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Continuing a tradition

August 18, 2003

Fitzgerald,Ga.--Robby Robinson's first real taste of Fitzgerald football did not come when he stepped foot on campus this spring but rather a few years earlier when he was the defensive coordinator at Swainsboro.

"It's kind of deja-vu I guess. I just feel fortunate to be here. I did coach against them three years ago (in the state championship game) and it was a great night. I thought Fitzgerald was very impressive that night with their turnout and their spirit," Robinson said.

Robinson, who spent the last two seasons at Metter and has been to the Dome the last three, is also familiar with the Purple Hurricanes' winning tradition. "We've got one state championship, several state runner-ups, lots of region championships. So these kids know what it's about, they know how to win," Robinson added.

And those kids say the transition from coaching staff's has been a positive one. "They came in and we welcomed them and they just made us feel right at home," senior safety Jerry Taylor said.

"They let us come together as a team and we come out here and have fun. We're not prisoners, they let us fly around and all that kind of stuff," senior Kyle Bozeman said.

The biggest area of concern for Robinson is who will be taking the snaps this fall. Right now, it's between senior Trent Taylor and junior Blake Henderson, both of whom played defense last season.

"We might even go into the first couple of ball games and let two or three of them get reps just to see what they can do since they're non-region contests," Robinson said.

Junior defensive tackle Rodney Milsap, a three year starter for the 'Canes and an all-state selection as a sophomore, is the leader of the defense and one of the best Robinson has ever been associated with.

"That's where it all starts. We're going to be a five man front team, and he's going to be in the middle of it all. And it's got to start with those front five and he's the ring leader."

The Robby Robinson era in Fitzgerald kicks off August 29th against Turner County.

Posted by kevin.mcdermond@walb.com