2008-08-28 / Front Page

Kickoff tomorrow!

Tigers will take on Banks Co. in season opener Friday at 7:30

The good news is - coming off last week's Jamboree with Greene County, coaches and fans are happy with the way the Tigers look as they prepare for tomorrow night's season opener against Banks County at 7:30 in Tiger Stadium. "We were pretty pleased with what we saw in the Jamboree," Tiger Head Coach Russell Morgan said after the scrimmage. "We were playing a lot more aggressively than last year, especially on the defensive line," he added but checked himself slightly

saying, "I hate to get too excited, but I was really pleased."

Morgan said he felt good about "several people up front who did a good job" and said that the mistakes the team made were typical first-of-the-year mistakes and "nothing to panic about.

The bad news is - both starting Tiger quarterbacks are currently sidelined and neither is assured of being able to play against Banks County. Regular starter Teverrius Jones missed Jamboree play with an eye infection which is still under treatment. He was expected to get a decision from the doctor on Wednesday but that information was not available in time for this printing.

Senior quarterback Ty McGill stood in for Jones against Greene County and performed admirably running the offense, completing some passes, and carrying the ball. But late in the second quarter, he suffered an injury to his right hand and had to be taken to the hospital for x-rays.

Fortunately, McGill's hand is not broken but it is severely bruised and he will not be available play quarterback this weekend. With some heavy padding, however, Morgan said he might be able to see some action in the defensive backfield.

If both Jones and McGill remain unable to play, Morgan said that Deandre Stewart has taken a few snaps and is prepared to stand in at quarterback.

The other good news is - Washington Wilkes is back in Class A in Georgia football this year and the competition should be a little more appropriate and familiar. After two years as the smallest (even below the cut) school in AA, it will be nice to compete against schools that are about the same size. However ...

The other bad news is - Region 7A, in which the Tigers will be competing initially, is one of the toughest Class A regions in the state and sitting right in the middle of it is perennial state champion Lincoln County. Warren County and Wilkinson County also figure to be formidable in 2008 and the region is rounded out by Aquinas, Georgia Military College, and Hancock Central.

But this Friday, W-W opens up with AA Banks County, a region opponent from the 2006 and 2007 seasons, who Morgan says is a lot better than they were last year. ("We're also a lot better," he added.)

Morgan reported that the Banks fans are good travellers and he's heard that they already have several chartered busses set to bring them to Tiger Stadium Friday.

"They have people excited about football and they're dressing about 80 players this year. They are still in Class AA and have a real chance to win their region this year," Morgan said.

According to Morgan, Banks has two good running backs and matches up evenly with the Tigers across the front line. He said they played a close jamboree with Johnson of Gainesville a couple of weeks ago.

There is one more kink that the Tiger must deal with this Friday. Defensive Coordinator Eddie Lovvorn will not be at the game. His son John is a new cadet at the United States Air Force Academy and this weekend is the only chance the Lovvorns will have to see him for several months. So they will be travelling to Colorado for the annual Parents' Weekend at the Academy.

Coach Robert Wheeler will be calling the defensive shots for the Tigers and Morgan expressed his confidence in Wheeler's ability to run the show. He said Wheeler and Lovvorn have worked very closely together especially for the past few weeks in preparation for Lovvorn's absence.

"I am very confident that Coach Wheeler will do a good job calling the defense," Morgan said. "I don't think it will be a problem at all."

Return to top