DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — Next up on WKRG’s “33 Teams in 33 Days” spring special is the Bayside Academy Admirals.

WKRG sports director Simone Eli and weekend sports anchor Gerhard Mathangani provide an inside look into the Admirals, who are ushering in a new coach this season. The Barrett Trotter era is underway, and the former Auburn quarterback is elated to begin his head coaching career at Bayside.

Bayside’s success in baseball and other spring sports meant a lot of multi-sport athletes got a late jump back to the gridiron. However, on the first day the players were available, they all returned to the football field. That alone served as evidence that the excitement is mutual.  

“It’s been really nice to just actually see him out on the field and get to move around versus just seeing him walking in the halls or even in the weight room,” said Trotter. “This is a group that seems really hungry, seem really driven to embrace the change and the new regime. They have been great. They have been really receptive and picking up everything we’re asking them to do.”

Trotter comes to the program after serving at his alma mater Briarwood Christian School. Trotter brings a wealth of knowledge to the job after playing for former Auburn coaches Gene Chizik and Gus Malzahn. He also has ties with former NFL and USFL coach Jeff Fisher. He will use those experiences to help launch his head coaching career.

“I’ve been in a lot of different places and had the opportunity to learn from some really great coaches,” added Trotter. “I have seen and done a little bit of everything. Now to be able to put my stamp on something and be in the driver’s seat of a program, I just feel ready. I’m really grateful for these kids and just the type of atmosphere they have here at Bayside that allows us to do what we’re going to do.”

2022 Record (notable wins, losses):

  • 6-5
  • 17-14 win vs. St. Michael
  • 66-48 win vs. Escambia County

Key players:

  • Graham Uter, OL / DL
  • Sammy Dunn, QB

The Admirals return a whopping 20 of 22 starters back from a team that made the Class 4A state playoffs. Bayside fielded a very young team in 2022, but they exceeded many people’s expectation, given they called upon several freshmen and sophomores to play key roles. The line will be led by Graham Uter (6’5”, 290 lbs.) who is picking up a lot of steam on the recruiting trail. Uter was named second-team all-state by the ASWA as a junior. Quarterback Sammy Dunn will run the show on offense. The rising sophomore picked up a lot of valuable experience last season and he’s quickly picking up the new offensive scheme.

“I’m looking forward to a great season,” said Uter. “We had eight freshman starters, and they are all maturing now as sophomores.”

The players started preparation for football season before the spring session began.

I mean, we went six and five and our projected our projected was to an eight or something like that. It was crazy. We had eight freshmen starters and they’re all maturing now, sophomores. And I think I’m expecting of when they’re going to stay.

“We are trying to just teach the young guys,” said Wilson of the senior class. “We have a lot of upcoming freshmen and sophomores, so we’re really trying to get those guys to step up their game up and lock in, playing varsity so that they can have a big role.”

There have been some hurdles during spring practice, but the leaders see the growth of the young players.

“Coach Trotter is great,” said Dunn. “He came right in and got right on it. Zoom meetings, just meetings in general, just talking about the plays and going over concepts. He’s getting right to it and glad that we’re out here seeing it live so we can throw around a little bit.”

Key Matchups:

  • @ St. Michael (region game) September 8
  • vs. Escambia County (region game) October 20
  • @ Alabama Christian (non-region) November 3

Link to full schedule

Who’s next:

Monday will feature the St. Michael Cardinals. 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: