Our three local high school football teams have been preparing during the summer months and now it is time for East Gadsden, West Gadsden and Robert F. Munroe to strap up and hit the field.
Last year East Gadsden had the most success of all three schools, clinching their district and making it deep into the playoffs. This season first-year head coach Tracy Laing along with his new staff has plans to deliver another winning season for the Jaguars. Laing said that he is “very hopeful, we have one of the toughest schedules in the district; hopefully we can clinch the district and get to the playoffs.”
The Jaguars leader said the team’s ultimate goal will be to play in the 4A championship game, which will be at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando in early December. The team’s motto for the season will be “play like a Jag.” Laing also said Jaguar fans can look forward to seeing an aggressive style of play on both offense and defense.
The Panthers of West Gadsden will also be entering this season under new leadership as Joey Striplin has taken over for the departed Antonio Bradwell. Striplin has more than 23 years of coaching experience, including stops at Rutherford High in Panama City and East Gadsden. Striplin has assembled a new coaching staff and said that they will be attempting to “change the mindset of last year’s team,” which was unable to produce a win. He mentioned that the team “has had a good two week s of two-a-days.”
The Panther’s coach said he “looks forward to being successful in district games.” He also has goals of making the playoffs and getting to Orlando for the state game. Coach Striplin offered a positive message to the fans: He said they can look forward to “lots of excitement, a lot of no-huddle offense and heavy blitzing on defense — like basketball on grass.” As the Panthers prowl into the 2013 football season with their hopes set on turning things around, the team motto will simply be “commitment.”
The Robert F. Munroe Bobcats will also look to improve upon last year, as they produced a record of just 1-9. Entering into his second year as the Bobcat’s head coach, Danny Hood said his team is “a year older, and a year smarter.” His primary goal for his team is to “at least be 500 hundred this year.” Hood’s ultimate goal for his team is to play in the championship game.
The team will be dedicating this season to Josh Wilder, who was killed in an automobile accident this summer. Wilder would have been a freshman this year. Coach Hood described him as a “hard worker.” In honor of Wilder, every week the player who displays the best work ethic will get to wear Wilder’s jersey (No. 9) for that week’s game, as opposed to retiring the number.
All of our local high schools are working hard and striving to have better seasons than they did last year, so let’s show them our support by coming out and cheering them on!
EAST GADSDEN HIGH SCHOOL
LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 8-3.
COACH: Tracy Laing, first-year head coach.
DISTRICT: Class 4A District 1 (Florida High, Godby, Marianna, Walton (Defuniak Springs).
KEY RETURNERS: Jaleel Reynolds.
KEY LOSSES: Samuel Richardson, Treveze Robinson, Janorris Cunningham (all graduated).
WEST GADSDEN HIGH SCHOOL
LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 0-10.
COACH: Joey Striplin, first-year head coach.
DISTRICT: 1A District 4 (Blountstown, Franklin County, Liberty County, Port St. Joe).
KEY RETURNERS: Marquis Brown, senior WR/DB; Ronald Pinkney, senior OL/LB.
KEY LOSSES: Teron Fitzgerald (graduated).
ROBERT F. MUNROE DAY SCHOOL
LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 1-9.
COACH: Danny Hood, second-year head coach.
KEY RETURNERS:Bo Bailey, junior; Miles Edwards, senior; Shean Newton, junior OLB/OG; Cole Skipper, sophomore, WR/Kick Returner/CB.
KEY ADDITIONS: Jalyn Lewis, Senior Athlete
KEY LOSSES: J.D. Jones, Zack Helms, Jordan Curry (all graduated)
WEST GADSDEN JAGUARS ROSTER
No. 2: Deonte Jackson, senior, WR/DB
No. 4: Quanterriuos Knight, sophomore, QB
No. 8: Marquiz Brown, senior, WR/DB
No. 9: Freddie Andrews, junior, TE/OLB
No. 11: Octaviuos Evans, sophomore, WR
No.7: Derek Washington, junior, ILB
No. 12: Antonio Murphy, junior, WR/DB
No. 10: Isreal Grande, senior, K
No. 3: Tremayne Rumph, junior, DB
No. 34: Ray Alexander, seophomore, DB
No. 42: Demorye Edwards, junior, FB/LB
No. 44: Quanteriuos Winbush, sophomore, RB
No. 48: Maurice Colson, sophomore, WR
No. 56: Ronald Pinkney, senior, OL/LB
No. 5: Robert Fordon, sophomore, OL/DL
No. 51: Corey Dixon, senior, C/LB
No. 55: Edward Johnson, sophomore, OL/LB
No. 66: Karius McMillan, junior, OL/DL
No. 68: Anthony Mathews, senior, OL
No. 76: Marquis Gunn, freshman, OL
No. 78: Savonte Jameson, junior, OL/DL
No. 89: Randall Jones, freshman, TE/DE
No. 25: Dentarius Yon, freshman, QB
No. 52: Josh Lloyd, junior, OL/DL
No. 34: Miguel Davis, senior, RB/DB
No. 10: Praziyo Mathews, sophomore, RB/LB
No. 44: Dakelvis Gee, senior, TE/DE
No. 21: Trevor Andrews, freshman, DE
No. 23: Richard Mathis, freshman, LB/RB
Head Coach: Joe Striplin
Assistant Coach: Stan Nealy
Assistant Coach: Mike Pratt
Assistant Coach: Greg Johnson
Assistant Coach: Rodney Lewis