Stackhouse becoming household name among college coaches

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Georgiana is certainly finding a place on the map for college football coaches around the state this spring.

The Panthers are already a week into spring drills and returning tailback Zane Stackhouse has garnered personal visits from assistant coaches from the University of Alabama, UAB, Alabama State and Samford.

"Yea, they are starting to come around now," Georgiana coach Keith York said.

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Stackhouse was runner-up for the Class 2A back of the year after rushing for 2,300 yards and 23 touchdowns.

"It's evident with his skills and ability Š he knows what he is capable of doing," York said. "Everyone knows what he did (last year). The key is to keep pushing him, and he needs to push himself."

There is no question that Stackhouse will anchor York's backfield, but the competition for a starting quarterback is heating up. Joel May, who played all but the 10th game of the season because of a knee injury, is pushing for the job. But he is getting pushed by Zebbie Mitchell, Andre Paige and Kyle Nelson.

"We've also seen some folks step up and start to fill out some of these position along the offensive line and cornerback." York added. "ŠOther than that, we are working on blocking and tackling. We are working on fundamentals and techniques to win football games. Those little things will make the difference."

While Greenville coach Alvin Briggs said he was hesitant to do much 11-on-11 or 7-on-7 drills for the fear of injury, Georgiana spends most practice sessions scrimmaging 10-15 minutes.

York said the offseason weight program will pay dividends down the line when it comes to injuries. Still a couple Panthers were hobbled by minor injuries on Monday.

"With all sports, there is some risk of injury," York said.

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Eagles coach James Sampley also is looking to find a new starting quarterback to run his new spread offense, but he didn't have a single candidate on the field for the first day of practice on Monday.

One possible starter, Davis Watts, is still recuperating from shoulder surgery and may not be allowed to play at the quarterback spot, Sampley said.

His two other candidates may not make their spring training debut until next week. Brady Newton and Casey Weston play on the baseball team, which is host to the first round of the AISA playoffs.

"We'll be working in shorts until Thursday, and then we'll put on the pads with or without a quarterback," Sampley said.

For now, a running back has been taking the snaps at quarterback at least until Newton and Weston join the team.

Practice goes on though.

"We had 24 out on Monday, so it's not like we can't practice," the Eagles' coach said.