Laney's new football schedule should carry an "R" rating.

I just got my hands on a copy on the new Region 3-AA football schedule. It does not look pretty if you're a fan of the Laney Wildcats. It is a full region schedule.

That means no Josey versus Laney game next fall unless it is in a scrimmage setting. That's not the first or last bit of frustration Wildcats fans will have with this new schedule.

The first four games of the season might as well be the Class AA playoffs. Those four teams each went to the state playoffs last year and return vital skill position personnel.

Here's the damage:

Aug. 29: Jefferson County at Laney (Likely loss with the Bostic kid back at JC, Laney falls to 0-1)

Sept. 5: Screven County at Laney (Toss-up even though Laney lost to SC in 07. But I do not think a Laney team that finished 2007 poorly and graduated its top two linemen should be favored here. Especially with no clear-cut quarterback returning to face a stacked SC team. Laney falls to 0-2.)

Sept. 12: Dublin at Laney (Loss. Dublin is Dublin. 'Nuff said. Laney 0-3)

Sept. 19: Off week (Much needed. After a potential 0-3 start, the attitudes of the team this week will dictate the course of the season.)

Sept. 26:  Laney at Dodge County (Dodge went 9-3 and won a playoff game last year. They'd have beaten Laney last year. But we'll call this one a Laney win. The off-week will help. So will program tradition. Laney's players thrive on adversity. The record rises to 1-3.)

Oct. 3: Toombs County at Laney: (Toss-up. Toombs also went to the playoffs last year. But the Wildcats are still the better program, Laney improves to 2-3.)

Oct. 10: Laney at Bleckley County: ('Cats go to Cochran to face a team that's won as many playoff games (2) as the Wildcats have the last three seasons. But let's also give Laney another win and put them at 3-3 here.)

Oct. 17: Vidalia at Laney: (Coach Lee Chomskis has got the Indians heading in the right direction. But the Indians were 5-5 last year, so I'll also give Laney the edge. The definition of a tough schedule is when the Vidalia game can be seen as one of the more winnable games on the docket. This win gets them to 4-3.)

Oct. 24: Laney at Swainsboro: (Let's call this another loss. Swainsboro won the region in which the 'Cats finished fourth in last year and return better skill personnel. That and the road trip should drop Laney to 4-4).

Oct. 31: East Laurens at Laney: (Another 2007 playoff team. Laney should probably be very beat-up by this point but feisty enough to pull off a tough win. This game could very well determine a playoff spot. Laney HAS to win here to get to 5-4.)

Nov. 7: Laney at Southeast Bulloch: (SEB went 2-8 last year. Cruel twist puts the easiest game of the year in the final week. Laney could even be eliminated from the playoffs by this point even with a 6-4 record.)

Here's the half-full prediction: 6-4

Here's the half-empty prediction: 4-6

Here's the best they can do: 8-2

These shark-infested waters make that playing in Class AAAA thing seem sort of logical in a warped way. Laney would have lost no more than 2-3 games by any stretch of the imagination had it chose to play in Class AAAA with the rest of Richmond County this fall. This has really just blew up in their faces as far as football goes.

Keep in mind this will be a Laney team still trying to find a quarterback that lost four of its last six games last year, including three in a row.

The bottom line is Laney resides in one of THE tough regions in the state now. If you're a Laney player, forget about playing that new video game system you got for Christmas and go to the weight room. Now. Bring a teammate or three with you. Better yet bring 12 teammates. Then hit the field afterward for a 7-on-7 session.

This team could have another Robert Dunn and a J.K. Sabb on the roster in 2008 and still lose twice.

It's the schedule that doesn't need the coaching staff to bring along a pacifier, but a sledgehammer. They'll need an All-Star team to earn a home playoff game in 2008. Keep in mind this is a region that Laney ASKED to be placed in.

Laney will have to finish strong by wining four out of its last six to make the playoffs this fall.

Here's a thought: How will this region placement choice be judged if Laney goes 4-6 or 5-5 next year and fails to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999? What will the athletic department's bank balance looks like next fall if the team loses six or seven games next year?

Will the Laney faithful stay away from that beautiful new stadium if the team loses four out of its first five games? We shall see.

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hockeymann
226
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hockeymann 01/14/08 - 06:19 pm
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How about Aquinas? They won

How about Aquinas? They won their last three games and were much improved at the yearend...Is it possible for you guys to write about anything but Augusta Christian for a change? If Augusta Christian played opponents as good as those Aquinas plays, they'd hardly be in playoffs much.

miss_lisa
0
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miss_lisa 01/15/08 - 10:56 am
0
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I'm not sure ALL of Laney

I'm not sure ALL of Laney asked to be in this region...I will be praying for the entire Wildcat athletic program these next two years! I do have faith in these talented coaches and athletes, but it isn't going to be easy! Work hard Wildcats...your loyal fans are behind you all the way!

butlerclof2008
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butlerclof2008 01/16/08 - 07:48 pm
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SHUT UP! OMG. I CAN'T

SHUT UP! OMG. I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT YHALL ARE SITTING HERE CRYING ABOUT SOMETHING SO STUPID. IF LANEY SAY THERE SO GOOD.. THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE A PROBLEM PLAYING IN THIS REGION.

Laney1Fan
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Laney1Fan 01/17/08 - 06:48 am
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Who was Laney's Athletic

Who was Laney's Athletic Director Otis Smart REALLY looking out for? If he wanted to comply with Richmond County he would have gotten in the new region. Seems pretty underhanded to me. Thanks Coach Smart how smart of you. GO WILDCATS!!!

ctrobins
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ctrobins 01/17/08 - 03:06 pm
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Laney will do well wherever

Laney will do well wherever they play; I remember when they played in the region with Washington County and Green County and made it to the Dome in Atlanta. Most of the teams listed on there schedule they have beaten before. I’m sure they will make it to the play-off again. They have the talent; what they need is an experience football coach to bring it together.

redbone0518@yahoo.com
0
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redbone0518@yahoo.com 01/17/08 - 10:13 pm
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Coach Smart is good at what

Coach Smart is good at what he does, he is about laney and the students that attend Laney. The players has the talent to play in any region, "I question the head football Coach ability to get the job done".

AugustaJeff
0
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AugustaJeff 01/17/08 - 11:22 pm
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I'd advise everyone to take

I'd advise everyone to take a look at the salary supplement figures Laney can pay a head coach in the current structure of the Richmond County Board of Education before taking shots at your current head coach.

Laney's salary figures are not going to draw a veteran head coach with a proven record of playoff success into Richmond County.

It is my opinion that Laney High School could not have gotten a better coach to lead that team than Coach Lackey. Period. Especially with the built-in trust factor he had with all of these players. Before you snipe away at a man's professional ability, I'd like you to answer this very simple question.

If Coach Lackey did what was expected and taken a salary INCREASE to follow Eric Parker to Burke County, would any of the coaches that were a part of Parker's staff have returned to the team this year?

I was told by the men themselves that there would have been few if any holdovers to return to the team if not for Coach Lackey deciding he was a Laney man. That's no Coach Griffin. That's nobody. That's starting from scratch. 

I've got no problems with anyone expressing their opinion. But give a very good coach the benefit of the doubt of at least two years before questioning his ability as a head coach. This was his first year. Legendary Thomson coach Luther Welsh said he gives a man four years as a head coach before he starts evaulating what kind of coach and what kind of a builder of a program that he may be. 

I will defer to the man who's coached more games than any other man in Georgia prep football history on that point.

I don't remember many complaints about needing an experienced coach when the team started out so well this year by beating a very good Strom Thurmond team. Or when Laney beat the eventual region champion in Swainsboro. Let's not forget that while thinking about how the season ended up and thinking about the need for an experienced coach.

miss_lisa
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miss_lisa 01/19/08 - 03:22 pm
0
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I couldn't agree more with

I couldn't agree more with you Jeff. I was sad to see Coach Parker leave Laney, but RCBOE can't keep great coaches with the current salary that they provide. It was just a matter of time that Parker would be swept away from us. I was so scared that Lackey would follow him because I knew that meant the rest of the coaches wouldn't be back as well. That coaching staff is like a family...they have been together for many years and have complete trust in each other. Although Parker is gone, he and his family are still loyal Laney supporters and a part of that family. I have complete faith that Lackey and this coaching staff will continue the tradition of great football at Laney. Yes, this is an extremely hard region and we will essentially be playing a play-off game every week, but the coaches and those athletes have heart and determination to get the job done. It may mean a little more work on my part this year in trying to keep those boys healthy, but as part of this wonderful Laney family, we will all do what we need to in order to succeed. Thank you Jeff for believing in Lackey, his coaching staff, and his team.

belapris55
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belapris55 01/20/08 - 10:14 am
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WE will see,,,,,,,,,no more

WE will see,,,,,,,,,no more transfers. statrting in the middle of the season coach lackey. all laney bred and feed players home grown laney ats

mikese
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mikese 06/25/09 - 06:29 am
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Smart should keep a closer

Smart should keep a closer eye on his players i know some that took an anabolic steroid a few weeks before a big game to put on some muscle get stronger etc.

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