August 26, 2006
Americus -- Having played at Americus High, Mark Wilson knows all about the tradition of high school football in Americus.
Now two years after his alma mater merged with Sumter County, Wilson has been charged with the task of restoring the Panthers back to their winning ways.
Though he was more known for his prowess on the baseball diamond as a student at Americus High School, Mark Wilson has found his way back to his hometown and found the name of his school has changed.
Wilson says,"It has been real good to get back home. The kids are working real hard for us. The community is excited."
The community is hoping the native son can turn the recently merged city-county schools into the type of teams Americus High had five years ago when the Panthers won back to back state titles.
While the players are striving for A's in the classroom, Wilson is emphasizing c's on the field.
Wilson says, "We are just going to preach the three c's- class, character and commitment."
The Panthers will be committed this season getting the football to some very talented skill players like all-state tight end Larry Woodard and wide receiver Antwon Cutts.
"We have got to get the ball into their hands," says Wilson.
Americus-Sumter's new coach also brings his son Matt Wilson who plays quarterback and is battling Cutts and Nick Walker for the starting job.
On defense, Mark Wilson has brought back coach Doug Parrish.
Wilson says, "He was here in the good old days of Americus High School and he has done a great job. He has got them flying around and getting after it."
Americus-Sumter will open the season on the road at Forest Park on September 2nd.