The 2012 season looks bright, for a few reasons, for the Augusta Prep Cavaliers.
The team comes off a 6-4 2011 campaign that saw it play one home game in its first full season as a varsity program and advance to the second round of the Georgia Independent Schools Association playoffs.
This year the team plays half of its eight-game schedule at home, joining the rest of the county in the time-honored tradition of Friday night lights.
After coming to an agreement with the Springlakes community, the Cavaliers had lights and a new scoreboard installed during the spring and summer. The Sept. 14 game against Thomas Jefferson marks the first Friday night home game in the school’s history.
“We’re excited about having lights,” said Harry Bacheller, who enters his fourth year as head coach. “This is the South and I’m a little biased, but there’s nothing like Friday night at home under the lights. Our kids finally get to experience that after 11 or 12 games on the road last year, and the home game that was on a Saturday.”
In the spotlight for the Cavaliers will be Jack Owen. The senior quarterback will run the team’s triple-option while keeping defenses honest by getting the ball to his receiver corps.
Last year Owen threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 135 yards and two scores.
“I thought I did pretty well last year, but obviously there’s a lot of room for me to improve,” said Owen. “I thought I threw the ball pretty well.”
Owen is also confident the team can have a successful season.
“We had a lot of good experience last year going into the playoffs and winning a playoff game, so I’m excited for this year,” Owen said.
Entering the second season at the varsity level, Bacheller said his lineman are, on average, 20 pounds heavier and the program continues to grow.
“We only had 24 players last year while we have 37 this year and we have a pretty big ninth-grade group coming in,” Bacheller said. “We’re still young in the league we’re in. I think it’s a good fit for us, for our program, trying to do it the right way, one step at a time.”