Local gridiron stars shine elsewhere - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Local gridiron stars shine elsewhere

September 19, 2002

When Americus head coach Erik Soliday had to say goodbye to all-state wide out John Harris last year, Northwest Mississippi Community College head coach Bobby Franklin became a very lucky man. Harris is off to an amazing start for the Rangers. In just two games he has 14 receptions for 199 yards and four touchdowns. And by the way Soliday seems to be doing just fine without Harris as the Panthers are off to a 2 and 0 start.

Another South Georgia star that knows all about the community college route, is the former Monroe High Tornado, Deion Branch. Branch went to Jones County Community College, which is also in Mississippi, and now is making an early bid for rookie of the year honors with the New England Patriots. Through two games Deion has nine catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns.

Of course after community college Branch went on to star at the University of Louisville, where former Westover basketball standout Greg Tinch has not only taken Branch's place but also his number. The new role seems to be paying off too, Tinch has eight receptions for the Cardinals tallying just over 100 yards, and Saturday benefited from being in the right place at the right time.

Speaking of which, Tinch's teammate Montavious Stanley, a product of Dougherty High, was also "Johnny on the spot" Saturday. Stanley returned a fumble recovery 56 yards against Colorado State, one more yard and he too would have a touchdown next to his name.

Finally, on a team that many think will be playing for the national championship in January is another Westover grad, Antwone Savage. Savage scored on the second play from scrimmage Saturday on a 56 yard pass, which just so happened to be thrown by another South Georgia product, Hazelhurst's Nate Hybl.

Posted at 1:45AM by kevin.mcdermond@walb.com