Northside Coach Chris Hilliker: “I Feel Like We Can Take That Next Step.”
After a somewhat tumultuous offseason following a tough loss at the hands of the Etowah Blue Devils and the pondered retirement of head coach Chris Hilliker, the Northside Rams are eager to start the 2021 season. At a 2021 media day event, hosted by Tuscaloosa County High School's CATS-TV program, many coaches and players from the Tuscaloosa area took the stage to answer questions about the upcoming season, including Northside.
When asked about his retirement stint, coach Hilliker said, "Well, the plan definitely was to go on and play some golf, but I just feel like we have more we can accomplish. This is a good group. We've got 14 seniors this year and a big junior class and I just feel like we can take that next step."
Entering his ninth season as the Rams head coach, Hilliker is coming off a season where his team finished 10-3 (5-1) and was bounced in the third round of the playoffs. Although last season was successful, the veteran head coach wants more for his team, saying, again, "We want to take that next step this season. We've made the quarterfinals the last two years and want to take the next step."
Alongside coach Hilliker, were two senior offensive linemen: Landon Harless and Jordan Rodgers. Both shared some insight on what it means to them to go into their senior years.
Rodgers elaborated on what his role as a senior member of the program was, saying, "Be an example for the younger kids under you, you have to be a leader."
Echoing a similar sentiment to his fellow lineman, Harless said, "When you're a senior everyone looks up to you, so you have to be able to set that example."
The Northside Rams kick off its 2021 season on August 19 against the Berry High School Wildcats and hope to open their season with a win over their rival.