Tuscaloosa Academy likely wins AISA’s last home football game; AHSAA then passes


Tuscaloosa Academy football beat Morgan Academy 17-7 on Friday in the Knights’ final regular-season home game of the year.

It was also likely the school’s last home football game in the Alabama Independent School Association, of which TA is a long-time member.

Tuscaloosa Academy received its application for membership in the Alabama High School Athletic Association starting in the 2022-2023 school year, approved Thursday by the AHSAA Central Board of Control.

“I think we can compete,” said first-year Knights coach Josh Wright.

TA (4-4) was leading Morgan Academy 10-7 to start the second half when senior wide receiver Jack Standeffer returned the kickoff for a touchdown to give the Knights a 10-point lead.

“I thought we were playing hard, it wasn’t pretty, but it was a tough game,” said Wright.

Wright said TA saw the move to AHSAA as something that will have a practical impact.

“There are a lot more teams that are closer for us, from a proximity point of view, especially since traveling is so difficult right now,” Wright said.

Currently, there is only one football school where Tuscaloosa Academy can play within an hour’s drive, according to TA sports director Todd Bradford.

Bradford believes the move is a step forward for all of TA’s athletic programs as there will be more opportunities for the school to have other sports teams play more games.

“It’s hard to get our college games to play, it’s hard to get our JV games to play in this league. The programs that we are building for the younger kids are really important and played a big part in the decision,” said Bradford.

The Tuscaloosa Academy Board of Directors will vote next Wednesday on membership in the AHSAA.

“I’m excited for next year’s decision,” said junior wide receiver Luke Kilgore. “Definitely a little more competition. And we’ll be able to show everyone who we are.”

The Tuscaloosa Academy will visit the Monroe Academy next Friday.

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