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Addison head football coach Randy White, left, discusses strategy with Allen Andrews during practice Friday.
Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer
Addison head football coach Randy White, left, discusses strategy with Allen Andrews during practice Friday.

HIGH SCHOOL COUNTDOWN

Heart of the team
Addison coach doesn’t let bypass surgery keep him off the field

Fifteenth in a series

By Josh Cooper
jcooper@decaturdaily.com · 340-2460

ADDISON — In the top right drawer of Addison football coach Randy White’s desk is a special piece of paper.

It is his letter of resignation, which he gave to Addison principal Bo Bolzle last winter. White had just been through quadruple bypass surgery and didn’t know if he could give his
position of the kind of energy it needed.

Bolzle gave White the letter back, telling the coach to hold off until he was absolutely certain.

Day by day, White’s heart grew stronger. His enthusiasm increased, and by May, he decided to keep the letter in that drawer and out of his every-day thoughts.

White was back and ready to coach the Bulldogs.

“I graduated here. I always wanted to come back here and coach,” White said. “I still have some coaching left in me. I want to finish my career here.”

As the season dwindled down last year, culminating in a 35-3 loss to Woodland in the second round of the Class 2A state playoffs, White was not sure if that was the case.

His energy felt sapped. He was tired all the time. He said he didn’t have chest pains, but something just did not feel right.

White went to the doctor after the season and was informed that there was blockage in his arteries that needed to be fixed. One day later, White was in the hospital having open-heart surgery.

Meanwhile, coming off a 10-2 season, just one year removed from a state championship, his players wondered whether they would have their coach back.

They got out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to go through their workouts. While the assistant coaches picked up most of the slack, there was still an air of uncertainty surrounding the program.

“We were really worried about him at one time,” senior offensive lineman Kyle Woodard said.

And when May rolled around and White had decided to come back, the team already was focused on reclaiming its 2005 state championship title.

With Addison specializing in a power football running attack, all the key ingredients are returning, especially the offensive line.

Senior Jesse Wiggins returns at center as does Kody Dickerson at guard. Woodard is a versatile offensive lineman who can play multiple positions, according to White. Collin Baugher is a junior, but at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, his size can make up for lack of experience.

Senior Andrew Privett has moved from wide receiver to running back, but according to White, running behind a veteran group of offensive linemen will help with Privett’s inexperience at tailback.

“We are just going to wear them down and wear them down,” Woodard said.

“We are always in better shape than the other teams are. We are going to run the ball and try to overpower them in the fourth quarter.”

Along with the power-style football, White’s approach for this season harkens back to the Wildcats’ 2005 season. He said that year the team didn’t think about the end result. Instead, it only cared about getting better every game.

While White may expect a lot out of his Wildcats, the players say they have a certain state of mind that is ingrained in them from the moment they put on the Addison jerseys. And it is the reason they think every year they can be successful.

“Most of their dads or granddads played here,” White said. “If you play at Addison, they expect you to be in the playoffs every year, and there is nothing wrong with that. We have the boys to do it with, and they work hard and people expect that.”

A state championship may be the goal in 2007 for Addison, but for White, he said the season is the icing on the cake.

Last winter as he lay in a drug-induced coma on a hospital bed, he could hear family members calling to him, but he could not respond. Now, with an eight-inch scar on his chest, White walks around the practice field spry and barking orders like he used to.

“I kind of feel bad because I was kind of sick last year,” White said. “I may have cheated the kids last year. I want to put everything I have into this year and do the best I can.

Addison High at a glance

  • Last year: 10-2. Lost in second round of state playoffs.

  • Head coach: Randy White 24-3 second year as school’s head coach

  • Noteworthy: After White underwent open-heart surgery in the winter, he consulted Alabama High School Athletic Association Steve Savarese, who had a similar procedure. Savarese told White to get back into coaching. ... Sophomore Jordin Rivers replaces quarterback Jake Gilliland, who graduated. White said Rivers has a strong arm and can do a good job, despite his lack of experience. ... Addison’s rematch against West Morgan comes Oct. 26. Last season, the Rebels defeated Addison 26-7, preventing the Bulldogs from having an undefeated regular season.

    Josh Cooper

    Addison High schedule, results

    2007 schedule


    8-31

    R.A. Hubbard

    9-7

    at Hatton (R)

    9-14

    at Winston County (R)

    9-21

    Cherokee (R)

    9-28

    Meek

    10-5

    at Tanner (R)

    10-12

    Phil Campbell (R)

    10-19

    at Red Bay (R)

    10-26

    West Morgan (R)

    11-2

    Lynn

    (R)-Class 2A, Region 8






    2006 results


    at R.A. Hubbard

    W, 7-6

    vs. Hatton

    W, 48-15

    vs. Winston County

    W, 64-27

    at Cherokee

    W, 42-7

    at Meek

    W, 21-6

    vs. Tanner

    W, 28-17

    at Phil Campbell

    W, 35-3

    vs. Red Bay

    W, 22-6

    at West Morgan

    L, 26-7

    at Lynn

    W, 40-21

    Playoffs


    vs. Falkville

    W, 28-15

    vs. Woodland

    L, 35-3

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