Linden's coach likes his team

Coach Williams is in his second season as the head coach at Linden High School in Linden, (Ala). He made the move after serving seven years as the defensive coordinator for Sweet Water, which is well known for their recent run of 1A state titles. caught up with Coach Andro Williams this week at the Linden football complex, with the intentions of asking about his all star running back tandem of Maurice Tate, and Shantrell Braxton. Coach Williams went in-depth about the talented duo, and his team.

"This team is full of hard working guys that want to do the right things. I like their work ethic, and I like they have bought into what we are trying to do here," Williams said.

"We aren't the biggest group – I have a 165-pound guard, and my manager from last year is now one of the guys that contribute to this team. He fell in love with the program last year and decided to come out for football this year. He has worked real hard to get to where he is."

"We lost nine starters off our defense, and eight off our offense. We also lost most of our subs, so it has been good to see these young men go through the changes they have been through to grow into a team over the season."

"We expect a lot from these guys, and they have been willing to give it. We work very hard in the weight room, and that was a weak spot when we got here. All the kids have responded well and made big gains over the summer and fall. When you get about 30 or so that are willing to do whatever it takes to become a better football team, then you have a team."

About his running back tandem.

"Maurice Tate is a very good player. He is like a coach on the field. He knows what everyone on the field is supposed to be doing, and he can tell them their assignment if he needs to. He's a smart kid. He has an 18 on his ACT, and he is good as far as grades go," Coach Williams explained.

"He has played very well for us on both sides of the ball. He has rushed for 1,571 yards in nine games, but he has only finished one game out of the nine. He has played one half of several games, and three quarters in others."

"Maurice has also played well for us on defense. He plays middle linebacker, and he has over 80 tackles on the season. Last year he had over 100 tackles. He went to camp at Auburn and ran a 4.60 forty yard dash. He is 5-11, 220-pounds and very strong. I think someone would have to fall off Auburn's list for Maurice to get an offer from them, but he has several teams calling about him."

"Tuskegee has offered him. They want him very bad. Western Kentucky has been calling, and we sent them some film recently. UAB and Memphis have both started to show a lot of interest in him over the last few weeks. Auburn and Alabama are still keeping up with him. He's on track, I mean if someone wants a football player Maurice is a good one."

Coach Williams continued to Shantrell Braxton.

"Shantrell transferred here from Demopolis, and he has done a good job for us. Shantrell has the ability to play Division one college football. He's 6-1, 210-pounds, and we use him at both fullback and running back. He and Maurice compliment each other real well."

"His work ethic has changed a lot from the time he transferred to Linden. He had some problems at Demopolis that had to be addressed once he arrived here. He has worked hard to over come those things. He is doing a real good job."

"Shantrell might have to go to junior college to make it to D-1, but he has the ability to play at a major college program," Coach Andron Williams concluded.

The Linden Patriots are undefeated this season at 9-0, with a road trip to 3A Aliceville tonight. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM.

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