Originally created 08/27/99

Harlem's building for future



Jimmie Lewis' summer camp had a bit of a twist.

For eight days in early August, Lewis had his team at Harlem High from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m., for two-a-days. In between the morning and afternoon practices, the team took its break and watched movies such as The Waterboy and The Program.

This team-bonding is one thing Lewis is trying to turn around a program that hasn't had a winning season since 1981. Last year, the Bulldogs went 2-8.

"I'm expecting us to have a lot better season than we've had in the past five, six, seven years," Lewis said. "I really think this crowd has the potential to do a lot better than in the past."

Sophomore quarterback Dominique Brown returns to lead the Bulldogs into their final year of non-region competition. He'll have a pair of sophomores at running back in Marcus Freeman and Tyrell Taylor to help run the power-I offense, while juniors Nolan Martin and Keith Boyd will line up at wide receiver.

"They're young," Lewis said. "We had a lot of freshmen playing last year. It's a good thing as far as looking to the future."

On defense, seniors Curtis Blitch and Tyler Koldzik at inside linebacker, along with senior Phillip Gulley at outside linebacker, anchor the strongest part of the team.

"We've got some experience at linebacker," Lewis said. "That's the key to our defense."

On special teams, Harlem should be solid with junior punter Bob Hatcher and senior kicker Scott Crawford.

Other players to watch for on the Bulldogs' squad are three juniors in fullbacklinebacker Tristan Gilford, offensive tackledefensive tackle Doug Holland and offensive tackle/defensive tackle Chris Gram.

Lewis is looking forward to the season-opener on Sept. 3 when Harlem hosts Aquinas.

"Aquinas is a big game for us," Lewis said. "We have a rivalry going with them. Every game has been nip and tuck.

"That first game is key. You can't win 'em all if you don't win the first one."

Chris Gay covers Columbia County sports for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 868-1222 ext. 114 or cag112@hotmail.com