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Plymouth prepares for title defense

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
There is no doubt Robert Cody is enjoying his summer, and why shouldn’t he be? The Plymouth High School football coach is still riding a high from his Vikings’ perfect season which resulted in a NCHSAA 1-A state title, he just concluded a football camp which featured some Miami Dolphins’ players and cheerleaders, and he will be watching former star lineman William Hunt play in the upcoming East-West game.
All things considered, this summer seems to be going well for Cody. However, that is all about to change.
High school football is like a roller coaster. The climb to the top feels like it takes forever; the peak is unbelievable, but only lasts a minute, and on the way down all you can think about is climbing to the top again.
Right now, Cody wants to climb to the top again.
When a coach gets a good crop of athletes, he knows he only has a small 2-to-3 year window to make the most out of it. Usually, the stars never align. A team might have great backs, but no line; or a fantastic quarterback with no one to throw to, or a great defense but no offense. However, for Cody and the Vikings, the stars not only aligned, they could score touchdowns in bunches. But you can’t bask in the glory forever.
Cody now faces new obstacles, with a new crew. The Vikings graduated eight WDN All-Area first teamers, most of whom played both ways. Those aren’t just big shoes to fill — that’s like trying to find someone to slide into Paul Bunyan’s Timberlands.
The good news for Plymouth is that Cody is up for the challenge. The coach said he knows the road ahead will be a tough one for his team, but he is ready to roll his sleeves up and get to work.
While Dasheen Perry, Chuck Woods, Andre Mitchell and Tobias Claggon are no longer around to lead the team, Danielle Downing is.
Downing, the Vikings’ weak side linebacker last season, will now be looked upon to lead the 2008 squad, and that is a good start.
Cody also said that sophomore running back Ronnell Blount has showed some promise, as well as junior center Stanley Woodley.
The Vikings’ skipper said that just because an athlete has shown potential, that doesn’t mean anything just yet. The real work begins July 29 when the team holds its first mini-camp, and all positions are open.
While its unclear what the 2008 Vikings can be, one thing is certain — the only thing better than getting to the top, is making it back there.