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Maplesville football deals with weight of expectations in 2017

Maplesville's quest for a fourth straight state championship in Class 1A begins against Fyffe on Thursday in Montgomery (abc3340.com)

Maplesville football is ranked No. 1 in Class 1A to start the high school season, as expected.

It's the obvious spot to put the 3-time defending state champion Red Devils.

The quest for four in a row begins against Fyffe on Thursday in Montgomery. It's coach Brent Hubbert's first chance to see if this year's team is up to the challenge of continuing the championship level play.

"It becomes a little more difficult because you don't know who you're going to be facing," senior Nathaniel Watson said. "They get new players, new muscle on them, it'll be different for us but you've still got to keep that same mentality."

"You've got people that they're going to see, it could be at the Dollar General, it could be at the Maplesville supermarket, telling them how great they are," Hubbert said. "They've never stepped on the practice field, never been to a game. You get into the head of that 15 and 16-year-old and get them to understand, we have to continue to work, you have to do the things that got you there."

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