2006-08-31 / Front Page

Red Devils face McCormick in season opener Friday

The LCHS Red Devils will face McCormick County in its season opener set for Friday, September 1, beginning at 8 p.m. at Buddy Bufford Field. Pictured are linemen Daniel Morris (l), Logan Rhodes (c), and Robert Biles. Admission to the game is $6. The LCHS Red Devils will face McCormick County in its season opener set for Friday, September 1, beginning at 8 p.m. at Buddy Bufford Field. Pictured are linemen Daniel Morris (l), Logan Rhodes (c), and Robert Biles. Admission to the game is $6. "Everybody's already thinking we have a great football team because we're returning so many players in the skilled positions," said Larry Campbell, head football coach at LCHS. "The truth of it is we've got to have some linemen - we need players who can come through on both sides of the football. If this falls into place, we could develop into a good football team by mid-season."

With 14 seniors returning, the Red Devils have a nucleus of experienced players, especially at the skilled positions and in the secondary. The offensive and defensive lines are not so lucky.

"Our biggest weaknesses are our offensive and defensive lines, where we have the least number of returning starters," said Coach Campbell.

"We lost players like Chase McGill, Trey Morris, Jonathan Norman, Deron Lee, and fullback and defensive end Shawntavius Jennings. These will be the hardest spots for us to fill."

Another problem for the Red Devils is the gaping hole left by defensive captain and three-year starter Kiece Crite who was recently hospitalized with a ruptured appendix.

"Although Kiece is out of the hospital, he has a long road to travel," Campbell stated. "It's going to take a lot of time, work, and patience. Football isn't even in the picture right now - we're just praying that Kiece will get better as quickly as he can. We will really miss his leadership."

Logan Rhodes and Daniel Morris will fill in for Crite.

The coach went on to note that sophomore Larry Reeb is also out, recovering from meningitis.

To sum it up, Coach Campbell said the offensive and defensive lines are works in progress. "Although we've lost Kiece for most if not all of the season, things still look pretty good on the defensive side with players like Tony Wells and Ronell Ferguson. However, we're really struggling to come up with the correct combination on the offensive side. Right now, we have Garrett Matthews at center and Daniel Morris and Brian Sparks playing guard."

Senior Brandon Barden will again lead the offense as starting quarterback with junior Austin Goldman serving as back-up.

"Austin will see quite a bit of playing time this season," according to Coach Campbell. "We plan to move Brandon around quite a bit."

In other comments, the coach addressed the team's kicking game. "We are behind in our kicking game - it kind of got slighted. The Georgia High School Association wouldn't allow us to get into full pads until the first day of school. It's been rush, rush, rush. We had no two-a-days and no camp. We just haven't had enough time to work on our kicking game, but as the season progresses, I think it will be really good."

Coach Campbell further reported that the team's work ethic is "super." "I was worried about these guys when they were in about the ninth grade, but they grew up last year. The senior leadership has been superb so far."

This fall, LCHS will stray off the beaten path a little and play teams such as Wilkinson County, Twiggs County, and Monticello during the regular season because the region was reorganized.

The Red Devils' season opener will take place Friday, September 1, beginning at 8 p.m. at Buddy Bufford Field when Our Boys meet the McCormick High School Panthers. LCHS will play the Class AAA Harlem Bulldogs on September 8, followed by Washington-Wilkes on September 15.

"Washington-Wilkes will really give people in Class AA fits," Campbell stated. "They got their entire backfield back."

As for the Red Devils' scrimmage against Greene County on Friday, August 25, the coach said the team played well, especially during the first quarter. "The most important thing is that nobody was hurt. You have to stay injury-free to win it all like we were fortunate enough to do last year."

Admission to all regular season games $6, as set by Region 7-A.

In additional items of information, Coach Campbell announced that the next meeting of the Lincoln County Booster Club will be held Tuesday, September 5, at 7:30 p.m. instead of Monday (Labor Day) at the Thomas Bunch Fieldhouse.

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