MOULTRIE – Fans saw four former Packers – coaches Zach Grage, Sherard Reynolds and Phillip Brown and athletic director Chris Merritt – on the opposing sidelines when Colquitt County cruised past Thomasville 45-3 last Friday night on the Tom White Field at Mack Tharpe Stadium.
There will be more familiar faces looking across when 2-0 Colquitt County visits Bazemore-Hyder Stadium to take on 3-0 Valdosta on Friday.
Former All-State Packer offensive lineman – and later, assistant coach – Bryce Giddens joined the Wildcats staff last March as the team’s offensive line coach.
Giddens was a four-year starter at center for the Packers and started as a freshman at Arkansas State before injuries truncated his career.
He returned to Moultrie to coach the tight ends and help Joey Bennett work with the offensive linemen at his high school alma mater in 2017 before heading to Auburn as a graduate assistant last season.
Giddens, considered by many as one of the top linemen ever produced by Colquitt County, has been tasked with rebuilding a Valdosta offensive line that had just one returning starter in Mark Anthony Audain.
Returning for his second season as Valdosta’s offensive coordinator is Josh Crawford, who spent 2014 through 2016 on the Colquitt County staff working with the receivers.
In 2017, he coached the receivers and was the passing game coordinator at Lee County before being hired by Alan Rodemaker to join the Wildcats staff last year.
Of this and that:
• Former Colquitt County and Central Florida defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman was waived by the Miami Dolphins recently, but has re-signed for the team’s practice.
Pittman was on the practice squad much of last season, but did get some playing time in two games with the Dolphins.
• A photo posted Sunday on Facebook showing three former Packers on the field at Jordan-Hare Stadium following Auburn’s 24-6 victory over Tulane.
Shown are Auburn offensive lineman Kamaar Bell, wearing No. 79, and tight end John Samuel Shenker, wearing his No. 47.
Between them, wearing his No. 33 Tulane jersey, is safety Tirise Barge, who was credited with a tackle that resulted in a loss of three yards in the game.
Auburn, now 2-0 and ranked No. 8 in the nation, will be home again on Saturday to play host to Kent State.
Tulane, now 1-1 will play host to Missouri State on Saturday.
• Ty Lee continues to climb the all-time receiving records charts at Middle Tennessee State after catching five passes for 64 yards and a touchdown in the 45-26 win over Tennessee State last Saturday.
The Blue Raiders will play host to Duke on Saturday.
• Samari “Smoke” Louis intercepted a pass and returned it 12 yards in Georgia Military College’s 26-0 victory over Northeast Oklahoma A&M last Saturday.
Louis also had four solo and two assisted tackles and now has 15 solos and four assists for the 2-1 Bulldogs.
Ty Leggett did not get a carry against Northeast Oklahoma but gained four yards on two attempts in GMC’s 21-17 loss at Nassau Community College on Aug. 31.
GMC will travel to play the ASA Brooklyn (N.Y.) Avengers on Saturday.
• Brian Merritt was credited with three assisted tackles and a fumble recovery in Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s 36-6 win over Coahoma Community College last week.
Mississippi Gulf Coast will be at Holmes Community College on Thursday.
• Georgia Southern rebounded from its season-opening 55-3 loss to No. 6 LSU by defeating Maine 26-18 last Saturday.
Starting nose tackle Ty Phillips had an assisted tackle for loss in the game.
The Eagles travel to Minnesota on Saturday.
• Arkansas lost to Ole Miss last Saturday 31-17 to fall to 1-1.
T.J. Smith continues to start at defensive tackle for the Razorbacks and had an assisted tackle in the game.
Arkansas will be home to face Colorado State on Saturday.
Looking ahead to Friday night, here is what Colquitt County’s 2019 opponents are facing:
• No. 8 North Gwinnett (1-1) was off last week and will travel to meet Norcross (0-2).
• Thomasville (0-3) will be back at Veterans Stadium to meet Everglades High of Miramar, Fla. (1-1).
• 5A No. 3 Warner Robins (2-0) also was off last Friday and will be home to meet 0-3 Baldwin.
• No. 6 Grayson, too, took a breather last Friday and might have needed it. The 2-0 Rams will be home to meet 3-0 Marietta, ranked No. 1 in Class 7A by the AJC and SCORE.
• Alcovy lost to Eastside 42-28 last Friday to fall to 0-3. The Tigers will get a shot at their first win when they meet 0-2 Salem.
• Trinity Christian of Jacksonville, Fla., lost 50-49 in two overtimes to Venice (Fla.) to fall to 1-2. The Conquerers will be home to meet 2-1 American Heritage.
• Camden County (3-0) was awarded a forfeit when Locust Grove refused to travel to Kingsland to play last Friday. The Wildcats will be home to meet Richmond Hill (1-0).
• Tift County is 1-2 after defeating Worth County 37-13 last week. The Blue Devils will travel to Cordele to meet 1-2 Crisp County.
• No. 4 Lowndes is 3-0 after an impressive 38-7 win over then No. 3-ranked Parkview. The Vikings will travel to meet 0-2 East Coweta.