West Georgia Tech will bring its football team to Callaway Stadium in LaGrange this Saturday for the second installment in its series of showcase intrasquad scrimmage games around the area.
Kickoff of Saturday’s Black vs. Gold game is set for 1 p.m. and admission is free.
With the first official football game for the Golden Knights less than a year away - in August of 2014 - WGTC has built a roster of more than 100 student-athletes in preparation to become just the second Division 1 junior college football team in Georgia. Georgia Military College is the other one.
The Golden Knights held its first instrasquad scrimmage of the season back on Aug. 24 in Mt. Zion, with the Black squad knocking off the Gold team 28-18.
WGTC head football coach and athletic director Walter Dunson said that he was pleased with the progress of this year’s squad and pointed out his receivers as a unit to look out for, from a talent standpoint.
“I’m excited about where we are right now,” Dunson said. “Our kids have worked hard and picked up both offense and defensive schemes a lot sooner than we as a coaching staff anticipated. We are so far ahead of where we thought we would be at this time of the year. We have a good group of ball players and as a group collectively, our receivers are just as good as any group of receivers, if not better, than anybody in the country.”
Playing in LaGrange will give the Golden Knights an opportunity to showcase two local players from the LaGrange area. Demoton Boyd and Jarvasity Baldwin both prepped at LaGrange High School before coming to West Georgia Tech.
“The player that we as a staff think has made the greatest improvement, and who I think will play four-year ball in the next couple of years is Demoton Boyd,” Dunson said. “He has shown tremendous improvement since the beginning of camp in June. He came in as a speed guy and he relied totally on his speed, but he quickly learned that all college football players have the ability to run. He worked hard to learn how to cover opposing receivers using fundamentals, techniques, and playing within schemes. He’s a good kick returner and a very fun player to watch.
“I am also excited about Jarvasity Baldwin,” Dunson continued. “This is a great opportunity for him. I know both players will have a lot of family and friends from the LaGrange community on hand to cheer them on.”
Tempo was the theme of the inaugural preseason, as the Golden Knights under Dunson employ an extremely fast pace on the offensive side of the ball, similar to what college football fans see from high-tempo teams such as Oregon.
“We tempo our practices for 150 snaps,” Dunson said. “During our last scrimmage we had a total of 170 snaps. We play fast and push the ball both vertical and horizontal and snapping the ball in less than 20 seconds. On Saturday you can expect the same type of play.”
The addition of football has already made an impact, in enrollment numbers alone. But there are also other considerations in play, which will have positive effects going forward, according to West Georgia Tech president Dr. Skip Sullivan.
“When we made the decision to add our football program we considered a number of factors,” Sullivan said. “Ultimately we recognized that we have a great opportunity to help a significant number of potential student-athletes by enrolling them into our college and preparing them for the next level – both in the workforce and on the football field. By becoming only the second junior college D-1 program in the state, we have already seen the impact we can have on our local community, for our region and for our state. I want to make clear that our number one priority at West Georgia Tech is to improve the lives of our students. I know that we have already begun doing that with our football program, and I am proud of that.”
After Saturday’s scrimmage in LaGrange, the Golden Knights will next be in action on Sept. 28 with a Homecoming scrimmage at Heard County High School in LaGrange. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.
“We want to invite the local fans to come out to our showcase games in the various communities,” Dunson said. “We have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball and many of our guys will get to go home and play in their local communities at some point. We have an exciting brand of football. This area is a prime area for football. There is nothing like football in west Georgia, and we are excited to be a part of that.”
For more information on West Georgia Tech football, visit www.WGTCAthletics.com.