Three former state champions and a rookie are now region rivals - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Three former state champions and a rookie are now region rivals

August 18, 2004

Undated - Crisp Academy coach Mike Roobin sadly waved goodbye to five senior football players who won two GISA Class-A state titles and a state runner-up finish during their careers.

The cupboard though is far from bare for the Wildcats who return six starters on both sides of the the football including three offensive linemen.

 Matt Jolley moves to the quarterback position where he will be handing off to backs A.C. Whelchel and Donnie Smith.

But coach Roobin says while there is plenty of experience on his team, there is also plenty of youth.

Head coach Mike Roobin said "They have had some good years on the J.V. but it is a different level at the varsity level and they have really got some hard work ahead of them but I feel like hopefully every ball game they will progress and get better."

After losing to Crisp Academy in the Class-A state championship game two years ago, Terrell Academy endured a very tough rebuilding season last year.

The good news is that the Eagles return most of that squad with eight starters returning on offense and defense.

That includes quarterback Jeremy Sapp and backs George Moody and Corey Faust.

Head coach Trey Haynes knows the Eagles will be better but wins will be hard to come by against a very demanding schedule.

Coach Haynes said "I think we are going to be much improved but how that plays out in wins and losses is going to be hard to say until we get into the seasaon."

After winning back to back state titles in AA in 2000 and 2001, Westwood moves down to Class A with ten starters back on both the offensive and defensive units.

Among those returners include quarterback Jamey Shirah and running back Joseph Gaines on offense and linebacker Brandon Sampson and defensive end Ross Atkinson.

Even with all of that experience, head coach Charlie Greene is not expecting life to be any easier in Class A

Charlie Greene said "You know we got alot of on the job training last year but we are still young. A majority of our players this year are still sophomores and juniors."

Randolph-Southern hopes it won't be long until they have established the kind of  winning tradition as the other teams in their region.

Needless to say the Patriots have no starters returning in their first ever varsity season but playing a junior varsity schedule last year allowed Randolph-Southern to build a solid foundation of talent in linemen Jake Newsome and Brandon Pate and receiver Josh Callaway.

The first year Patriots have had no problem putting a schedule together since all of their opponents believe Randolph-Southern will be a certain win for them.

Randolph Southern head coach Todd West is optimistic that the Patriots can record at least one win in their first season.

Coach West said "We are playing some pretty good teams this year especially late in the season and we will probably take some lumps there but I think we can probable be competitive game in and game out. "

Randolph-Southern's first game is Friday night at Valwood and their first home game is a week later against Mount Pigsah.

posted at 11:40pm by roberth@walb.com