What felt like an inevitable return to the Georgia Dome resulted in a shocking semifinals loss for the defending state champions.
Clinch County fell flat, losing by 16 points to McIntosh County Academy, the team that they had previously beaten by 25 points.
“It is hard to beat a good team twice in the same year,” said head coach Jim Dickerson. “We learned not to take anybody lightly, no matter when it is. Whether you already beat a team earlier in the year or it is a team you feel like you should beat, always prepare. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
The Panthers will welcome the rematch with McIntosh in the second game of the season, but their aspirations rest far beyond that game, and even football itself.
“What we are really preaching is good character,” Dickerson said. “Whether we win or whether we lose, we want to make kids to be appreciative, to not feel entitled, be class acts, and along the way play some good football.”
The brand of football played by the Panthers will undoubtedly continue to be physical, disciplined, and highly competitive. Despite losing their entire secondary, inside of the defensive box will be as strong as ever, led by John Mincey (DE) Trezman Marshall (LB). Charles McClelland (QB) will spearhead the offensive attack behind the likes of Langston Hendrix (OL).
Dickerson, however, continues to preach character over all else.
“If we build good habits, prepare on and off the field, and be good ambassadors for Clinch County, the wins will come,” he said.
In the Game Magazine / South Georgia / August – September 2017
Clinch County Panthers
High Profile Players Lead the Panthers Toward Single-A Redemption
Written by Cole Parker
Photos by Wenda G Bailey Photography