Here's a tough question: who is the best high school football player in Columbia County this year?
Before the 2003 season started, I though the county's player of the year honor was up for grabs between Greenbrier J.C. Jennings, Harlem's Tim Camp and Augusta Christian's Cole Rabun.
Those three guys have not disappointed.
Rabun has rushed for more than 1,200 yards, and the senior tailback led the Lions to an 8-2 regular season record.
Camp has had a good season as well, but along with playing quarterback, he has been pressed into defensive duties for the Bulldogs. Also, Harlem has struggled as a team this year, which hasn't helped Camp.
Jennings has been outstanding for Greenbrier, and definitely is one of the area's most explosive athletes, but the Pack running back is being pressed by a couple of his teammates.
Those Pack players, along with a couple of guys from other squads, have emerged as candidates for player of the year in Columbia County.
Following is the rundown on the contenders:
Brooks Robinson, Greenbrier quarterback. Robinson has been tremendous this season for the Pack. The senior leads all Augusta-area quarterbacks in virtually every passing category, including completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns. Robinson has been amazingly efficient, as evidenced by his 5-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio. The most important thing, though, is that he helped Greenbrier contend for the Region 3-AAAA title.
Eugene Rogers, Greenbrier wide receiver/defensive back. Rogers is an iron man on the gridiron. He plays offense, defense, returns kicks - and he is equally effective in all three positions. While Rogers has emerged as one of the CSRA's best defensive backs and receivers, I must admit I didn't know how good he was ... until the Greenbrier-Thomson game. Rogers was unbelievable during that Halloween night thriller at the Brierpatch. He caught seven passes for more than 100 yards and a touchdown, he threw a 50-yard touchdown pass, and he led the Pack in tackles. This kid will be playing Saturdays in a couple of years. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention he's just a junior.
Philip Sadler, Lakeside running back. The Panthers got off to such a great start this season thanks in part to Sadler's shifty running. While fullback Carl Burrow and halfback Tosin Fawibe also had some big games, there is no doubt that Sadler is the man who makes the Panthers go. The senior is ultra-quick and is capable of breaking a big run on every play. Sadler isn't big, but he runs with the power of a fullback and the heart of a lion.
Adam McKinney, Augusta Christian quarterback/defensive end and punter. Though Rabun gets a lot of publicity, which is warranted, Augusta Christian has a complete team. One reason why the Lions are so balanced is the leadership and athleticism of McKinney. He isn't flashy, but he gets the job done. Additionally, he has to be the best punter in the area.
The race for Columbia County player of the year is far from over, but the finish line is in sight. At this point, the above players seem to be the top choices.
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