HANCEVILLE - The opening of Southern Prep Sports Academy, based in Hanceville, has been announced by its athletic director, James Tolbert, who says the academy will encourage and develop the skills needed to bridge the gap between academics and athletics.
According to Tolbert, the north-central Alabama area is the perfect location for an academy that could help countless athletes who have the talent to play football at the next level following high school but need help with grades, or a second chance to work to improve their athletic skill level. It also avails the opportunity to individuals who desire to continue to play for the love of the game.
A Southern Prep football team will be fielded for the 2017 season. Academy members will be required to enroll at Wallace State Community College to continue their educations by the fall semester of 2017 to be eligible for the Academy football team.
"We'll play a full schedule of games," said Tolbert, who will be the head coach of the football squad. The Southern Prep team will face opponents such as other prep academies, as well as junior varsity programs of some colleges.
Throughout his many years as a coach on different levels, James Tolbert built tremendous relationships with colleges across the country, helping many of his former players further their educations.
"We care about our young people being educated and moving on to a successful life," said Tolbert.
"The Academy is based on 4 Fs: Faith, Family, Future (being education) and Football. Our goal is to be the elite program in the country. " Tolbert continued. "We want to be a total program to develop the total person. Students will have an opportunity to mature, improve grades and learn life lessons.”
For more information, Tolbert may be contacted at 205-353-9204. Information on the program will be sent to area high schools.