Joseph Shaver remembers two seasons ago when Augusta Prep’s football field featured soccer bleachers and a broken-down scoreboard.
Much has changed since then for the growing program. In two years of varsity, Augusta Prep has posted a pair of successful campaigns. With the winning, the school has added the final pieces to its football field. When Augusta Prep plays host to Holy Spirit Prep at 7:30 p.m. Friday, the school will unveil its 490-seat stadium to go with the lights and new scoreboard added in 2012.
“Football is finally beginning to become a regular thing here,” sophomore wide receiver/safety Shaver said. “Last year, we had some big crowds at our games. It’s amazing, especially after being here that first year.”
Augusta Prep will try to continue building on the field as well this season. After posting back-to-back 7-4 campaigns, the Cavaliers return 12 seniors, a big class for a small, private school.
Returning senior fullbacks Nolan Brandon and Kevin Huggins will help lead the triple-option attack, along with quarterback Nate Pylant. Huggins and Shaver were all-state selections last year along with returning starters in tight end Michael Downing, lineman Sam Cleary and offensive lineman/linebacker Ben Burnside. Also, Mac McCall will be a key member of the team’s defense.
In its third year of varsity, Augusta Prep plays in the Glory For Christ Independent League. The Cavaliers are looking to defend their East region title. Comprised of six teams, the East region stretches from Atlanta to South Carolina.
Last season, Augusta Prep proved it could hang with some schools in different leagues. After falling down 36-0 to Georgia Independent School Association power Thomas Jefferson, the Cavaliers rallied to tie the game before eventually falling.
“That was a confidence-builder,” Bacheller said.