Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Augusta, GA--It has been a magical season for the Aquinas football team. Undefeated and now a shot at the biggest prize, a state title. It's off to the Georgia Dome for a Friday matchup against Calvary Day.
Being good this year wasn't neccessarly a surprise, being 13 and 0 and playing for a title, yeah, maybe so. But things gelled quickly under coach James Leonard. While Ruben Garnett has garned a lot of attention with his 1000 plus yards of rushing and 20 touchdowns, this team is probably the most versitle they've ever been. John Morris and Taz Lindsey have taken some of the heat off Garnett when needed and sophomore quarterback Liam Welch plays like a veteran. Put it all together and you get this, a team battling for the title.
"I believe this is probably the physically and mentally the strongest team we've ever had" said James Leonard "These guys have played in some very, very close games in some tough conditions this year and they've come out on top 13 times so far"
"Coach Leonard has done a really good job of just preparing us" said John Morris " He's brought a new intensity to the practice and the whole team and has done a great job and it's not about just one person, it's not about just Ruben (Garnett), the whole team has done a great job of working together"
Some credit also has to go to some of the talent pool developing at the lower levels. Since St. Mary on the Hill added middle school football two years ago, it gave a lot of the Irish players a jump start on their high school playing days.
"Bryson Trulock brought Denny Dotson in, my offensive coordinator in, and he worked with me a little bit my eighth grade year so that helped me some" said Liam Welch
"Having a former player and a former coach who coached here, both coaching over there, they've done a great job" said coach Leonard "Guys are coming up here, knowing the offense and defense a little bit, they're knowing the basics of football so when they get here and roll into spring practice, they know what to do"
Now it's the culmination of all the work on one afternoon when they square off with another first timer in the state title game Calvary Day. It's a 2:30 kick in the dome so call in sick if you're headed that way.