GWA celebrates championship

How nervous was George Walton Academy head football coach Don Williams last Friday?

During the day Williams began thinking to himself perhaps he should prepare an after-game speech to deliver to his Bulldogs should they lose to Tattnall Square in the state championship game. As it turns out, no speech was needed at least not one that Williams had to deliver to a state runner-up.

GWA defeated Tattnall Square 34-0 and the celebration was on for the Bulldogs first AAA state crown and a perfect 14-0 record.

"I think it has sunk in," Williams said Sunday night. "I knew we had to play our best against Tattnall. In the end I think we played about as good as we could in the final game Friday. I knew if we did that, there probably wasn't anyone we couldn't beat. I had a feeling we would play well, but I must admit I was a little surprised by what the final score turned out to be."

What GWA did was dominate a game against the most successful GISA football program in the last 15 years. The Trojans, who have won eight state titles since 1988, hung around early, but trailed 14-0 at halftime. By the end of the third quarter, it was obvious Tattnall Square, even with its great tradition, wasn't going to be able to stop Williams' team.

The Trojans finished 2003 12-2 with both losses coming at the hands of GWA. "Tattnall made a few mistakes and we were capable of taking care of them," Williams said. "I've said many times before that our players were simply focused on what they had to do. They weren't satisfied with finishing the regular season undefeated and they weren't satisfied winning the region championship. Even after we won our first three playoff games, they weren't satisfied. That wanted to win it all. Anything less would have been a disappointment to them."

The celebration, which began right after the final horn sounded at Tattnall's Jack Baynes Field, continued all the way back to Monroe and into Saturday morning. So excited were the players that they decided to camp out in the fieldhouse.

"I think everyone finally fell asleep about four a.m. Saturday," Williams said. "I know I didn't sleep any. I guess I was too excited and too happy for our players and coaches to do much sleeping. It's been so much fun I hate to see it all end."

The Bulldogs were a senior-led team this season.

Quarterback Arthur Williams as well as running backs Ted Kinney, Chris Wallace, Cole Cown, Cody Dixon and Chris McLendon are all seniors. Seniors on the offensive line include Hugh Williamson, Devin Shivers and Ron Rice are also seniors.

For now, however, Williams is simply enjoying the spotlight of a state championship at the highest level of GISA play

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