Coach sells the Panthers on winning
By Matt Middleton | Staff Writer
Thursday, October 29, 2009

If Lakeside needs a reminder anything can happen on the football field, all it has to do is peer into its past.

Third-year coach Jody Grooms said one of his biggest challenges when he arrived at the school was convincing the team it could win. Lakeside, which absorbed six consecutive losing seasons before going 7-3 last year, is on the other side of that equation this year. It closes the regular season with Josey (1-7) and Butler (0-8) and needs to win twice if it expects to win the region.

"That's what we had to sell them on when we came here: you can win," Grooms said. "Anything can happen in high school football. They've bought into that, so they understand, too, that they can also lose on any night as well."

Lakeside (7-1) will set a school record for wins if it finishes 9-1. The Panthers, who have played football since 1988, won eight games in 1993 and 1994 under Steve Crislip , according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.

SPARTAN SHINES: Glenn Hills sophomore Germaine Tait rushed for 137 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 42-0 win over Josey.

Tait could be a prospect to watch the next few years. He has a team-best 494 yards on just 58 attempts this season.

"It's been the last four or five weeks where he's really taken over as our guy," Spartans offensive coordinator Billy Wehunt said.

PLAYOFF NOTE: Richmond Academy has not yet officially clinched the region's final playoff berth. The Musketeers will be playoff-bound with their next win or the next loss by Cross Creek.

Both teams finish the season playing region co-leaders Hephzibah and Evans.

THIS AND THAT: Lakeside went 7-3 last year and missed the playoffs, and Richmond Academy will likely go 5-5 this season and make the playoffs as the region's fourth seed. ... Lakeside had three players last week throw for at least 50 yards in a win over Westside. ... Quarterbacks Terry Robinson (Hephzibah) and Bryson Crouch (Cross Creek) both threw for 168 yards last week. The two teams meet next week in a regular-season finale.

From the Thursday, October 29, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle


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