Georgiana looks for leadership among youth

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The road to improvement has been filled with ups and downs for the Georgiana Panthers in recent years.

And though last season’s 4-6 record wasn’t the outcome that Georgiana head coach Ezell Powell wanted, it’s still an initial step in the right direction.

The past two weeks of spring training have been grueling for a handful of newcomers to the team, but Powell insists that it’s important that the next steps taken on the path to greatness be taken by returners and rookies alike.

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“We’re just trying to make sure that we’re moving at a pace that we don’t leave our younger guys behind and they don’t pick up anything out of the spring,” Powell said.

“We’re still young, so even some of those young guys will be called upon in certain roles this season.”

Powell said that his team is a further ahead than last year’s team in that regard.

But one common trait shared between this year’s and last year’s team is that both are packed with young talent.

The Panthers lost three senior leaders in Matthew Colvin, Deontay Rich and Latrell Seals.

Powell said that the former two were instrumental in keeping morale high off the field, as injuries prevented them from seeing as much playing time as they would’ve liked.

And the latter, Seals, is a presence that will be sorely missed.

“He ended up being our offensive player of the year,” Powell added.

“He was durable and he stayed healthy, and he ran for almost 900 yards.  He did a lot of great things for us on both sides of the ball, so he’s going to be one that we’re going to try to replace going into the spring.”

To that end, the Panthers are juggling between three options in returning Cameron Longmire (who will be a ninth grader in the fall), Derrick Johnson (who will be a tenth grader) and Greenville High School transfer Quentarius Hawkins.

Though all of the kinks haven’t been worked out quite yet in the Panthers offense, an impending jamboree on Friday means that time is no longer a luxury.

The Panthers will be facing off against Hillcrest, Evergreen and Pleasant Home each for one half.

The jamboree is slated for 5 p.m. at Georgiana.