For three-year starter Hamp Sisson, football is as much about the bonds he’s built with fellow players as it the score on the board. “Those become some of your best friendships because you spend so much time with them,” he says. From third-grade rec league to the junior high to the current high school team, the Class of 2018 has always been “pretty focused and intent on winning obviously but on building a bond with each other as well,” Hamp says.

How has Mountain Brook evolved as a team during your time at the high school?

Last year I felt like it was a chip on the shoulder because we were scheduled for three teams’ homecomings, but we ended up winning all those homecomings. The two previous years we went 3-7, but we were not going to go 3-7 that year and return to the mediocrity of the last two years. We went 8-3 and made it to the playoffs, so this year we are looking to go further than the first round of the playoffs.

What happened to turn the tide in how the team played?

Last year you had a group of seniors that came together and said, “We are going to play the way Mountain Brook has always played football.” And they have set the new standard for Mountain Brook football that we are looking to carry over into this year. It’s being tough, smart, being more mentally tough than the other team, knowing your assignment and executing your assignment every single play. That was cool to see firsthand as a junior, and the goal is to carry that over into this year as a new group of seniors.

What can we look to see on the field this year?

We should have an exciting offense to watch this year. We have a lot of good play makers on our offense. That’s one thing I am looking forward to is putting a lot of points on the board and being able to score. Last year we lost to Vestavia in overtime, but it was a really good game. Obviously we are looking to win this year. You spend more than 20 hours a week with the football team during the season.

What is that team dynamic like?

In the past I have had so many seniors pour into me. I was hurt for the spring, but it was a great opportunity for me to pour back into the underclassmen like so many seniors have done for me. I get to take one our young quarterbacks to practice every single day, and that’s awesome to be able to talk to him about life and things outside football.

What else are you involved with at the high school?

The past two years I have been on the board for Relay for Life raising money for the American Cancer Society. We started a club last year, the Relay Club, and we got a lot more people involved who were interested in raising money for cancer research. This year we are making it a fundraising club. Each year we are going to pick a different organization to fundraise for.