Panthers invade Hazlehurst Friday

Published 5:00 am Thursday, August 30, 2001

Hazlehurst is a mystery team. Brookhaven’s Friday night opponenthas a tradition of speed at running back and wide receiver but theparticular players and their positions are unknown.

The Panthers visit Hazlehurst’ s Indians Friday night for the2001 season opener, hoping to avoid an ambush. Kickoff is 7:30.

New Brookhaven head coach Andrew Hickman said Hazlehurst has notfurnished a roster, despite several requests. The DailyLeader also requested a roster but phone calls to theHazlehurst office and attempts to contact Hazlehurst coach WillieBrown were unsuccessful.

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Hickman said scouting reports were sketchy at best. “It’s kindof hard because we don’t have a roster. They are going to havespeed in the skill positions. We have to prevent the bigplays.”

One of the top returnees for Hazlehurst is senior running backDamien Gary (5-11, 185). He runs a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash.

Sophomore quarterback Darren Eason (6-0, 180) is the topcandidate at quarterback . The Indians posted a 7-4 record lastyear. They are Region 7-3A members.

Brown is in his third year at the helm. His assistant coachesare Jerry Fletcher, Robert McDaniel and Brian Miles.

“I’m excited about the first game,” said Hickman. ” I had alittle trouble sleeping last night. I know the kids areexcited.”

Hickman said he would go with two veterans in the backfieldFriday night. They are junior fullback Josh Anderson (6-0, 195) andsenior tailback Cornelius Allen (5-10, 180) who both started lastyear. The quarterback is multi talented senior Billy Williams (6-3,200). Williams was a receiver last year but showed plenty ofpotential as a passer and runner in the spring.

The starting flanker is Nick Downs (6-0, 195, jr.) At tight endis Phillip Tobias (6-5, 255, soph.) At wide receiver is MauriceParker (5-10, 145, jr.).

In the offensive line, the strong tackle is Daniel Walker ((6-2,275, jr.) and strong guard is Kern Hoff (6-0, 245, sr.). The centeris Kenneth Fairman (5-11, 300, soph.). The quick guard is JessieBowman (6-1, 305, fr.) and the quick tackle is Rayshone Autman(6-6, 260, sr.).

Asked about the kicking game, Hickman said Williams will be thepunter. Justin Windham ((6-3, 165, sr.) will handle kickoffs.Daniel Gates (5-9, 150, sr.) will kick extra points. Windham alsowill handle long field goals.

Jules Pitts is Brookhaven’s new defensive coordinator. Astarting defensive unit was not available at press time.

Panther Paws: Brookhaven hasn’t played Hazlehurst invarsity football since the 1992 season when the Panthers posted a40-8 victory on King Field, en route to an 8-2 season under formerhead coach Don Coleman.