First-year Towers coach James Holloway took his four team captains with him to meet former NFL coach and football analyst Jon Gruden on Saturday evening. Gruden, who took Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title, reaches out to programs who have shown improvement while battling the odds.
“It was a great time for everyone,” Holloway asid. “Being able to sit down and talk to a Super Bowl champion coach and get ideas from him on building a program is something that only comes around once in a lifetime.”
Holloway brought along assistant coaches Emmanuel Lewis, Mark Evans, Eric Brinn and William Ward. The players who attended were Jeffrey Lovett, Stevenson Derival, Daemyon Hassell and Emmanuel Badru. Each team received a camera for filming practice, dry-fit shirts and a $1,000 check.
“The staff and players all enjoyed the event,” said Holloway. “Of course the players are a bit young to appreciate the contributions to football and the history Gruden made as a coach. It was a great event and means so much to our program as we try to build it into a winner and playoff contender.”
What if they were healthy?
Cartersville scored 76 points last week against Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe. What would the Purple Hurricanes done with a healthy team? The No. 2-ranked Canes had six players missing: running back Brandon Long, defensive end Greg Davis, offensive lineman Alex Christina, linebacker Jahir Camps, defensive back Kobie Whitfield and wide receiver Trase Fezzia.
Quarterback Brooks Barden completed 11 of 17 for 257 yards and five touchdown, two of them to Mark Quattlebaum. Kalin Heath was equally productive: three carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns.
Other hot hands
Callaway quarterback Tez Parks warmed up for this week’s showdown with Central Carroll by throwing for a pair of touchdowns. Teammage Michael Moss had two of the team’s four interceptions. … Deshawn Waller of B.E.S.T. Academy ran eight times for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Ventravious Rashada also ran for a score. … Adairsville’s Sidnee Johnson rushed for 95 yards and had 190 yards on three kickoff returns, including a 95-yarder for a touchdown.