Pam Pack had a great season
Commentary by KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
While Washington’s 41-40 double-overtime playoff loss to South Granville on Friday will stick in the gut of the players and coaches for some time, it shouldn’t overshadow what was a great season.
Coach Sport Sawyer guided the Pam Pack to an 8-4 overall record, recording the school’s most wins since the 1999 team finished 11-2.
The Pack earned the top seed out of the Class 3-A portion of the Coastal Conference. Washington finished tied with J.H. Rose for second place overall with a 5-2 conference mark. The Pack’s lone losses in conference place were to the 4-A schools, New Bern and J.H. Rose.
Washington finished the season with 363 total points, the fourth highest output in school history. The 1999 team scored a school-record 423 points, while the 1997 team produced 387 points and the Choppy Wagner-led 1956 team scored 370.
Washington allowed just 156 points in its 12 games this year, the fewest surrendered since the 1997 team held opponents to 139 points.
Pack senior Travis Daniels helped Washington put up points in bunches. He finished the season with 2,290 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns.
Daniels finished his remarkable prep football career with 5,168 yards and 57 touchdowns.
His last carry as a member of the Pam Pack, fittingly, was a touchdown.
Jamont Jones also had a sensational senior season for the Pam Pack. Jones led the Pack with 40 catches for 622 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had 303 yards rushing and two scores, a kickoff return for a touchdown and a team-high seven interceptions.
Those two players will be hard to replace next year.
However, the cupboard won’t be empty. The Pack returns quarterback Austin Thompson, who was 67-of-125 (53.6 percent) for 1,072 yards and 17 touchdown passes. He also had a pair of rushing touchdowns.
Mike Moore and Dakuan Spencer also return. Moore had 18 receptions for 332 yards and four scores. Spencer hauled in 13 catches for 171 yards and four touchdowns.
Spencer was also big on defense, coming up with five interceptions, including one he returned for a score.
Tony Turnage, who had six pickoffs, also returns to the Pam Pack defense.
Key players like Chase Tripp, David Tyson and Justin “Weasel” Moore will also be back.
Justin Meekins will also return to handle the kicking duties. As a junior Meekins hit 45 PATs and had a 35.9 average on punts. He had a 59-yard bomb in the playoff game.
I know Sawyer was hurting the night of the playoff loss, and the day after.
He didn’t want the win for himself. Sawyer desperately wanted his players to enjoy a playoff victory. Sawyer desperately wanted the Washington fans and the city to enjoy a playoff victory.
It certainly wasn’t because of a lack of preparation. Sawyer spent countless hours working hard trying to make the Pam Pack team be the best it could be this year.
He cares about Washington football. He cares about Washington High School. He cares about the city, and all that says a lot about Sawyer.
He’s a great coach, and a better man. Washington truly is lucky to have him.
Kevin Travis is the sports editor of the Washington Daily News. You may reach him at 940-4217, or by e-mail at Kevin@wdnweb.com. You may also view his blog, KT’s Take On Sports, at http://wdnsports.blogspot.com.