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Ready for repeat

August 16, 2003

Douglas, Ga.-- Coffee High head coach Bonwell Royal knew well before his team took the field in the first round of the playoffs last year against East Coweta that they weren't ready to play.

"I think we never could get over that Valdosta game and of course we were elated over winning the region. We just couldn't shuck it, we couldn't shake it off at all," Royal said.

This year the Trojans are not only ready to play but also to repeat as region champions. "That's what we want to do and it's just like any other coach any other football team that's preparing right now, that's what they want. All of us want to get to the dome and do big stuff," Royal added.

And if defense wins championships, then the Trojans are in good shape. Seven starters are back from a year ago, including division one prospects Adrian Grady at linebacker and defensive tackle Blake Mullis. "In this league we're in, 5-A football you gotta have some of those guys, you better have some," Royal said.

"We got a lot more leaders on the field, and not only seniors we have a lot of juniors leading and even one or two sophomores leading the team. And that's what you need is a lot of leadership on the team in order to pull off a lot of wins," senior Blake Mullis said.

Coach Royal will look to senior quarterback Matt Peavy to lead his offense this season, behind a line anchored by senior's Jamie Batten and Rahkeem Paulk. Those two are the lone holdovers from last year's team and will be called on to block for Keon Sirmans, the Trojans leading rusher from a year ago.

"He's our go to guy. He's the one that we think is going to have a great year, we're looking for him to have a great year and our guys like to block for him, tough real tough guy," Royal said.

"It feels real good to block for a guy like that. He makes the plays and we make the plays, but he makes the real big plays," senior Rhakeem Paulk said.

The Trojans hope for plenty of big plays when Ware County comes to town August 29th for the season opener.

Posted by kevin.mcdermond@walb.com