Youth to take center stage in spring game

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 12, 2005

GEORGIANA - Sure there is a buzz about Georgiana football. The Panthers are looking to build on their playoff appearance with a proven Division I-A prospect in Zane Stackhouse at tailback.

Stackhouse could be put in a situation this Saturday during Georgiana's spring game with Greenville that he may never experience against in his football career.

Stackhouse will have to take a backseat to the new blood Keith York's football team.

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"They won't be out there any longer than they need to be," York said about returning starters like Stackhouse. "We want to see the other guys who can help us in the fall."

Although Saturday's game is billed as the Battle for Butler County, York said that his players do want to win the game.

But York doesn't seem to have the same eagerness.

For the last two weeks, York has been trying to find players who can fill the void left by graduating senior starters.

"Certainly our guys would like to win, but it is a practice game," York said. "It can only make us better. It serves as an early indicator of what we will see in the fall."

With a back that has rushed for 2,300 yards and 23 touchdowns returning, York has reason to feel confident in his rushing game. So that's why his club has spent most of the spring working on its passing game.

Since Stackhouse will no longer be a surprise to teams that face Georgiana in the fall, York expects every team this year to stack up the line to try to stop his all-star back.

That's where the focus on the passing game come in, and the brunt of Georgiana's ability to move the ball down the field will fall not rest on Stackhouse's shoulders, but the arm of the Panthers' quarterback.

Joel May would be a likely choice as the starting quarterback for Georgiana since he played in all but one game last season. But he is getting pushed by Zebbie Mitchell, Andre Paige and Kyle Nelson for the starting job.

"We will play all of ours on Saturday night," York said. "Everyone will see action. That's what spring is about. ŠTo see what they can do. We know what the (starters) can do."

In addition to the quarterback position, York said that he is looking forward to seeing how his newly constructed offensive line works.

"We need to see them play against someone else instead of their (teammates)," York said. "We've got a couple of new guys coming out have shown some promise and I want to see what they can do. And then look at some of the guys on the junior varsity moving up."

So are spring games even necessary at this point?

"It gives you a chance what your lineup will be in the fall," York said. All kids should have gone through off-season weight training and they should be more grown and better phycially. It gives you a chance to see what you can do in the fall with the kids you have coming back."