Long snappers are an often-overlooked part of a football team, but Tuscaloosa Academy senior Luke Gatewood is committed to making a difference beyond the football field.
Gatewood is raising money for childhood cancer research through the Kick-It program, a part of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation that raises money for each kick, punt or snap by the participant.
While at a long snapping camp in Milwaukee two summers ago, Gatewood learned about the cause and knew he wanted to contribute.
“That just kind of stuck with me,” Gatewood said. “I really want to do that, to help make it to where it’s not just long snapping, to where it means something more than throwing a ball between my legs.”
Gatewood, the top-rated long snapper in the state, had 68 snaps last year and raised more than $1,000, most of it from a table he set up at a JV game and social media promotion.
He has set his fundraising goal at $1,250 for this season.
Gatewood is also the president of his class at TA, a captain on the football team, and an aspiring Georgia Tech, Stanford or Virginia Tech engineering student.
“I truly think even for his peers, Luke’s a great model,” said senior safety and wide receiver Carson Woods. “You never see him slacking off in the classroom or on the football field. I respect him a lot, as a player and a person.”
Those interested in donating to Gatewood’s cause can find more information at https://www.alexslemonade.org/mypage/1850690.
Bibb County rebounds
After trailing 10-0 midway through the second quarter last week, Bibb County scored three times in the next 12 minutes of game time to defeat Class 6A Pelham and move to 2-0. A 45-yard touchdown pass from Cole McCarty to Mikal Moton and Deshun Murrell rushing touchdowns of 25 and 20 yards put the Choctaws up 19-10.
Pelham scored on its next drive to draw within two points, but Bibb County’s defense stood strong and held on for the team’s second straight two-point road win.
Bibb County opens its region schedule this Friday at home against Demopolis in a game that could decide which team wins the region. Demopolis has won five straight region titles and 32 straight region games, the longest active streak in the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
More of the same for ACA
So far American Christian Academy’s season looks a lot like last season’s. The 2018 Patriots opened with a 26-0 shutout of Trinity Presbyterian and a 49-0 shutout of Woodlawn. On Friday ACA defeated Woodlawn 56-0, a week after a 20-0 win at Trinity. The Patriots will vie for three straight shutouts in two weeks when they travel to West Blocton, which they beat 52-0 last year.
Two more firsts
Brookwood’s Mike Bramblett got his first win as coach of the Panthers in their season opener. Last week Linden’s Travis Lockett and Fayette County’s Bill Smith joined him as West Alabama AHSAA coaches earning their first wins at their new schools. Tuscaloosa Academy’s John Copeland also got his first win as coach of the Knights on Aug. 17.
Greenwave grinds out OT win
Gordo renewed a 99-year-old rivalry with Aliceville on Friday, defeating the Yellow Jackets 21-20 in overtime. It was the third time since 1998 the Greenwave defeated the Yellow Jackets by that exact score and Gordo’s 13th straight win over Aliceville.
The Tuscaloosa News will run football statistics every Thursday. Coaches and/or team statisticians should email cumulative individual and team stats to email@example.com by 5 p.m. Wednesday.