Red Devils head coach Hubbert prepares to face alma mater

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2018

MAPLESVILLE — The top-ranked 1A Lanett Panthers are headed on the road for the first time this postseason against 10-1 Maplesville. Ironically, the Red Devils are led by a former Panther himself.

Thirty years ago, Maplesville head football coach Brent Hubbert played for Lanett his junior and senior seasons in 1987 and 1988. He was at the school playing under his father, Jim Hubbert, who was the head football coach for Lanett at the time. 

His junior season, he played linebacker, and after an early season injury to the team’s starting quarterback, Hubbert became the starting quarterback for the Panthers during his senior year. The Panthers made it to the state semifinal that year before losing to Pike County.

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“Those athletics were always a big part of that community,” Hubbert said of Lanett. “I remember that community being a place that supported that school and everything that it did. Whether it was band, or athletics. Anything to do with school, it was one of those places that would just pick the school up.”

It was nearly 30 years before Hubbert ultimately returned to the stadium when he watched the Panthers play during an open week for Maplesville last season. Hubbert said that he’s also seen Lanett teams on the basketball court at state tournaments in recent years as well. He was impressed by what he saw.

“They’re super athletes,” Hubbert said. “They’re athletically gifted.”

At Lanett, Hubbert played with Tremayne Bridges, the father of senior safety Trikweze Bridges. Trikweze Bridges is currently tied for the all-time state career record for interceptions.

“I’m sure that there are some other uncles, dads and cousins on the team that I played with too,” Hubbert said. 

Maplesville has become a 1A powerhouse within the state over the course of Hubbert’s 15 seasons at the helm. The Red Devils won the state championship in three-straight seasons from 2014-2016 under the coach. 

“Our kids are homegrown right here,” Hubbert said. “They grew up together in the community of Maplesville. They started in kindergarten together. It’s a tight-knit community. We don’t have those super athletic, prototypical SEC guys, but those kids are going to play extremely hard.”

Maplesville is coming off of a 21-14 win on the road against Georgina last week. The Red Devils run the ball well, and have an interception-hungry defense.

Last week, Marengo avoided throwing in the direction of Bridges, and junior athlete Kristian Story hauled in three interceptions in Bridges’ place while covering the team’s top receiver.

Although Hubbert admits that facing his alma mater will be a cool moment, once the ball kicks off, it’s game time.

“For me, it’s kind of special because it’s my alma mater, but for us, it’s a third-round game,” Hubbert said. “It’s a shot at moving on, and we’ve got to win.”