Americus Defense Steps up to the Plate

It's hard to be undefeated without a dominating defense. Americus not only has defensive power this season, but they've had it for what seems like forever.

For the past four years, head Coach Erick Soliday has continued the Panther tradition of defensive football.

By the way, the Americus offense isn't too shabby themselves. Throughout the 12-0 season, Americus has outscored their opponents 535-143, that's what you call getting the job done.

This weekend, Americus will tangle with Union Grove at home. The Royal Blue and White have been unstoppable this season, pitching 3 shutouts and letting up 30 or more points just once, and that was a 49-35 win against Early County back in October.

As for the Union Grove game, Defensive Coach John Rechtovivich thinks it should be a dandy. "They (Union-Grove) are a multiple I formation team. They run a 4-4 defense and on film it looks like they are 50% pass, 50% run, they are a very good football team."

As a defensive coach, there's a certain comfort level in knowing you have two guys who are as big as a house. Cedric Boone and Warren Gooden anchor the defensive front for Americus. They're already drawing comparisons to former Panther star, and current Florida State senior Alonzo Jackson.

"ZO" as his friends call him, played before the Erick Soliday crew came to town, but he still holds many records at Americus.

"Cedric Boone is a good player", says Rechtovivich. "He's a big kid that moves real well, he can take over a ball game. As for college, he's a senior but hasn't even started looking. He's too focused on this season and then once the season is over, then he'll begin his college process."

As for their other basher on the line, the coaching staff continues to praise Mr. Gooden. "He's been injured a lot lately, but he's a tough nose kid. Not only can he play on the defensive line, but he also plays the offensive line as well."

The Americus defense will get a lot of support this weekend as the Panthers are home for the 7th time this season. There's a tradition like none other at Americus, but these fans expect the Panthers to wi. Anything less than a trip to the Dome and a state title is a dissapointment in these parts. With all the seniors on this years team, it's hard not to think ahead.

"All of our seniors know they get looked up to. The younger kids look long and hard to see what it took to get there", says Coach Rec. "We're all having fun with this season. We play Friday, have fun Saturday, and then it's back to work on Sunday."

GAVSV Top Stories