Originally created 08/27/99

Tall, fast receivers have Lions looking up



Steve Price doesn't think about the loss much.

Augusta Christian lost in the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class AAA finals to Tattnall Square last season, but the Lions' head coach hasn't dwelled on the past.

"It's funny," he said, "I thought I would've thought about that game a lot. I thought it would dominate my thinking, but it hasn't. Two weeks after that game, I started thinking about this year."

Augusta Christian, which went 11-3 last season, will have to replace key starters from that squad. At quarterback, junior Andrew Cromer, who replaces Nathan Duffie, has a pair of tall targets for his passes.

Seniors Corey Hulsebus and Erik Hensley are 6-foot-6 wide receivers with excellent speed, with Hensley running a 4.4 in the 40.

"(Cromer) doesn't have a lot of quarterbacking experience," Price said, "but he can throw the ball real well. How good do you have to be to throw it to those guys?"

In the backfield, Price plans to rotate Andy Cheek, Sean Coleman, Glenn Brown and Joel Whinghter at the running back and fullback positions.

"None of them are fast, but they're physical," Price said. "They'd rather run over you anyway."

On defense, Augusta Christian took a hit at linebacker, as two players transferred to Greenbrier and another quit to play baseball. Price said that has hurt the team's depth, but he will have Brown and Will Brantley starting at inside linebacker, while Hulsebus and Coleman will play outside linebacker.

On the line, Adam Greene and Steve Green will line up at defensive tackle, while Cheek and Mike Shealy will play the end positions.

"We have about 19 kids who are good, solid football players," Price said. "The rest are coming along. A big key for us is how well the freshmen come along. We need them to get better."

Augusta Christian plays host to Eagles Landing tonight at 8 in its season opener.