August 11, 2005
Valdosta - After a slow start, the Valdosta High Wildcats had another strong finish and made deep playoff run in the second season under head coach Rick Darlington.
The Cats are still young in some areas but the goal at Valdosta is always a state championship.
In what was supposed to have been a rebuilding year at Valdosta High ended with a trip to the AAAAA quarterfinals.
A great learning experience for what was a young offensive team.
Rick Darlington said "We have got a lot back on offense. On defense, we have got some young guys and they don't have the experience but they got some talent and some hunger."
The Cats went with true freshman Michael Turner at quarterback but this year Turner is being pushed by Alfie Johnson who was the starting quarterback on the ninth grade team last season.
The Cats lost both running backs from last year but Rick Darlington believes players like Demetrius James, Travares Sanders and Marcus McNair are ready to step up.
Darlington said "We don't have a lot of numbers there but I think all the guys that are running backs have got the ability to play on Friday night and get in the game and help us."
The Cats expect to be strong on the line but the backfield will be young and untested.
"We got some guys again some inexperience there but I think they will be ready to go come the season."
And it is a season where Valdosta will once again face another formidable schedule in and out of the region. A schedule that Cats hope will have the prepare for another extended playoff run.
Darlington said "I think the talent is there and they are dependable group so I think we might have a chance to be a good team this year."
Valdosta opens the season next week at home against Shiloh.