GOOD HOPE - While the 2017 Good Hope Raiders play the Susan Moore Bulldogs in a jamboree next Thursday at James Shabel Stadium, a special group of people will be recognized at halftime.
The 1997 Raiders' team will celebrate their 20-year anniversary in being the most successful squad in Good Hope history.
Under coach J.D. Williams, the Raiders went through the regular season 10-0, won the 3A, Area 10 championship and made an incredible run through the playoffs.
Unfortunately, it got stopped in the semifinal round by a 27-25 loss at home to Colbert County. Colbert County scored in the final minute to pull it out, keeping the Raiders from going on to Birmingham for the AHSAA championship.
This team that had All-State performers in RB Adam Burgess, QB Josh Bates, OL Heath Waldrop, DB Nathan Gragg and was No. 3 in the final state rankings prior to the playoffs.
It was an incredible turn of events for Good Hope football after a winless season (0-10) in 1995. Williams directed the Raiders to 39 victories and 10 losses from '96 until '99, when he stepped down and went into coaching in Walker County.
Susan Moore's current principal, Mike Stansberry, was an assistant coach on Williams' staff. That four-year stretch is the best in Good Hope football history.
Good Hope QB Bailey Quick in 7 on 7 at Fairview July 14.
Sportspage photo by Johnny Thornton.