WAYNESBORO, Ga. — Gator is gone.
For four seasons, Donquell “Gator” Green ran or threw past just about every defense he faced, especially during the 2011 state championship win and in his final two years as the starting quarterback.
Green took his dynamic plays to Marshall, but Burke County is ready to keep the program one of the area’s best for 2014 and beyond.
“He’s moved on, and it’s time for us to move on,” Bears coach Eric Parker said. “This is such a different football team than it was a year ago, two years ago, obviously three years ago. We’ve just got to find our identity. That’s the big thing. We have to figure out what we do, what we do well.”
Caleeb Roberson and Keenan Parker will see time at quarterback with Green’s departure. Those two and the rest of the team will be asked to be prepared for a tough schedule right from the start. Burke County’s nonregion slate is Statesboro, Jefferson County, Griffin, North Augusta, Washington County and then Thomson. The Bears also play the Bulldogs later in the season during region play.
By the start of region play, Parker hopes his team will have made steady improvement to win the all-important region games to get a solid playoff spot.
“We got a lot of inexperience and a lot of youth,” Parker said. “We kind of know we’re going to ride a bumpy ride, especially with the schedule we have. But at the end of the day, it’s about getting down and doing the fundamental things right and executing.”
Senior linebacker Barquee Williams and other returning starters will be asked to help the new players adjust to the work and play needed to keep the team strong after a four-year stretch of 45-9. During that run, the Bears reached the semifinals, won the Class AAA state title and made it to the quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons.
“I just want to continue the legacy,” said Williams, who was third team All-Area for Georgia as a junior. “I just want to keep winning and keep the tradition well. I don’t want my senior year to be when we start losing.”