The Sherwood Academy Eagles will play the biggest game in school history Friday night when they travel to Damascus and square off with the Southwest Georgia Academy Warriors.
First-year coach Reginald Mitchell has already led the Eagles to the school’s best record with a 7-2 mark. Mitchell took over the program in June when Rock Knapp resigned due to health concerns. His hiring set off a cascade of player movement on several area rosters.
First, six former Albany High School players followed Mitchell out to Old Pretoria Road, including Division 1 prospect Dontavious Brown, who has accumulated 1,368 yards on 88 carries this season. Brown hung 357 yards on Tift Area two weeks ago in a narrow loss and has scored 16 times this year.
When Brown transferred to SCA last summer, the highly hyped Nile Knapp transferred out to play for SGA, adding more drama to Friday’s contest. Many of the current Eagles played for and with the Knapp’s over the last few years, but Friday night they will be trying to stop their former team mate.
“This is just like every other game for us,” said Mitchell. “We are preparing to play a tough team. We are humbled and focused on blocking and tackling to the best of our ability.”
The Warriors have suffered only one loss — 21-0 at DWS when Knapp was held under 90 yards. Stopping the former Eagle may be the key to claiming the contest. While Sherwood has more weapons and a more diversified attack, the Warriors have a large physical line capable of making holes.
When the Eagles have a few tough yards to get, they use Pete McSwain (6’2” – 240), who has 500 yards on 53 carries and six scores. Phillip English and Stephan Cannady have also contributed to the Eagle offense and will be needed in the hostile environment of Damascus.
Defensively, Derinique Daniel leads Sherwood with more than 50 tackles.
An Eagle win would force a tie in Region 3-IAA. A loss would give SGA sole possession of first place and a clear shot at a state title.
Sherwood Eagles 2009 Game Results
SGA Warriors 2009 Game Results
Previous two meetings – SCA SGA
2008 21 20
2005 43 54
By Mike Flynn