Hicks’ Central team takes steps forward in first year

dshirley@macon.comOctober 11, 2012 

The Central Chargers won two games in each of the past two seasons and three games the season before that, and those struggles led to a coaching change.

When there is a change at the top of a high school football program, there typically aren’t many expectations in the following season, and that was true for the Chargers entering this season. Jesse Hicks has handled these kinds of rebuilding jobs in the past, most notably Baldwin, putting the Braves on the map during his time running that program.

So there had to be hope for Chargers fans that he could do that again. But there also had to be patience because these things typically don’t happen quickly. And that patience certainly was tested when the Chargers lost their first four games of the season by scores of 69-7, 21-0, 40-0 and 42-21.

Hicks and the Chargers, however, have taken big steps forward the past two weeks as they opened play in GHSA Region 2-AAA. Central beat Henry County 25-12 and Southwest 27-15 to get off to a strong start in the region and sit alone atop the region standings after last weekend.

Granted, things get tougher after the Chargers’ off week as they face powerhouse programs Peach County and Carver-Columbus and then Jackson before finishing the season against Pike County. But the two wins entering the off week were really important for this program.

Playing football is hard work, and putting in all that work during the week and not getting any rewards on Friday nights with victories is tough on the players and coaches. Losing each week can drain the energy out of a team, and the Chargers needed to avoid that during their off week. Those wins the past two weeks should give the players and coaches a big boost and get them ready for the rest of their season, no matter how difficult it will be.

Central might not be expected to win its next couple of games, but at least there is hope now that the team can get into the playoffs this season. If the Chargers could knock off Jackson and/or Pike County, those hopes should be realized.

And that would be yet another huge step forward for Hicks and his program.

Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or dshirley@macon.com

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