Originally created 08/27/99

Washington-Wilkes has one goal: Win



WASHINGTON, Ga. -- Frank Vohun came up with the perfect analogy for a high school football coach.

"Coaching football is a lot like selling cars," Vohun said. "If you don't sell cars, you get fired. If you don't win football games, you get fired."

No, Vohun isn't on the hot seat as he enters his second season as Washington-Wilkes' coach, but winning games and getting the Tigers back in state title contention are the only things that will appease fans here.

In Vohun's first season, which included the Tigers' drop in classification from Class AA to Class A, Washington-Wilkes was the preseason No. 1 team.

However, the team had trouble adjusting to Vohun and his new offensive scheme and started the season 0-3 before winning four of its next seven games to qualify for the playoffs.

The Tigers routed Callaway in the first round before falling just short of an upset of eventual state champion Darlington in the second round. A strong finish and a good returning nucleus have fans thinking the Tigers will better last year's 5-7 record.

"The expectations are always high here," Vohun said. "The only way to meet expectations around here is to win."

The Tigers should be pretty explosive on offense with the return of junior quarterback Fred Dunn. While Dunn runs the show, the offensive line could dominate. One of the three returning starters is center Adam Thornton, who will anchor the front along with returners Michael Bailey and Jerry Brown. Brown was the Class A heavyweight state wrestling champion last year.

The backfield will feature a pair of juniors, Deko Hall and Justin Gartrell, splitting time at running back. Also, Daccus Turman, a transfer from Washington County, is expected to help bolster the backfield at fullback. Turman rushed for more than 800 yards last year at Washington County.

Brown, Thornton and Bailey will anchor the defensive front. Dunn and Hall provide experience in the secondary at free safety and cornerback, respectively. Junior Ryan Cowan is the lone returner at linebacker.

"I think the kids will come on this year," Vohun said. "They've done well and they've gotten bigger and stronger. I definitely think we'll be better than we were last year."