Valdosta Daily Times

December 6, 2013

Heads and hearts in the game

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The Brooks County Trojans have had a season they’ll never forget. After the deaths of three players in the pre-season, Coach Maurice Freeman brought his team together as a cohesive unit on and off the field. His leadership and ability to turn adversity into triumph will long be remembered by these young men. His positive example will influence them for a lifetime. Instead of allowing the tragic loss to overcome them, the team has embraced it, wearing the players’ jerseys in games and dedicating the season to their memory and their families. And winning.

As a result, the Trojans will face Lovett tonight in the Class AA Semifinal matchup, with the winner moving on to play for the state championship next Saturday. Both teams lost only one game this season, and although Lovett won home field advantage, Brooks County hasn’t let playing on opponent’s turf affect their game.

Behind Georgia-committed Malkom Parrish at quarterback, the Trojans are solid offensively and defensively, with an excellent shot at going all the way to the Dome this season.

The Lovett team is coached by Mike Muschamp, the brother of Will Muschamp, coach of the Florida Gators and former defensive coordinator at Valdosta State. The Muschamps are very familiar with the football programs here in south Georgia and no doubt, the Lions will be prepared to face the Trojans as players on the field tonight.

But what Lovett may not understand is they will also be facing the Trojans as a family who has overcome tragedy and are playing to not just win a game, but to honor their former teammates. Not only will their heads be in the game, their hearts will be as well. And that’s a tough combination to beat.