Hawkinsville, Washington County hoping to end long title droughts

MACON/SANDERSVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – It’s Tyler Brown’s first year as Hawkinsville’s kicker.

“He’s done a pretty good job with us,” says coach David Daniell. “For somebody who’s never really kicked.”

The junior has worked hard at his new position, and it’s paid off. Last week, he kicked the winning field goal in Hawkinsville’s semifinal victory over Marion County.

“It was very exciting,” Daniell says. “The kids were focused. We wanted to get to the (Georgia) Dome. We had to get through Marion County to do that. We were fortunate enough to win the ball game.”

They need just one more win to complete their goal of bringing home the first state title since 2003. The Red Devils, who practiced this week on Mercer’s turf to prepare for the playing surface at the Georgia Dome, are relying on speed to get them there Friday against Irwin County.

“All across their front, they’re probably 280 across the offensive line, and then on defense, they’re about 250 across the defensive front, so they’re really big,” Daniell says. “It’ll be an interesting matchup. We’re going to out-quick them, and they’re going to try to out-smash us, I guess you’d say.”

No titles since 1997

Over at Washington County High School, head coach Joel Ingram wraps up his team’s final practice in Sandersville. A week ago on this field, he couldn’t hide his emotions after the Golden Hawks beat Blessed Trinity in the semifinals.

Asked how excited he was after the game, Ingram grabbed 41NBC’s Tucker Sargent and kissed him on the head.

It was unexpected, but Ingram tells his team they’ll see a side of him they’ve never seen before if they win Friday.

“I’ll be like a kid at Christmas,” Ingram says. “This is something I’ve dreamed about personally. Unfortunately, I was never able to play for a state or national championship as a player, and I’ve always heard the stories at Washington County and I want to know what it’s like.”

Ingram almost found out last year. The Golden Hawks came as close as possible, making it to the title game but falling to Buford. Friday’s game against Calhoun is about completing unfinished business.

“To be the man, you’ve got to beat the man,” Ingram says. “They’re (Calhoun) certainly right there at the upper echelon of the state in our classification. We’re going to go play it one snap at a time. Hopefully come 7 or 8 o’clock, maybe it’ll be our time. Maybe, maybe not, but I’m certainly going to pray on it and dwell on it and hope that it will be.”

The Red Devils meet Irwin County in the Class A Public title game at 1. Washington County and Calhoun face off for the AAA title at 4:30, and Northside and Mays play in the AAAAA title at 8.

Categories: Across Georgia Sports, Local News, Pulaski County, Sports, Washington County

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