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Adam Fossett was a football coach struggling to find his confidence. B.B. Comer was a once proud football program struggling to find some wins.

Fossett found B.B. Comer. And B.B. Comer found Fossett.

Sometimes, life is simply about timing.

“I’ve kind of told this story before, but, when I took this job, I was as broken as the program,” Fossett said. “I’d been let go from a 7A school, went 2-18 in two years at Smiths Station. I started second guessing if I knew what I was doing. Do I know how to coach or not? We were kind of a perfect fit when all that happened.”

If you want to know how it worked out, consider this: if B.B. Comer wins its homecoming game on Friday night against visiting Central Coosa, the Tigers win will their first region title since 1995.

That’s a big deal.

However, you can’t tell the story of this season without going back to 2018 when Fossett and his family arrived at B.B. Comer. His wife is a B.B. Comer graduate and returned to her alma mater as a teacher. Fossett took over a program that had won five games in the previous three seasons combined and had made the playoffs just two times in the most recent 16 seasons. He inherited a team that had 11 rising seniors, but seven of those seniors hadn’t played football the previous two seasons.

“When I met with our first group of guys, I told them it’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it,” Fossett said. “Those 11 (seniors) bought in and played hard. We were 2-8 that first year. You could see the building going on, you could see the weight room buy in. I was trying to get all that going.”

The following year, once again playing in the rugged Class 3A Region 6 with traditionally successful teams like Piedmont, Saks, Walter Wellborn and Randolph County, the Tigers finished 5-5 in the regular season and qualified for the playoffs as the No. 4 team from the region. They drew Region 5 winner Fultondale in the first round, started slow in that game and stormed back to claim a 28-19 road win. The following week, the Tigers got bounced by Geraldine in a game played at B.B. Comer.

In 2020, after moving down to Class 2A, the Tigers finished 9-2, made the second round of the playoffs and were the No. 7 team in the final polls. Last season, the Tigers were 10-3, scored a program record 495 points and fell to eventual Class 2A champion Clarke County, 14-7, in the third round.

“We had the ball on the 3-yard line and couldn’t score (in the Clarke County loss),” Fossett said with a hint of pain still in his voice.

This year, B.B. Comer is 5-0 in region play. The Tigers squeaked by Vincent, 36-35, but haven’t had another close region game. Two teams are 4-1 in the region – Vincent and Isabella – and B.B. Comer beat both teams. One more win and the Tigers are the region champions for the first time since 1995.

“No one on the roster was born then. I got guys on my staff that weren’t born then,” Fossett said. “That’s a long time ago. And the ‘95 team was special, that was the team that was 14-1, won the region and went on to play the for the state championship at Cordova.”

A quick sidebar on that 1995 Class 3A state championship game. The conditions at Cordova that night, according to Fossett, played a big role in the birth of the Super Six at a neutral site the following season.

“The facilities at Cordova were so terrible, the field house had water in it and other stuff,” Fossett said. “Coach (Bobby) Overton was very instrumental in getting all that changed. He was very adamant about it and making it happen.”

Fossett said the quarterback from that team will speak to his team before Friday’s game. However, Fossett won’t spend much time this week focusing on the importance of adding another region title.

“I’m kind of different as a coach, I guess,” Fossett said. “We don’t talk about it. I haven’t gone through this week saying, ‘If we win, we’re going to lock up the region. That will be the first time since forever.’ I’ve mentioned it and I’ve discussed it, but it’s never been like a strong discussion. But it would be huge.”

Even more important, for Fossett, is continuing to build relationships with his players and people in the community. He still keeps in touch with players he coached 18 years ago when he started his career in Georgia. He was asked by one of his former players at Childersburg High if he would officiate his wedding.

" I did that, took the online certification, which is real easy by the way, and did their wedding. It meant a lot to me,” Fossett said.

Fossett, his wife and two sons host a Senior dinner every Thursday night during game week.

“I’m 1000 percent about building relationships, knowing who my kids are, knowing what they got going on, knowing about their lives and their issues,” Fossett said. “All the senior cheerleaders and football players come to my house. They eat, we fellowship, our team pastor is the youth pastor at one of our local churches. Him and his family come when they can. Some of the best things have come from those dinners. We very seldom talk about football. We talk about life and things like that, things that are important to the kids. Building relationships are important to me.”

On the field, times are good. Running back Kamore Harris, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound junior, was an all-state player last season. He's been slowed by injuries but is rounding back into shape for the stretch run. Jai Gaddis is another playmaker while Chris Wilson, Zack Carpenter and Brandon Blankenship are key linemen.

Tying the whole thing together is the way the program has grown with the help of community support.

“It’s just the building and building and building,” Fossett said. “It’s the buy-in of wanting to be part of the program. Our numbers (inside the program) have gone up, our numbers have increased. We’ve gotten so many people involved. The community has been huge, we call them Tiger Nation. They come out in droves. Last Friday night at Thorsby, it was packed. We had as many fans as they had. They’re loud and obnoxious and that’s everything we want.”

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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