October 18, 2006
With high school football teams getting to the meat of their schedule, region championships can be all but decided for some teams this week.
Hawkinsville has the tradition in Region 2A West.
Turner County head coach Eric Soliday says, "They're not just a good football team, they're a great program. They've got a lot of tradition, and that's what we're trying to build here."
The Rebels have matched the Red Devils so far this season.
Each team has just one loss on the year, and are perfect in the region.
Senior wide receiver Dontavia Smith says, "We still have a lot of nay-sayers, but hopefully we've surpassed the expectations of coach Soliday. That's all we're worried about."
Soliday says, "We wanted to try and get this thing turned around to where our expectations were to win every week. I think our kids expect to win every time we go out."
Turner County hosts Hawkinsville with first place on the line Friday night.
"It's always fun to have this kind of atmosphere," says Soliday, "be in a big game like this, and see how the kids respond. We're definitely looking forward to this."
Elsewhere, Seminole County will host Clinch County on Friday.
The Indians are in first place at 4-0 in Region 1A, with Clinch right behind them.
Seminole County hasn't given up a point in the last three games, and head coach Alan Ingram says his team has no fear.
"Last year we played them and I think we had a few holdover seniors that were a little intimidated by them," says Ingram. "These kids here are very professional about all the games we've played so far this year."
Six-and-oh Fitzgerald has been turning some heads its first year in Region 1-AA.
Senior linebacker Brent Gordon says, "We're new to the region, and everyone was expecting us to be not as good as the other teams. We're kind of proving a point to them."
Head coach Robby Pruitt adds, "It's been a good year, but the next four weeks will tell how good it's really been."
The Hurricanes begin their tough four game stretch at home Friday against Early County.
"Early County is awful good," says Pruitt. "They've got a lot of athleticism, and a great quarterback, a very good defense, and they're very well coached."
Senior Defensive back Corey Taylor says, "All we hear about them is how good they are. The have one loss, but it doesn't mean anything, because it was in the beginning of the season."
The Canes know the importance of Friday's match-up.
"This is one of the big games coming up," says Gordon. "It's pretty much going to decide the region."