Super 7 State Championships: Thompson chases Hazlewood record at Super 7; 5 Defending Champions Return

MONTGOMERY – Only one school has ever won five straight football championships in the history of the AHSAA state playoffs – Hazlewood High School from 1988-92.Thompson High School could equal the five-peat at this week’s Super 7 Championships at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Warriors (11-1), coached by Mark Freeman, have a tall order, however, meeting Central-Phenix City (12-0), coached by Patrick Nix, in Wednesday’s Class 7A championship game. This year’s battle marks the fourth time in the last six years these two teams have battled for 7A supremacy in the finals. In fact, Central is the last team to beat Thompson in the playoffs, a 52-7 win in the 2018 title game. Since then, Thompson has reeled off 19 straight playoff wins across five seasons.

“When we go to Tuscaloosa, we’ll have our team ready to play the best game we can play and go get after it,” Freeman told The Shelby County Reporter after a semifinal victory over Hewitt-Trussville last month.

For the second straight year, all seven boys’ tackle championship games and the girls’ flag finals will be televised live over the Alabama Public Television Network. The games are being produced by the NFHS Network with Vince Earley and his WOTM TV crew producing the games. All games will also be live streamed over the NFHS Network and over the AHSAA Radio Network as well.

Tickets can be purchased online through GoFan at .

The 7A title game, in which both head coaches can also reach a milestone with a win, highlights the first day of the Super 7. For the first time, two girls’ flag championship games – one for Class 1A-5A and another for Class 6A-7A – will be played Wednesday afternoon.

Central’s Nix can capture his third career AHSAA title. He led Pinson Valley to back-to-back championships in 2017-18

Freeman can join Central-Clay’s Danny Horn, UMS-Wright’s Terry Curtis, and former Hoover coach Josh Niblett, as the only coaches to win at least seven AHSAA football titles in the AHSAA.  Horn and Curtis have won eight apiece, while Niblett, who now coaches at Gainesville (Ga.), won seven. Freeman won two crowns at Spanish Fort and had four other state championships at Bessmer Academy, which competes in the AISA.

The 7A title game features two of the state’s best underclassmen quarterbacks – Central junior Andrew Alford and Thompson freshman Trent Seaborn. Alford has thrown for 3,384 yards and 44 touchdowns against just two interceptions and Seaborn has 2,388 passing yards with 25 TD passes and five interceptions.

The only team in AHSAA history to win five straight football championships was Hazlewood, in Class 2A, from 1988-92. That school has since closed with students merging with R.A. Hubbard after the 2008-09 school year. The Bears also won 11 total state titles, which leads still leads the AHSAA.

While Thompson chases Hazlewood’s consecutive championship record, Fyffe is also chasing Hazlewood as the Red Devils (12-1) put their 12-game win streak on the line in Friday’s Class 2A championship game against Reeltown (13-0).

Fyffe, coached by Paul Benefield, can win a seventh football championship in the last 10 seasons. Hazlewood won six titles in a 10-year span from 1981-90 and eight titles in a 12-year span form 1981-92.

Fyffe has lost just six games in the last decade, going 138-6 in one of the most dominant runs in AHSAA history. Before 2014, Fyffe had never won a state football title and now has taken home Blue Maps in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022 and made eight championship appearances.

Here’s a few more storylines to watch this week at the Super 7:

– Fyffe and Thompson are two of five teams trying to repeat as state champs this week. Others are Leroy in Class 1A, Ramsay in Class 5A, and Saraland in Class 6A.

– In Friday’s Class 6A championship game, Saraland (14-0) and Clay-Chalkville (13-0) feature leading Mr. Football candidates, starting with Saraland receiver and 2022 Mr. Football winner Ryan Williams. Clay-Chalkville senior Jaylen Mbakwe is also considered a top contender for the award.

Mbakwe is largely considered the state’s top senior defensive back prospect but moved to quarterback this season for the Cougars. Whether Mbakwe logs significant time on defense and shadows Williams will be among the top game-within-the-game matchups to watch for this week. Both players are currently committed to Alabama.

– Gulf Shores (14-0) in Class 5A, and Coosa Christian (9-5) in Class 1A are making their first championship game appearances in school history.

– Leroy has played most of the season without head coach Jason Massey, a member of the National Guard who was called up to full-time military service. The Bears have won 19 straight games. Chan Lowe is serving as interim head coach in Massey’s absence.

– When defending Class 5A state champion Ramsay (12-2) won the Class 6A championship in 2016, the Rams became the first Birmingham City School to win a state football title since Banks won back-to-back titles in 1972-73. Now, the Rams have a chance to win the school’s third title in an eight-year span when they take on Gulf Shores in Thursday’s Class 5A championship game.

– Two of the state’s most productive running backs will be in Tuscaloosa this week. Ken Cherry leads Madison Academy (14-0) against Mobile Christian (14-0) in the 3A championship game, having already run for 2,546 yards on 165 carries. Cherokee County’s Jacob Cornejo has 2,516 yards on 250 carries, leading the Warriors (13-1) against Montgomery Catholic (14-0) in the 4A title game.

– Two schools can win tackle and flag titles, with Central-Phenix City and Montgomery Catholic getting two teams in the Super 7.

At Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Dec. 6-7-8
(Home teams listed second in each pairing)
Coosa Christian (9-5) vs. Leroy (13-0), Thurs., Dec. 7, 3 p.m.

Fyffe (13-1) vs. Reeltown (13-0), Fri., Dec. 8, 3 p.m.

Mobile Christian (14-0) vs. Madison Academy (14-0), Thurs., Dec. 7, 11 a.m.

Montgomery Catholic (14-0) vs. Cherokee County (13-1), Fri., Dec. 8, 11 a.m.
Gulf Shores (14-0) vs. Ramsay (12-2), Thurs.,, Dec. 7, 7 p.m.
Saraland (14-0) vs. Clay-Chalkville (13-0), Fri., Dec. 8, 7 p.m.

Central-Phenix City (12-0) vs. Thompson (11-1), Wednesday, 7 p.m.


Montgomery Catholic (17-3) vs. Wenonah (20-0), Wednesday, 1 p.m.

Central-Phenix City (17-0) vs. Vestavia Hills (17-0), Wednesday, 3 p.m.

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