33 Teams in 33 Days: Faith Academy Rams

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Several gulf coast area football teams welcomed a new head coach this offseason — the list includes Faith Academy as Erik Speakman takes over the Rams program. Next up on “33 Teams in 33 Days” — we’re headed to West Mobile to check out spring practice at Faith.

Following last year’s 8-4 season, Hall of Fame head coach Jack French announced his retirement after leading Faith Academy for six years. French built the Rams into one of the toughest programs in the Mobile-area — his tenure included six straight appearances in the Class 5A playoffs, including two trips to the semifinals.

Speakman comes to Faith after a successful six-year run at Opelika, which saw four playoffs appearances and three regions titles in Class 6A. He began his coach career in Mobile as an assistant at UMS-Wright under legendary coach Terry Curtis.

”There’s been a good culture set here by Coach French and the previous staff,” Speakman said during spring practice.

The Rams return a solid group of veteran players to help in the transition to a new coach.

”Where I came from at Opelika, playing great defense and running the football is still the game of the game, and blocking and tackling,” Speakman said. “So that’s the things that we’re really focused on this spring.”

Faith Academy will open the 2024 season against Fairhope on August 30th.

2023 Record (notable wins):

  • 8-4

  • B.C. Rain 29-21

  • Vigor 21-13

  • UMS-Wright 21-13

Key Players:

  • RB – E.J. King (700 all-purpose yards, 8 touchdowns)

  • LB – Cooper Searcy (120 tackles, 12 TFL)

  • DL – Trent Sellers (10 TFL, 5 sacks)

  • DL – Leteddrick Roberts

Key Matchups:

  • vs. Fairhope (8/30)

  • vs. St. Paul’s (9/27)

  • vs. Vigor (10/11)

Who’s next:

The next installment will feature the St. Luke’s Wildcats. Follow along with WKRG’s “33 Teams in 33 Days.” Each team will be featured during the 6:30 p.m. newscast on the weekdays and during the 10 p.m. newscast on the weekend.

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