Hazelwood Central’s football team has been the “Mecca” of all high school football teams in Missouri for decades. Winning four state titles, and advancing to the conference finals almost every year. Hazelwood Central has also produced some of the best athletes in not only the St.Louis area, but in college and beyond. In college for example Roderick Johnson was the starting left tackle for the Florida State Seminoles. And in the NFL Carey Davis, starting fullback for the Pittsburgh steelers, and current head coach of the Hawks, won two super bowls. The former athletes of the Hazelwood Central Football team have built a culture on winning and dominating their opponents.
But after a disappointing season, some people in the community and some students of Hazelwood Central have begun to question the direction of the football team, based on their results this past season.
Coach Davis feels that the struggles on the team is a learning experience for the younger players, and hopes that they carry their lessons into next season.
¨I think we started off rough. It didn’t start off the way we wanted it to. But I think the tail end was much better than the beginning. We were 1-5 then we were able to win 4 straight and make a run in the playoffs,¨ said head coach Carey Davis.
The beginning of the season was a rollercoaster. According to Davis, players were not buying into the system and didn’t understand what was necessary to win.
¨I think the guys as a group collectively decided that things gotta change, and they did,¨ said Davis.
Davis feels that once the players came together as a team they were able to flip their season around and ended it with something to build off for next season.
Hazelwood Central has become the trending topic this past season and not in the way they would like it. After a lackluster 5-6 record last season, some students, parents and people in the St. Louis community are doubting Hazelwood Central’s football future.
However, Coach Davis thinks his players can improve upon what they did last season.
¨I think the future is extremely bright for our guys. The previous senior class did a good job in mentoring the younger guys,¨ said Davis.
Hazelwood Central has built a winning standard over the past few decades. After a disappointing season students and parents feel like Hazelwood Central football team is trending downward, but that might not be the case.
High school and college coaches still believe Hazelwood Central is a powerhouse program in the state of Missouri.
I ́ve been all over the country and I think when you talk football in the state of Missouri, Hazelwood Central is one of the top 3-5 schools that get mentioned,¨ said Davis.