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• CLASS/REGION: GHSA Region 1-AA
• 2013 RECORD: 11-1; lost 42-0 to Charlton County in state quarterfinals
• COACH: Alan Ingram (11th season)
• RETURNING STARTERS: LB Aaron Baskerville (Sr., 6-1, 204); LB Steve Boyd (Sr., 5-11, 171); OL Jeffrey Bravo (Sr., 5-9, 237); TE Justin Buggs (Sr., 5-10, 201); DE Damion Calloway (Sr., 5-11, 168); OL Phillip Croom (Sr., 5-8, 200); LB Brendan Kimble (Sr., 6-0, 202); WR Tyler Peters (Sr., 5-7, 155); RB Javon Wiggins (Sr., 5-9, 167); DL Kendrick Williams (Sr., 6-1, 270); LB Patrick Bell (Sr., 5-10, 181); DL Jeffrey Aikins (Jr., 6-1, 226); QB Alex Fudge (Jr., 5-4, 130)
• TOP NEWCOMERS: RB Jody Myrick (Fr., 5-9, 206); CB Vashon Jackson (So., 5-8, 151); OL Hunter Womble (So., 5-10, 175); OL Brent Moore (Jr., 5-10, 160); CB Jamal Martin (Sr., 5-9, 161)
• 2014 SCHEDULE:
Sept. 5 — at St Anne-Pacelli
Sept. 12 — at Mitchell County
Sept. 19 — Miller County
Sept. 26 — Thomasville
Oct. 3 — at Early County
Oct. 10 — Brooks County
Oct. 17 — Stewart County
Oct. 24 — at Berrien
Oct. 31 — at Pelham
Nov. 7 — Fitzgerald
• REPLACING LEADERS: The Indians began last season 11-0 and stayed at No. 1 in the Class A state power rankings for much of the year. It was a start that head coach Alan Ingram said, “surprised me more than anybody else.”
The beginning of the 2014 season has been shocking in a completely different way.
Seminole County’s top two players and returning captains — Danny Rambo, Jr., and Brendan Kimble — won’t be playing this season after Rambo moved out of state and Kimble tore his ACL in a freak spring practice accident.
“Those two were the identity of this team,” Ingram said. “They set the pace and demanded the same from everyone else.
“Their leadership is what we are lacking right now. It’s been tough to replace. We just don’t have any leadership right now, and the kids are just going through the motions. They are working hard, but they are in survival mode.”
• PLAYING WITH THE BIG BOYS: Seminole County dominated Region 1-A last season and has been a power at that level for years.
Everything’s going to be different this season for the Indians, who have moved up to Region 1-AA and will face new challenges like Brooks County, Fitzgerald and Thomasville.
“The scary part is that we will have to play with the big boys every week,” said Ingram, whose Indians are 4-1 against Class AA opponents in the past four years but have never played bigger classification teams in back-to-back weeks. “Our numbers are always limited athletically. When we lose one guy, it’s like we’ve lost three positions because our best athletes never leave the field. Week after week, with that factor, we will need to stay healthy to compete.”
But despite all of the new challenges and lost playmakers, Ingram believes his team will “be in the mix” near the top of the region standings.
“I always believe in kids,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, I think we will be in the mix. That’s a bold statement I know, but our kids will get it together and will perform. It’s a challenge, but that’s what I’m in the business for.”
• FUDGE RETURNS: A lot changed for the Indians, but quarterback Alex Fudge has stayed constant during the offseason. At 5-foot-4 and 130 pounds, Fudge is small, but Ingram said his “heart is as big as they come.”
“He is a hard-working kid but is one of the guys who will need to step up,” Ingram said.
Last season, Fudge threw it just 37 times for 411 yards and seven touchdowns, but he was a threat on the ground and had 106 carries and 10 touchdowns.