December 3, 2007
Homerville -- Playing in the Georgia Dome is a once in a lifetime experience for many high school football players in the state.
The number of kids who get that chance will shrink next year, when the Georgia High School Association moves its state championship games to the Dome, and the semifinals back to the schools.
Playing in the Dome is still special to the Clinch County Panthers, despite the fact they're in the Class A state semifinals for a seventh time in the last eight seasons.
This year's trip is especially pleasing to head coach Jim Dickerson, who made it back to Atlanta after losing twenty players from last year's team that finished state runner-up.
The young Panther squad faces one of its biggest tests under the Dome, when they have to stop number one ranked Emanuel County and their running back Washaun Ealey.
The 5-foot-11, 208-pound junior has already scored a state-record fifty touchdowns this season.
He passed the mark of 46 Buford's Darius Walker set in 2003.
Johnson County's Herschel Walker (1979) and Miller County's Charles Grant (1997) had 45.
Coach Dickerson says, "I know Ealey, I think he has got 2,400 yards rushing on the season. The other two backs are not bad in their own right. It is probably as big a challenge as our rush defense has ever had."
Clinch County plays ECI Friday at noon.
Wilcox County and Athens Academy play the first Class-A semifinal at 9am.