players and I think we have a real talented line up this season. And I think the players are excited to step on the field again. I know I am,” Frazier added. “We have a lot of maturity that will elevate us to the next level. And with a mix of some key pieces coming back and some new young guys with state championship experience, they are used to winning and that’s what we want to aim for every day.”
Linebacker Austin Lindsay out of Gardendale will be the Storm’s defensive captain.
“Austin is a returning guy with a lot of experience and he’s a good leader and role model,” Frazier said. “In the secondary we have DmarJae Casey who’s also back. He is a great guy when it comes to finding the ball. And MarJae loves contact and can get there in a hurry.”
Casey is another former Foley Lion. The Storm opens on the road March 13 at Biloxi and travels again March 20 to play at the Alabama Steel. The Storm’s home opener is set for March 27 at Fairhope Municipal Stadium at 7 p.m.
For updates and more information see: Visit FairhopeStorm.com Related Link below
FAIRHOPE STORM PLAYERS, POSITION, HIGH SCHOOL
2- KJ MINNIEFIELD- DB, DAPHNE HIGH
3- LAMARCUS FARMER -WR, SPAIN PARK HIGH
4-HUNTER MONTE-RB, DAPHNE HIGH
5-DARIUS POWELL- WR, FOLEY HIGH
6-DWAYNE KOEN- DB, BALDWIN COUNTY HIGH
7-ERIC WESTRY- LB, PRATTVILLE HIGH
8-TREY DIXON-WR, FLOMATON HIGH
9-LAMICHAEL KIRKSEY- LB, MCGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC
10-AJ EVANS- DB, DAVIDSON HIGH
11-BRASTON SIMMOMS- DB, MGM HIGH
12-JOSHUA NORWOOD-WR, BLOUNT HIGH
13-KYREE LEGGETT-DB, VIGOR HIGH
14-PARIS CHAMBERS-QB, MCGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC
15-GE BARRON- WR, ESCAMBIA COUNTY HIGH
16-JOSE MENDOZA- P/PK, FOLEY HIGH
17-DMARJAE CASEY-DB, FOLEY HIGH
19- XAVIER POWELL- WR, B.C. RAIN
20-CODY NORRIS-WR, DAVIDSON HIGH
21- XAVIER POWELL, B.C. RAIN
22- JAMEL GRACE-LB, FLOMATON HIGH
23-MARQ QUINNIE-RB, MGM HIGH
24-RONALD COOPER-DB , VIGOR HIGH
26- JIM BROWNING-DB, HOUSTON, TEXAS
27-AUSTIN LINDSAY- LB, GARDENDALE HIGH
29- TASHAON PETTWAY DB, BLOUNT HIGH
33-JUSTIN CHESS-DB, WILLIAMSON HIGH
34-TRISTAN CATLIN-DL, FOLEY HIGH
44-JAMAL VINES -RB , SPANISH FORT HIGH
45- TY WILLIAMS- DL, W.S. NEAL
48- DEVIN BETTS- LB, EXCEL HIGH
50-GREG RUGGS- OL/DL, BLOUNT HIGH
52/74- BREVIN ELDRIDGE- OL/DL, BLOUNT HIGH
55-RAYMOND BROWN-OL/DL, BLOUNT HIGH
56- FRED MCDONALD= DL/OL, GULFPORT, MISS.
57-GABE MCKINNEY-DL/DL, W.S. NEAL HIGH
58-HERCULES KEIL-OL/DL, FOLEY HIGH
62-JARIOUS BUSH-OL/DL , BLOUNT HIGH
65- RAY HUNT- OL/DL, BLOUNT HIGH
74/52- BREVIN ELDRIDGE- OL/DL, BLOUNT HIGH
The Storm 2021 Football Schedule
MARCH 6 OPEN
MARCH 13 BILOXI DRAGONS AWAY
MARCH 20 ALABAMA STEEL AWAY 4PM
MARCH 27 BIRMINGHAM CHARGERS HOME 7PM
APRIL 3RD EASTER WEEKEND
APRIL 10 CLARKSVILLE CHIEFS HOME 3PM
APRIL 17 ALABAMA SABERS AWAY TBA
APRIL 24 BILOXI DRAGONS HOME TBA
MAY 1 ALABAMA STEEL HOME TBA