School Spotlight: Sylvania Rams (Sylvania, AL)

Sylvania School is a K-12 public school located in Sylvania, Alabama. Sylvania’s athletics nickname is the Rams and their school colors are green and gold. Sylvania participates in the 3A class of the AHSAA. Coach Paul Benefield was the most notable coach from Sylvania, leading the team to their only semifinals before current head coach Tyler Vann arrived. Sylvania made it to the 3A semifinals for the second time ever this past season. 

Sylvania has had some really good teams with Coach Benefield. He was the Coach from 1992-1996 going 45-11 in his tenure here. More recently, previous head coach Matt Putnam led Sylvania to a regional championship in 2016. Coach Tyler Vann took over the Sylvania program in 2021. Next year will only be Coach Vann’s 4th year as a head coach. He was an assistant under Coach Don Jacobs at Scottsboro, eventually moving on to Buckhorn and Arab respectively. Woodville High was Coach Vann’s very first head coaching gig. In his first year as Head Coach, the team made school history with their record and it was also their first time ever making the playoffs. Through his success at Woodville, Coach Vann was offered the Head job at Sylvania. 

Sylvania went 8-3 in Coach Vann’s very first year. This very past year, Sylvania went 10-4, losing to Piedmont again, this time in the semifinals. 

Coach Vann is confident in his team for next year. The team does a lot of things well like showing up to practice and playing their hearts out. Coach Vann emphasizes doing the little things right and trying to show his team that nobody will just roll over and let you beat them. Looking forward, Sylvania lost 4 seniors that will be replaced by 12 seniors next year. Lastly, staying healthy is key to them being successful after having to overcome the injury bug last year. 

Coach Vann spoke with me about guys he expects to lead the team next year.

#51 Ashdon Cooley is a 5’10” 210 lb class of 2024 Defensive End and Offensive Guard. Ashdon was 1st team All-State last year and worked really hard this offseason. He put on a lot of weight this offseason after being hurt last year. 

#21 Leo Kirby is a class of 2024 Linebacker. Leo was an All-Region player who reads plays well and is quick to the ball. 

#5 Zack Anderson is a Strong Safety, Slot Receiver, and Running Back. Zack is a hard-nose kid who loves football. He was injured last year and put on weight this offseason. He is one of the best tacklers on the team and has good speed. 

#2 Aiden Parham is a class of 2025 Running Back and Outside Linebacker. He backed up Blake Thomas last year. Aiden is a patient runner and runs low to the ground so it is hard to tackle him. He is very quick and shifty and speedy in open space. 

#9 Jaxon Smith is a Quarterback and Cornerback. He is expected to be that starting quarterback next year and will be competing for spot after leading Sylvania to semis last year. He throws very well and works on improving his arm strength consistently.

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