QB battle, coaching changes highlight Georgiana offseason

Published 5:44 pm Friday, July 13, 2012

This summer will be one of new beginnings for the Georgiana Panthers, in more ways than one.

Head coach David Watts is entering his second year with the Panthers, and he’s already planning on making some big changes for his team.

“We’re going to have a new coaching staff, and that means we’ve got to introduce guys to some new ideas,” he said.

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George Kennedy will be part of that new coaching staff as a defensive coordinator, and he’ll also be teaching history at Georgiana.

In the 2011 season, Georgiana gave up 343 total points in 10 games, and finding a way to reduce that number significantly will be an area of focus for the offseason.

Watts is also considering two players, senior Devin Bonner and freshman Jacquez Payton, for the position of starting quarterback.

Despite previously being a running back for the Panthers, Bonner put up some impressive numbers in an exhibition game played earlier this spring.

Also, despite Payton’s classification as a freshman, he has some experience at the position from starting in some games last year.

“They are very talented players,” Watts said. “They’ve got some things to learn, but they’re very competitive.”

Watts said that he places a lot of importance on the summer because it allows for time to do a great deal of things at once, chief among them being lifting weights.

It’s something the team plans to work on regularly.

“We’re working out three days a week, even during the weeks 7-on-7 games are scheduled,” Watts said. “Strength and agility work are our primary concerns right now.”

Next week, field activities will become the new focus, as well as preparing for a series of 7-on-7 tournaments in McKenzie and Straughn.

The team plans to continue its workout regimen until the beginning of August, and there will be little to no rest in between.

“We give them a day off,” Watts joked.

“We gave them some time off near the beginning of the summer, so we plan to go straight from summer workouts into full practice.”