Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: Curtis Baptist

Head coach: Bryan Wilson (First year)

Classification: GISA Class A North

2005 record: 1-10

Four-year record (since 2002): 7-39

Last playoff appearance: 2001

Returning starters: 4 offense, 4 defense

Key Crusaders: Senior QB/LB Cory McConnell (6-1, 175); Senior RB/LB Stephen Murphey (5-8, 160); Junior RB/LB Deion Jones (5-10, 210); Freshman E.J. Bijur (5-9, 160); Junior OL/DL Grant Newman (6-4, 250)

Offensive attack: Expect Wilson to sprinkle in some of the multiple option attack that's worked well at Augusta Christian, where he was an assistant. Bijur dazzled in varsity basketball as an eighth grader; he should be just as hard-to-handle on grass. Newman will have his way with that size in the trenches. McConnell is a running threat after dashing for nearly eight yards per carry last season in 10 games.

Defensive keys: Curtis will line up in a 5-3 front. Murphey's 31 tackles last year makes him the top returning tackler. Senior Stephen Spangler (6-0, 215) is another player whose size will stand out on the lines. Who's going to block Newman this fall in the region?

Thin at: Offensive and defensive lines

Big game: at Thomas Jefferson Academy, Oct. 6

Different this year: The team drops an enrollment class.

Could go bad if: Depth becomes a factor with less than 20 varsity players.

Great year if: This team believes it can win like anyone else. These players need good things to happen early to change the culture of the program. A winning season has Wilson on the short list for area private school coach of the year.


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