Eagles coach Jim Hardy watches as Mason Byrd reels in a pass.
Eagles coach Jim Hardy watches as Mason Byrd reels in a pass.

Eagles take flight with new skipper

Published 12:45pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jim Hardy had planned on being a football coach before he was derailed by injury.
As August approaches, he hopes to help put Victory Baptist’s dreams of success back on track after being named the school’s new football coach.
“When I was at Auburn, I was learning to coach under (Tommy) Tuberville before I got hurt,” said Hardy. “I started working with Victory last season. They asked me at the end of last season if I’d come back and coach the team this year.”
Football at Victory Baptist is unlike any other in the area. It’s 6-man playing on an 80-yard field.
“It’s wide open,” said Hardy. “In 11-man football, you’ll see 21-14 scores. In this, you can get an 80-50 game going.”
Originally, Victory Baptist shared a gridiron rivalry with backyard neighbor New Life Christian.
Declining numbers and New Life’s transition into a different conference led Victory to the world of 6-man.
“This is a game that’s built for kids who want to come in and show off their talents,” said Hardy. “If you were a three or a four at Prattville or Wetumpka and wanted to get noticed, this is a great place and a great game to do that.”
Victory Baptist opens the 2013 campaign against Chilton County Christian Aug. 31 and will play Clay County, Conecuh and Faith (Athens).
“There’s only 12 schools in Alabama that play 6-man and we’ll play them during the regular season,” said Hardy. “The top four will play in a playoff and then we’ll have a state champion. But in Texas, it’s huge. It could catch on here.”
The Eagles wrapped up two-a-days Monday.
“I’ve got some guys I know coming out and working with them,” said Hardy. “Cory Rossenburger came out and taught them crossfit all summer. They are 10-times the shape now than they were last year. I’ve got different coaches and players coming in during the season to talk to the team.”
Since Victory’s road games are road trips across the state, he’s also working on a deal where the Eagles will soar via the internet.
“I plan to livestream the games,” said Hardy. “There’s potential here for this to grow. It’s just got to catch on.”

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