Character Counts: Glencoe takes on Hanceville in 3A

Thomas Ozmint and the Glencoe Yellow Jackets take on Hanceville tonight. (Photo by Dave Hyatt | Gadsden Times | File)

It’s not really about momentum, and it may not even be about talent.

Glencoe has won six of its last seven games — including a 31-24 win over Class 5A and playoff-bound Etowah. But what Yellow Jacket coach Lee Ozmint sees in his team right now is about something more.

“It’s more of a character issue than a talent or momentum issue,” Ozmint said. “I think our kids come to work every day, whether they feel like it or not, and they take it upon themselves to improve in some way every day.”

The Yellow Jackets look to put it all together Friday night on the road against Hanceville for a Class 3A first-round playoff game.

Glencoe (7-3), the fourth seed out of Region 5, is making its fifth straight postseason appearance, but Ozmint believes this team is different than many he has coached. The players truly are trying to improve with each workout, each practice and each film study.

“You can talk the talk, but there’s very few teams I’ve coached that’s walked it,” Ozmint said. “You can call it leadership, you call it whatever you want to call it, but it’s character, and this bunch has a lot of it. I’m proud of them for that.”

What the Yellow Jackets will face Friday night on the field is a stacked backfield with a heady quarterback and big target on the outside.

Everything for the Bulldogs (9-1) starts with running backs Brontae Harris and Torrey Green. Harris is the leading rusher and provides speed, while Green is a more physical runner out of the I-formation. Carlos Chacon is a solid fullback, too.

“They complement each other very, very well,” Ozmint said. “Compared to the backs we’ve seen, they would play for Piedmont or Saks — they’re that good.”

Quarterback Jeremy Hurst’s main job is handing it off to both Harris and Green, but the 6-foot-4 signal caller has a weapon in Dant’e Reese on the edge who Ozmint described as “blazing fast.”

Glencoe, like Hanceville, will try to do most of its damage on the ground. Thomas Ozmint has a good mix of size and speed, as does quarterback Dylan Stone. Both are over the 1,000-yard mark for the season.

Linebacker and leading tackler Mason Brown should have a busy night, while defensive backs Pace Ozmint and Houston Word — among others — will be counted on to support the run defense.

“You look at Hanceville and you think there’s no way we match up — and you’d be right,” Lee Ozmint said. “You look at us matched up against most of the teams we play and we don’t match up individually. But when we play together as a team, we’re pretty hard to deal with. That’s what makes this team special — they play together, they work together and they’re going to win or lose this game together.”