The past season has been a magical ride for the Warner Robins football team. A ride that ended in a state championship game. But despite coming up short in the finale, it is a season that the senior class will never forget. Members of the class of 2018 has accounted for 32 victories over the past four seasons and Wednesday they will see the fruits of their labor. Wednesday is National Signing Day and by the afternoon, 10 or more Demons will sign letters of intent to continue their academic and athletic careers at a college or university.
It’s an impressive number for any team and that doesn’t include offensive tackle Christian Armstrong, who signed during the early signing period and is currently enrolled at Florida State University. The Demon’s second-year head coach, Mike Chastain, knows that when you have a great season college programs take notice.
“With a group like we had there’s a million coaches come through our office to look at our guys,” Chastain said. “We had a big group this year and we had a successful season and when you have those things a lot of coaches do come through your school.”
For a team with 35 seniors, a signing day that features over 10 athletes signing a national letter of intent is an accomplishment. Most schools are fortunate to have a couple students sign, but Chastain is not surprised by the number of students who will be signing Wednesday.
“We knew from the start that we had a pretty talented team. Football is very important in this area (Houston County) so I’m not surprised,” Chastain said about the about of signees that are produced in their school. “The only thing I’m surprised at are the kids not going as high as I expected them to.”
In just a short amount of time as the head guy, Chastain realizes that in the end opportunities are garnered based off of what players are doing in the classroom.
“The more I do this as a head coach you figure out why some of these guys are (being recruited) and it is usually based on their grades. If a kid’s making really, really good grades we can get them in school to play somewhere.”
It’s not just major colleges that have taken notice. The ripples of a great season and convenient location have made Warner Robins a destination during their recruiting trips.
“(Coaches) know that Warner Robins is a football-rich place and we have athletes here,” Chastain said. “So year in and year out we’re going to have a lot of those small schools come through because we are close to the interstate and they don’t have to go too far off the beaten path to see us.”
This 2018 class has taken full advantage of the opportunities and according to Chastain, they deserve every bit of the attention that comes their way.
“This senior class was really a special bunch. They were more than football players, they were coaches on the field and did a great job leading our football team this year,” Chastain said. “They were a real resilient group and we are proud of them.”