Defending Champs Practice To Repeat
There is an old saying that there are only two seasons in Georgia: football season and 'spring football season'. Spring drills have wrapped up and this week, the GPB Sports team traveled south to visit the defending Class 6A state champion Packers of Colquitt County. The Packers have a great tradition in football. Since the program began in 1978, the team has won 276 games, lost 164 and left two with a tied score. In the trophy case sit state title trophies from 1994 and 2014. Coach Rush Propst is entering his eighth season as head coach. In seven years, Coach Propst has posted a 71-25 record, highlighted by last year’s picture perfect 15-0 season, which was climaxed by winning the school’s second state championship. And the Packers did it the old fashioned way, earning the big win through well-played football. Check out the Packers playoff run: it started out with a 62-12 win over Rockdale. In round two, the Packers beat a very talented Dacula team, 51-30. That win was followed up by beating Milton 42-35, and a red hot McEachern team 57-20. Colquitt County then capped off the undefeated season with a hard-fought and well-played 28-24 win over an Archer team that was playing its best football of the year. That was last year but, the bad news though for teams on the Packers 2015 schedule is that a lot of that talent is returning. Coach Propst not only has forty seniors coming back, but those returning athletes fill a lot of key positions like quarterback, kicker, long snapper, and roles on the offensive and defensive lines. Plus, more than six seniors are currently being recruited by SEC teams. Kevin Gerke, who is in charge of our game production operations, and myself woke up at the crack of dawn...(actually well before the crack of dawn) to make it to the Packers 5:45 AM practice. It may have been early but the team was all business, running drills, working on blocking, tackling, timing, and even special teams under the stadium lights and by the light of the moon. It was fun to watch the sun come up and hear the coach’s instructions, the pop of the pads, and the shrill of the whistle. The players are excited about the prospects of the upcoming season but realize that they cannot rest on what was accomplished last year....that 2015 is a new year with new challenges. The Packers look like they'll be ready to begin the defense of their 6A title when the season kicks off. A very challenging schedule awaits, as things kick off with a match against Coach Bob Sphire’s North Gwinnett Bulldogs on August 22nd. That game will then be followed up by a tough one against Plant City, Florida; a team consistently ranked high in the national polls. Add that to the always tough and spirited play in Region 1-6A and there's little doubt this team will be tested by playoff time. Heading into the season, the Packers will most likely be ranked No. 1 in Georgia polls and in the top five or so nationally. And on top of that, they'll have moved into a brand new 45 million dollar high school that I hear will be out of this world. I was honored to take a tour and in my view, the new school is like one of the seven wonders of the new world with four floors, huge hallways, great classrooms with video screen technology, chemistry and physics labs, a TV production studio, home economics facilities, and a media center that is second to none. So there are clearly lots of exciting things going on in Moultrie, Georgia. Stay plugged in with the GPB Sports team, as we'll be following the Packers this year on Football Fridays in Georgia.