HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: The undefeated Calhoun Academy has his eyes riveted on the winning region | High school sports

Hunter Thornburg (75) celebrates in Calhoun Academy’s 34-7 home win over Greenwood Christian.



Calhoun Academy (3-0, 2-0) have already tied their winning tally from a year ago and can clinch a playoff spot on Friday night with a win over King’s Academy.

Head coach Todd Layton attributes the turnaround to his players adhering to his philosophy.

“The teams that block the best and tackle the best are going to win games with the ball,” said Layton. “I’m very happy with the way we played up front. The kids did a great job improving in key areas.”

Just being on the pitch made a big difference after last year’s CA team saw their preseason wiped out due to the pandemic. Layton said the return to 11-a-side football was made even more difficult when the weight room and training time were sacrificed. This year, the Cavaliers were one of the few teams in the region that didn’t have to stop due to COVID or protocols.

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“Everyone stays healthy,” Layton said. “We insist on COVID precautions, you never know when it will hit you and how bad. We are careful with everything we do.”

After watching his team struggle last season, Layton said he could see the effects of full training and practice during the offseason on his team.

“We’re very focused on the lineup and the tackle,” said Layton. “In the past we’ve missed a lot of tackles, but these guys (who are juniors and seniors) have been spending time in the weight room and have come this season bigger, stronger and faster.”

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