In order for a football team to know where it’s going, it has to know where it’s coming from.
LaGrange High knows. The Grangers were a very common football team in 2015 with a record of 5-5. LaGrange High and coach Dialleo Burks fell far short of all of their team goals, including the Class AAAAA state playoffs.
So, one year later and now in Class AAAA, the Grangers return as a hungry football squad with a lot to prove. And LaGrange High intends to prove it as the preseason workouts began this week in Grangerland.
“We’re focused, and we’re coming together. But we have to find the switch. We do have some heart, and we will compete to the end,” said Burks. “We are working on details and techniques. And we’re working hard.”
So what does that mean exactly in LaGrange High football terms?
It means the Grangers are getting better with each practice. The fire isn’t gone for LaGrange High football, not with seniors Jadarius Young, Rico Dunn, Jalen Wilson, Amad Ogletree and DeAnthony Rachel busting their football keysters.
“We want to win every day. We have some good skill guys. We have speed, and we’re a lot bigger than last year,” said Burks.
One of his new favorite Grangers is Dunn, the 6-foot-3, 178-pound transfer from Harris County High School. Dunn is a linebacker and tight end, and he has starting experience.
“Rico is another motor. He’s a high-energy guy,” said Burks.
Another key piece to the LHS football puzzle is senior defensive tackle Jonathan Olajubutu. He is anxious to get back to playing LaGrange High football, which requires hustle from sideline-to-sideline and goal line-to-goal line.
“We have more players and more dedication. We are way better than last year. I have great teammates, and we’re putting in the extra work. We are quick off the ball, and I think we’re going to have a good season,” said Olajubutu, the 5-foot-8, 239-pound returning starter.
Wilson is looking for an extra special senior season, too. Wilson is a 6-foot-3, 175-pound wide receiver and defensive back. Wilson is all Granger, all the time.
And like coach Dialleo Burks, Wilson expects wins this season – a lot of them for LaGrange High. That is the football emphasis, along with precise techniques.
“We’re going after it. We’re working on our tempo. We’re going to put up a lot of points, and our defense is going to shut down a lot of people. We’re going to use a lot of blitzes,” said Wilson, who has 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash.
The Grangers have two preseason scrimmages scheduled with a game against Heard County on Aug. 5 at home and another contest at Newnan on Aug. 11. The LaGrange High home game will get underway at 7:30 p.m. The road scrimmage has a game time of 7 p.m.
Chris Fernsler Sports Writer