Three quar­ter­backs com­pete at Al­covy

The Covington News - - Sports - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

The 2012 football sea­son is so close you can prac­ti­cally hear the cheers and whis­tles com­ing from Sharp Sta­dium.

As a mat­ter of fact, there will be the sounds of the grid­iron this week­end as Al­covy hosts Dun­woody tonight and New­ton hosts South­west DeKalb Satur­day; both games start at 7:30 p.m. East­side trav­els to Her­itage to­day for a 7:30 p.m. pre­sea­son show­down.

In prepa­ra­tion for the up­com­ing sea­son coaches have not only been talk­ing with their play­ers about what lies ahead but also reach­ing out to the community.

Al­covy coach Kirk Hoffman made an ap­pear­ance at the Cov­ing­ton Ki­wa­nis Club meet­ing on Thurs­day, telling the group of ser­vice club mem­bers about the Tigers’ up­com­ing sea­son and how things have changed since the first time he stood be­fore them six years ago. That was when Hoffman was set to be­come Al­covy’s first ever football, coach and he’s been the only one since.

“As a pro­gram we’re no longer a new school,” Hoffman said. “I said it would take five or six years to be­come a suc­cess­ful pro­gram and we feel like we’ve suc­ceeded in that. We have made the state playoffs in two of the last three years.”

He told the group gath­ered at the fel­low­ship hall of First United Methodist Church that since the Al­covy pro­gram has started, sev-

eral ath­letes have gone on to col­lege and some have al­ready grad­u­ated.

Hoffman praised new col­le­giate stu­dent in 2012’s star run­ning back Devon Ed­wards.

“Last year the young man was All-State in football and bas­ket­ball; that young man had an out­stand­ing year and ended up at Duke,” Hoffman said. “I talked with him last week and he told me he had a 96 in his first sum­mer class.”

Hoffman high­lighted Ed­wards’ and Al­covy’s sea­son last year, not­ing how they tied for sub­re­gion cham­pi­onship and brought Al­covy’s first home play­off game to Sharp Sta­dium.

This year the Tigers will com­pete in Re­gion 2-AAAAAA, their sixth re­gion in six years of ex­is­tence.

The new re­gion and up­com­ing sched­ule will al­low for new non-re­gion ri- valry games that Al­covy’s pre­vi­ous 14-team re­gion sched­ule did not al­low.

“We’re ex­cited, we now get a shot at ma­jor ri­val games this up­com­ing sea­son with East­side, New­ton, Rock­dale and Jack­son,” Hoffman said.

In a brief de­scrip­tion of this year’s squad Hoffman de­scribed his prob­lem of lux­ury in hav­ing three quar­ter­backs who all look able to com­pete for play­ing time.

Re­turn­ing starter and All-Re­gion sig­nal caller Cor­nell White is com­pet­ing against Marcus Wil­liams, who started three games a year ago, and outof-state trans­fer Chris­tian Whig­man.

“We’ll have a pretty good race back there,” Hoffman said. “And the loser will go to run­ning back, be­cause he’ll be a pretty good ath­lete.”

No mat­ter who is at quar­ter­back, they’ll be play­ing be­hind an ex­pe­ri­enced offensive line with four out of five starters re­turn­ing. While there is vet­eran sta­bil­ity on the offensive line, Hoffman said that’s not the case in the sec­ondary, where among oth­ers Ed­wards will no longer be pa­trolling the field.

Hoffman did say prac­tices were go­ing well and Al­covy is han­dling the new Ge­or­gia High School As­so­ci­a­tion rules and reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing heat and con­cus­sions.

He also de­tailed his lead­er­ship goals in re­sponse to a Ki­wa­nis club mem­ber’s ques­tion as to why he got into coach­ing.

“We have lost sight; it’s all about the safety of the kid and rais­ing a young adult who can be suc­cess­ful at the age of 25,” Hoffman said. “If I can do that wins will take care of them­sevles. Wins are a byprod­uct, and in our pro­gram I feel like we’ve done that."

Al­covy will look for its first of­fi­cial win of the 2012 sea­son against Jones County Thurs­day, Aug. 30.

East­side’s football coach, Rick Hurst will ap­pear at Ki­wa­nis Thurs­day, fol­lowed by Cortez Allen of New­ton on Aug. 30.

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