The Central Chargers have had their share of heartbreak this year, losing to rival Howard by one point and losing to Westside 24-21.
But head coach Jesse Hicks is confident that his veteran team is in good spirits heading into Friday night’s game against Spencer in a key GHSA Region 2-AAA game.
“We were obviously upset after a tough loss against Westside, but these kids could have gone out and played the day after that game,” said Hicks, whose team is 1-1 in the region. ”It was like we played so well in that game and had nothing to show for it. It’s almost like someone going to work and not getting a paycheck.
“I would be worried about some of the teams I have had in the past, but not this team. This team is full of heart and resilience, and I still expect us to make a run in the state playoffs.”
Spencer heads into the game coming off of a 41-0 drubbing at the hands of Peach County, but Hicks said there will be no problem with looking past the Greenwaves.
“Are you kidding me?” Hicks asked with a smile on his face. “Those guys beat us last year, and I am sure they are planning on coming to Macon and doing it again. Everyone on this team is aware that the loss to them last year almost kept us out of the playoffs. No, no, believe me, we will be focused and ready to play who we consider a very good opponent.”
Central has the capability to be explosive both through the air and on the ground. Senior quarterback Derrick Evans has thrown for 831 yards and nine touchdowns and has run for another five scores. He has yet to throw an interception through five games.
He has a big-time receiver in senior Ivory Childers, who has 16 catches for 351 yards and four touchdowns. But what makes the Chargers even more difficult to stop is the bruising running of junior Antonio Sanders Jr., who has 473 yards on the ground.
Central is led defensively by a front Hicks calls one of the best in the state.
“Stephen Parker, Javius Johnson and Chandler King give us great play every single game, and those guys are making a lot of tackles for us, and they are linemen,“ Hicks said, “They take a lot of the pressure off the rest of our defense.”
King, who had 18 tackles against Westside, is ready to move on from the tough losses.
“We gave ourselves 24 hours to get over the loss, and then it was time to think about what is ahead of us and what we can still do with this season,” King said. “Sure we wanted to beat Westside, but it didn’t happen. We still have big goals for this season, and that all starts Friday night against Spencer.”