“Be courageous and kind" is a theme with Athens Academy football. The heart to be a winner on the field is also encouraged to be a heart that serves off the field.
"One of the things we like to stress is service, " says Alexander. 'We've done a lot of service over the summer for different foundations around Athens. We believe in helping out any way that we can, from the food bank to ESP (Extra Special People). It really opens up their eyes and their hearts to see that we are blessed in so many ways. It helps the kids understand and see the big picture. Football is small, school is small, I'm small, but there are things that are bigger than me."
The Athens Academy Spartans live in perhaps the toughest Class A region in the state, Region 8. With region rivals like Hebron Christian, Commerce, George Walton, Prince Avenue Christian and Athens Christian, every week is like a playoff game and Alexander would have it no other way.
"I wish we could play Commerce and Price Avenue every week," says Alexander. "Our kids are smart kids and they like challenges. We want to play the best to try and make us better each week."
One of those players who loves to be challenged is senior Payton Bowles.
"It's been fun coaching him," says Alexander. “He is the first kid that I've had who is an all-state defensive back in one selection and an all-state running back in another selection. In a recent game Payton played every snap and it was the first time that I have seen it. He returned kicks, played running back and linebacker. He really put on a show, and when he left the game both sides of the stadium gave him a round of applause."