Emotional night ahead in New Albany


I talked with New Albany coach Ron Price earlier this week about tonight’s game against Ripley. We talked more than football though. Tonight will be the first time Price takes the field since his wife Amanda was murdered on Dec. 5.

“Friday night for us is going to be an emotional night. It’s gong to be a special night. I really think the emotions will be high. Our kids understand what we’re playing for. Our first home game is always called Maroon Madness. This year, it’s Maroon Madness with purple in parentheses. We’re really encouraging our community to wear purple in honor of Amanda. To walk out Friday night and see purple, for me, it’s going to be exciting but it’s also going to be a little difficult. Our kids are up for it. Ripley is going to be up for it.”

“She’s always been a part of me since I’ve been coaching. Since we’ve been in New Albany, she’s been a part of the New Albany football program. Things are still good. Our kids are excited and playing hard. It’s just a different feeling this year. She’s just always been so much a part of what I’ve been, who I am. For her not to be here, to be a part of it, I just want to continue to make her proud of what we’re doing and hopefully our kids will continue to make her proud. I told them, ‘Amanda would never do anything halfway and if we’re going to dedicate the season to her, we can’t half do it, because that would be unacceptable to her. If we’re going to commit this season to her, we’re going to do it and do it right.'” 

think God has a way to lets her watch the game?

“Where she is, things are so much better than football. I think God has a special way of letting them be a part of what’s going on here. I know she’s protecting Molly Addison and watching over her and taking care of my little girl.I feel like she can sense something and that she’s proud of what we’re doing.”

Ripley coach Chad Cook

on jamboree at Itawamba AHS

“I thought we started really fast, ran 12 plays and went 140 yards and had two touchdowns.” 

on Ripley’s offense

“We’re either really fast or really slow, no in between. I believe the more possessions you’ve got, the more chances you have to score. If you get a lot of three-and-outs, it wears your defense down. We try to play fast and want to practice fast. That’s how you get in better shape. We try to do all the teaching inside and get reps outside.” 

New Albany coach Ron Price

on new Ripley coach Chad Cook

“We know without a shadow of a doubt he’s going to do a great job getting those kids ready to play from the snap of the football until the whistle blows. That’s how Coach Cook’s teams have always played. Coach Cook has only been there a short period but you can already tell a difference in the way the kids are playing on film. They’re running to the football defensively and offensively they’re very confident. They imitate thieir coach. He’s a tough guy and they carry that onto the field.” 

on the season-opener

“It’s been a long time since we got to play in a real game. Only one team in 4A ended the season with a win and that was the state champion. The rest of us have had a long time to think about that last game.” 

on defending Ripley

“I think the key is getting on them early The quarterback looks good. If he completes them early, success breeds success. If we can frustrate them early and put some points on the board, that will help us.”

on facing Ripley in Cook’s first game

“As a first-time coach, no matter where you are, you want to win that game. I hope we can spoil that for him (laughs).”

on last week’s jamboree

“It helped us tremendously because we could see all of the things we were doing wrong. You can’t be successful if you don’t execute the plays and that’s offensively, defensively and special teams. We looked like we just didn’t know what we were doing a lot of times. A lot of times I can live with somebody messing up if they’re going full speed. But we weren’t even playing full speed with great effort. We told our kids five things we have to do this week to be successful. Playing from whistle to whistle was one of them. That’s not what we saw Friday night. I’m thankful we got to play. It’s going to help us, if we take advantge of learning from our mistakes.” 



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