Quarterbacks charge ahead for surging programs
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, the three football programs in Newton County had a combined 6-15 record. So far in 2008, the teams are 10-6. So what gives? Like every football team, high school, college or pro, the quarterback position is the key to a team’s success.
Newton suffered through a dismal year in 2007, one that saw the Rams turn to several quarterbacks. After a 1-9 season, head coach Nick Collins came into 2008 with renewed optimism, but with several questions, especially on offense. After struggling in their opener against Alcovy, the Rams turned to Demetrius McCray and the move has paid off.
“He’s a great athlete,” said Eastside coach Rick Hurst after McCray almost single handedly defeated his Eagles last month. “I bet Nick is wishing he went with him earlier in the year.”
Hurst was right on. Collins said he wishes he could replay the Alcovy game with McCray as his quarterback but realistically, he admits the 3-0 loss to the Tigers was more about his team’s inabil- ity to capitalize on its opportunities than the play of then starter Tyree Williams.
“We had so many chances against them and we just didn’t capitalize,” Collins said.
Collins inserted McCray at quarterback in Newton’s following game against McIntosh and the senior responded as he led the Rams to a 22-15 win. Even more telling is how McCray’s athleticism has changed Newton’s approach. Collins, who readily admits he is not a fan of the option, drew up a game plan
Keys to success:
Demetrius McCray (left), Rod Tolen (center) and Justin Wray (right) have helped turn their respective programs into contenders.