MOULTRIE -- For the past few years, Colquitt County football coach Mike Singletary has gone into the season saying he would be forced to use a number of players on both sides of the ball for extended periods.
The Packers have used some players both ways in recent years. Rob Cannon played both end on defense and tight end on offense. Isaac Jackson, an All-State defensive lineman, often lined up at tight end.
And offensive backs Hilton Brinson and Anthony Ferrer filled in in the secondary on occasion last year.
There was some other minor "cross-over" activity the last couple of years, but this season the Packers may have no choice but to give a number of players considerable playing time on both offense and defense.
"We are going to do it this time," Singletary said.
Senior Curtis Jackson could become the Packers first full-time, two-way player in a number of years. He will start at offense guard and could become a mainstay at defensive end.
C.A. Sanders, already moved from center, where he was an All-Region player the last two seasons, to offensive tackle, could find himself in a starring role on defense as well.
Sherard Reynolds, already learning the plays at wide receiver, running back and quarterback, also could be used to shore up the secondary.
And fellow junior Byron Jordan, who is evolving into one of the Packers most versatile and important players, may find himself playing on both sides of the ball as well.
"He is practicing as good as anyone we have," Singletary said of Jordan, who was an All-Region defensive back last year after returning two of his five interceptions for touchdowns.
Jordan also is punting and getting plenty of repetitions at quarterback.
For many years, it was common for high school players to play both offense and defense in the same game.
Two-platoon football in the high school ranks was first popularized by Wright Bazemore and most teams over the last 30 years or so tried to have distinct offensive and defensive units.
But in recent years, such state powerhouses and Parkview and Brookwood have been known for using a large number of players on both sides of the ball -- and being successful while doing it.
"People like Brookwood and Parkview believe you take your best 11 and put them on the field," Singletary said.
In the 2001 state championship game, Parkview essentially used 15 players -- 17, including the place-kicker and punter, Singletary said.
"Four linemen never left the field," he said. "But those kids never think about it (playing both ways).
"They've been doing the same thing since ninth grade."
It may take some of the Colquitt County players some time to buy into the idea that they can play 48 minutes.
And conditioning alone will not get the players ready.
"They will just have to play themselves into that kind of shape," Singletary said.
Jackson seems best suited for two-way play, should Singletary and defensive coordinator Jimmy Francis believe it necessary.
The big senior started his Packers career as a defensive end, but when injuries his the offensive line during his sophomore year, he was moved to guard and has had two excellent seasons there.
But with big holes to fill on defense, and with Jackson's experience and leadership, No. 77 may become one of the Packers most critical players.
Sanders and offensive guard Clark Duncan also may be called upon to help shore up the defensive line.
PACKERS NOTES: Singletary's lament about lack of numbers is a refrain heard from Cordele as well.
Clay Hill, head coach of the Crisp County team that will meet the Packers in Friday night's 8 p.m. scrimmage at Mack Tharpe Stadium, has just 59 players on his roster.
The Cougars do have 14 starters back from the team that went 5-6 last year and lost 28-6 to the Packers in the scrimmage in Cordele.
The Cougars will again use its version of the NFL's "West Coast" offense.
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