IRVINGTON, Ala. (WKRG) — Next up on WKRG’s “33 Teams in 33 Days” spring special is the Alma Bryant Hurricanes.

WKRG sports director Simone Eli and weekend sports anchor Gerhard Mathangani provide an inside look into the Hurricanes, who are looking to earn a playoff berth for the first time since 2013.

The Hurricanes went 0-6 in Class 7A, Region 1. Alma Bryant is looking to turn things around in 2023.

Head Coach Bart Sessions enters his third year at the helm. Sessions came to Alma Bryant in 2021, but has coached all through out the state including a stop at McGill-Toolen from 2011-2013. Sessions was the defensive coordinator for the undefeated, state champion Daphne Trojans in 2010.

Alma Bryant is doing “skill development” over the traditional spring practices this season. Skill development does not involve helmets, pads or hitting, but allows coaches to work with athletes for two hours per week over several months. Schools opting for skill development can also start fall camp early.

“You can still use a ball,” said Sessions. “Obviously, you’re limited with two hours per week per athlete, but I think it’s really been good for us because it is a ten week period.”

Sessions mentioned coaches get to “slow things down” and can really “deep dive into what you’re doing technique wise.”

Sessions told WKRG he is excited about the core group of returners this season and how they have responded to this year’s spring practice style.

“You look around, you have the bulk of your team coming back and that’s exciting,” added Sessions. “We have some kids that are now two year starters that are juniors.”

2022 Record (notable wins, losses):

  • 3-7
  • 7-6 win @ Citronelle
  • 41-20 win vs. Robertsdale

Key players:

  • Isaiah Dixon, RB
  • Fisher Fountain, OL
  • Xavier Santiago, OL

Dixon is one of those two year starters. The rising junior posted 900 total yards and five touchdowns last season. The bulk of experience Sessions mentioned will be in the trenches. Senior’s Fountain and Santiago will anchor the offensive line.

Santiago told WKRG they have taken advantage of this year’s skill development.

“We’ve had more time to organize everything the way we want to do it, the new offense and everything,” said Santiago. “I feel like it would have been better than regular spring training because we have, like coach been saying, more time to figure everything out.”

Santiago added more time in the weight room has been a plus, as well.

Fountain says he can tell the team is more focused and “locked in.”

“To me, it’s important to just teach the offensive line what to do,” added Fountain. “To make sure they’re caught up to know their job, know what they got to do.”

As a senior, Fountain knows the importance of the offensive line and says he takes a lot of pride in it.

“Especially knowing whenever we score, you know, it feels great knowing that like we [offensive line] led us to the score, knowing that our job is the most important on the team, it feels good,” added Fountain.

Key Matchups:

  • @ Daphne (region game) — September 8
  • @ Mary G. Montgomery (region game) — September 21
  • vs. Davidson (region game) — October 19

Link to full schedule.

Who’s next:

Wednesday will feature the McGill-Toolen Yellow Jackets. Follow along WKRG’s “33 teams in 33 days” throughout the next five weeks. Each team will be featured during the 6:30 p.m. newscast on the weekdays and during the 10 p.m. newscast on the weekend.

Full “33 teams in 33 days” schedule: