WACO faces unknown foe in Elephants

The Washington County Golden Hawks are facing a powerhouse team Friday night in the guise of Red Elephants. The Gainesville Elephants and the Golden Hawks will be engaging in serious bone-crunching at the Bobby Gruhn Stadium in Gainesville, Georgia. WACO Coach Rick Tomberlin offered these comments in a recent interview.

QWhat kind of competitor do you expect the Elephants to be?

A I think they have an outstanding football team. They play like they expect to win and when faced with difficulty they rally together.

QHave you played against them before? If so, what was the outcome?

A We have never faced Gainesville before. In talking with their coaches they are very excited about having Washington County come to Gruin stadium. I think it will be a championship atmosphere.

QWhat do you expect to be the most difficult aspect of their game to overcome?

A They are 12 & 0 and used to winning. Home field will be a big advantage. Their speed concerns me on both sides of the ball. They are very well coached as well.

QGainesville outranks WACO in the GaVSV Power Ratings. Right now, Gainesville comes in at No 3 with a 101.8 and WACO is No. 6 with a 97.10. Do you see yourself as an underdog in this match up? Why or why not?

A Across the state probably not, primarily because of the tradition established over the previous 11 seasons. On paper and in reality we probably are underdogs, they are 12 & 0 and have outstanding players plus the home field advantage.

QSo far, you have held both Mary Persons and Swainsboro to 12 points in playoff action. What has been the secret to keeping the opposing teams' scores low?

A Our players and coaches take special pride in playing great defense. We have established the Black Shirt tradition and our players really take pride in that. We employ a ball control type offense so hopefully we can help limit the # of snaps the opposing team gets as well as time of position.

QYou say the Golden Hawks have payback in mind? What payback are you talking about?

A Hummmm. I have not heard that... I don't know. This is the 1st time we have played Gainesville.

QWho will be carrying the ball for WACO?

A We use several ball carriers. #5 Tyree Burnett a sophomore is our leading ball carrier. he has 13oo yards. #10 Stacy Walls is also a very good runner, he has the same style of running as Tyree. #4 Sr. Preston Smith is our QB, he is a 3 year starter and a very seasoned player.

QWhat are his major talents?

A Tyree has great vision and quickness and, I think, will be a great player for the Golden Hawks in the future.

QBasically, what kind of game do you think fans can expect between these two teams?

A I think it is going to be a very special game. Possibility a real classic. I think the fans of Gainesville are excited about hosting this one and all players and coaches know what is at stake. I expect it to come down to the wire in a real exciting affair.

QIn practice, what are you concentrating on? Are you doing anything differently?

A We are trying to put together our best offensive and defensive plan. We must play our best game of the year to be successful. We always take a few (silver bullets) into every game that they have not seen yet but basically we have to execute, block and tackle well.

QWhat is the mood in Sandersville now that WACO has reached Round 3?

A Our fans are very excited, of course they want to win it all. We think we have the greatest fans in the world. Our fans are with us win or lose. In our Mary Persons game, they roared like in the championship years, it was exciting! The general consensus is one of great excitement.

QIs there anything you want to add that I haven't asked? Our home recored is one of the best in the state last week we improved to 74 wins against 6 losses.

A Overall in 11 years we are 126 wins with 21 losses. 3 State Championships, 6 semi finalist, 8 region championships, 11 straight playoff appearances.

QThanks for your time, Coach. GaVSV fans love to hear it straight from the coach's mouth. It was great of you to take your time to answer these questions during such a busy week.

A We really appreciate you and GAVSV!

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