Membership with the Warner Robins football team isn't cheap. Year-round physical conditioning, summer camps and steamy two-a-day sessions are just a few examples of the kinds of things expected of Demons players.
This morning, head coach Bryan Way had a message for four of them.
"It's about to get a lot tougher," he told the four Warner Robins players who signed national letters-of-intent to continue their education and football careers. "We take it pretty serious here ... But when somebody starts paying you something, they expect a lot in return."
None of the four seemed intimidated. Linebackers Vet Miller and Jordan Sanders and offensive linemen Robbie Bailey and James Erickson each said their Warner Robins careers have them set for whatever college life throws their way.
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"The coaches at Warner Robins run the program like it's college," Bailey said. "They work their hardest to get us prepared for the next level."
Bailey (6-foot-4, 325 pounds) signed with Virginia Military Institute where he expects to play guard and study civil engineering.
Only one of the four will stay in state. Miller (6-1, 220) signed with Fort Valley State. The future accounting student said having his parents close "will help me with a lot of things — like money."
Erickson (6-2, 250) is moving the farthest. The Demons' guard grew up in the shadows of the Black Hills of South Dakota. He still has family in the area so his choice of Black Hills State in Spearfish, S.D., seemed a natural fit.
Erickson said he plans to study history and would like to someday be a teacher and coach. He expressed no preference between high school and college, however.
"Wherever I can get a job," he said.
Sanders (6-2, 210) will attend North Carolina Central in Durham, N.C., putting him in the middle of North Carolina's 14-school university triangle. The linebacker said he isn't worried about potential distractions, however. He picked N.C. Central because of its fine academic reputation. And as for football?
"It's another level," he said. "Faster, but I think I'm ready."