Cole Rabun has always been fast, but the Augusta Christian Schools football player wondered if he could ever outrun the shadow of record-setting AC running back Joel Whinghter.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"I felt a little pressure," Rabun said. "Those are big shoes to fill, but I felt like I needed to."
With Whinghter's graduation, Rabun has rapidly established himself on the gridiron. During a 23-0 win over John Milledge Academy last week, Rabun totaled a career-high 213 yards on the ground.
The production at Pride Valley came as no surprise to AC coach Bruce Lane.
"He makes phenomenal runs in games, and phenomenal runs at practice," Lane said. "He doesn't wait until Friday night. It's something you see on a daily basis."
Through four games, Rabun has rushed for 606 yards and scored six touchdowns. The junior tailback is averaging 7.6 yards per carry and 151.5 yards per game.
"Cole has great speed, and such an ability to cut on a dime," Lane said. "That's God-given, and he's making good use of it."
While Rabun has made things happen for the Lions, he credits his teammates with making it possible.
"The offensive line has been doing a great job. They've opened up some big holes," he said. "The defense has been playing great, too. When they make the opponents go three-and-out, our offense can get right back on the field."
Rabun has helped the Lions race to a 3-1 start this season. Although Rabun says he would like to run down some school records, his goals for 2002 are team oriented. "State championship; region champions," he says. "The team is playing great. Everybody is excited, and it makes you want to play better."
Winning puts a spring in his step, but Rabun never gets ahead of himself - that business-like approach puts him on the fast-track to success.
"If we're ahead or behind, Cole's demeanor never changes," Lane says. "He's a very focused individual. He comes to practice ready to work."
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