Binion working to turn Panthers into winners

Published 9:05 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

Georgiana senior Keon Binion’s football helmet might as well be a hard hat.

That’s because when the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder buckles his chinstrap it’s time to go to work.

“If you want to do good in the games you have to work hard in practice,” Binion said. “You’ve got to come to work.”

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It’s that attitude that’s turned Binion into a three-year starter for the Panthers.

“Keon isn’t a big talker, but he leads by example,” Georgiana first-year head coach David Watts said. “He puts in the effort to get better every single day. He sets an example for everyone on the team.”

Binion hopes that example will help spearhead a turnaround for a Georgiana program that earned just one win a season ago and endured a midseason coaching change.

“I don’t want to have another year like we had last year,” he said. “We’re trying to forget about that and just focus on getting better. We want to show people that we’re a good team. We’re looking at making the playoffs.”

Binion’s play will be key in the Panthers’ making a run at the postseason.

“Keon is going to be a big part of what we do,” Watts said. “He’s the kind of player that can take over a game. I tell our lineman all the time that they don’t have to get a big push off the ball. If they can put a hat on a hat we’re in good shape because most of the time Keon can do the rest.”

And Binion isn’t the kind of running back that shies away from contact.

“I love it,” Binion said with a smile. “I love to hit people. I’m a physical player. I’m not afraid to hit or get hit. I just go hard and try and make things happen for my team.”

Binion and the Panthers will hit the field for a preseason game Friday at 7 p.m. when they host Essex High School. Georgiana will open the regular season Aug. 26 at home against Class 3A Luverne.

That game is also scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.