FC Bulldogs entertain Loyd Star

Published 8:42 pm Thursday, August 19, 2010

MEADVILLE – The element of surprise could be a factor Fridaynight when the Franklin County Bulldogs host the Loyd Star Hornetsin the 2010 season opener. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. in Louie MullinsMemorial Stadium.

Both head coaches, Randall Huffman of Loyd Star and Rickey O’Quinnof Franklin County, are new to the top job. O’Quinn had been anassistant under former head coach Trent Hammond who left for Amorylast January. Huffman spent 10 years as head coach at South Pikebefore moving to Loyd Star.

“Franklin County graduated so many people,” said Huffman. “We sawthem scrimmage in the spring. They have a lot of new faces in thelineup. They are big up front.”

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Hard to miss is Franklin County tackle DeMeachary Hickingbottom, a6-foot-5, 340-pound college prospect. Preston Shelton (6-4, 270) isanother senior standout lineman for the Bulldogs.

Expected to carry much of the Franklin County offense isquarterback Milton Griffin (5-10, 175), a speedster withlightning-quick moves and 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash.

Rain has plagued area football teams the last two weeks, hinderingprogress in preseason practice. Huffman said a rain-soaked fieldcould change the complexion of the game.

“All this rain might make a team turn to a wet-weather offense,”Huffman pointed out. “You have to adjust and go from there. Youjust have to play the game.”

O’Quinn, a 2000 FCHS graduate, said he is anxious to get the seasonunder way. “I’m excited about it. Our kids are ready to hitsomebody besides themselves.”

The Bulldogs are coming off a 10-4 campaign that saw them losetheir first two games of the season before launching a victorystreak. Hit hard by graduation, the Bulldogs are in a majorrebuilding mode.

“Our kids are pumped up and ready to get out there and provethemselves,” said O’Quinn. “We are ranked near the bottom of thedistrict.”

O’Quinn said he was encouraged by the large turnout for lastFriday’s Meet The Bulldogs event. Fifty-eight players wereintroduced.

Asked about a starting lineup, O’Quinn said the following playerswould be leading off against Loyd Star. On offense in thebackfield, Griffin at quarterback, James Green at running back,Billy Norman at fullback. In the line are Shelton at tight end,Hickingbottom at right tackle, Luther Bowlin at right guard, TreyHannon at center, Carl Jackson at left guard and Spencer Touchstoneat left tackle.

The wide receivers are Calvin Robinson and Fred Coleman.

“We aren’t real set on defense,” said O’Quinn.

Starting on defense are Shawn White at nose guard, Jimmy Barnes atright end, Germany Washington at left end, Jalen Washington andClarence O’Quinn at outside linebacker Jeremy Hunt and JaredNickelson at middle linebacker, Griffin at left cornerback and PaulWilliams at right cornerback, James Green at strong safety andBilly Norman at free safety .

Working as placekicker is Coleman Graves. Dillon Murray is thepunter. Washington is the long snapper.

“Loyd Star beat us 12-0 last year so I think they have the samedefensive coach,” O’Quinn. “Their coaches came down to see Meet TheBulldogs.”

O’Quinn said senior running back Marquis Hayes was a key to LoydStar’s offense. “I saw Hayes at a Southern Miss camp this summer,”said O’Quinn.

Loyd Star Starters

“We are tired of hitting each other,” said Huffman. “Our kids arelooking forward to playing a game. They have worked hard.”

Huffman said the following players would start against FranklinCounty.

On offense, Korey Allen is at quarterback, Josh Butler at fullback,Marguis Sims and Marquis Hayes at wingback, Jared Case at tightend, Cody Lanham at left tackle, Cody Beeson at left guard, CodyTeekel at center, Joseph Fredenburg at right guard, Zach Etheridgeat right tackle and Travis Sorrels at tight end.

The team’s kicker is Corrie Crowe. Allen will punt.

On defense, Lanham is at nose guard, Lapatrick Smith and Teekel atend. At linebacker are Sims, Butler, Sorrels and Kyle Johnson. Atsafety are Hayden Hux and Allen. At cornerback are Brandon Cannyand Hayes.