Clock strikes 12 for Tigers|Williamston kicks off football season

Published 10:32 am Sunday, August 2, 2009

Contributing Writer

WILLIAMSTON — Too excited to wait till sun up, the defending Atlantic Conference champions and NCHSAA 1-A state runner-up Williamston Tigers kicked off the 2009 campaign at precisely 12 a.m. Saturday as they held their first practice of the season.
Williamston head coach Asim McGill instituted the Midnight Madness practice for the first time last season.
It debuted with great success as the Emery Griggs-led Tigers marched their way to their third consecutive conference crown and an appearance in the state title game.
“We’re excited; you know as soon as it’s football season we’re excited,” McGill said. “We want to get kicked off; we don’t want to wait till Saturday morning. Other schools can wait, but we are trying to get it done.”
Thanks to a sack-happy defense anchored by twin linebackers DeBrian and DeBriant Everett, and the over 2,000 rushing yards amassed by Griggs, the running back-turned-signal caller, Williamston was able to get it done in a big way last season.
Despite all the success of their 2008 run, McGill said losing to Mount Airy in the season finale reassured his Tigers that there is still plenty of work to be done.
“Our motto this year is that there is unfinished business,” McGill said. “We got there, but we couldn’t finish the deal.”
The Tigers graduated eight seniors from last year’s team, most notably Derrick Everett, Griggs and the twins. However, they will bring back QB/RB Cedric Moody, who missed most of last season due to an ankle injury.
“Cedric is a big-time player. You’re not going to find too many guys on a 1-A level who can run a 4.5 40,” McGill said. “I also think we have a lot of good guys on this team that can step up and fill in (for those that left).”
McGill, one of the top offensive minds in the area, said he plans on playing both Moody, a senior, and junior Luke Mathews behind center.
“I think at the quarterback spot we got two guys that can do different things,” McGill said. “They both bring something different to the table, and I think we can use a few packages that have both of them on the field.”
McGill and his staff will have 20 days to figure it out, as they prepare for their season opener on Aug. 21 at home against Ayden-Grifton.