August 12, 2003
Albany, Ga.--Dougherty head coach Cleatus Hopkins has plenty of reasons to be happy these days. Unlike last year when he had to replace virtually everyone, this year the pieces for a successful season are in place.
"Well I can smile a little bit safer now, we do have some kids returning, some skill people. We did lose a few linemen, but we've got some kids that have been working real hard. So we feel a lot better now going into the season with guys having a year of experience under their belts," coach Hopkins said.
The biggest piece to the puzzle is senior LaDante Grant. The free safety, who is considered a division one prospect, will pull double duty this season, playing running back as well.
"He's that kid that everybody looks up to and he's done a super job for us," Hopkins said. "I'm just trying to get the guys to want to win. Get in them that they can win, show them that they can win. And show them that the only way to do it is to work," Grant said.
Joining Grant in the backfield and secondary is junior fullback and linebacker Cory Davis. But while Davis and Grant provide a solid rushing attack, senior Artevius Washington and sophomore Ronnye Nelson are the keys to the Trojans passing game.
Coach Hopkins says although Washington is the starter right now, he has no hesitations about using a two quarterback system. "Both of those guys are capable, and we will not hesitate to use either at any time," Hopkins said.
Another reason for optimism in Trojan country is a revamped coaching staff that includes former Dougherty and Albany State standout Kawaskee Teemer. "I can't say enough about the coaching staff that we have, the kids working with the players. So we're really excited about the year," Hopkins said.
The year kicks off for the Trojans on August 30th against city rival Monroe.
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