Rivers still chasing the dream
Former Lakeside quarterback David Rivers is still pursuing his dream of playing in the NFL.
The 6-3, 220-pound signal caller is in camp with the Atlanta Falcons. Currently, he is fourth on the depth charts behind Michael Vick, Ty Detmer and rookie Matt Schaub.
Rivers spent part of last season on the Falcons practice squad. He also spent the off-season as a member of the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe.
He was impressive across the pond, completing 42 of 59 passes for 403 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He helped the Claymores capture the NFL Europe Title.
The Falcons re-signed Rivers on June 30 and new head coach Jim Mora has been impressed.
"I like what I've seen from David," Mora recently said. "He works hard and he has made some good throws."
Rivers is a long shot to make the Falcons team, but he could be looking at a spot on the practice squad.
Rivers is no stranger to biding his time.
While at the University of Virginia he waited three seasons for a shot to play. When the opportunity arose, he seized the moment. He led the Cavaliers to a victory over Georgia Tech, going 32-43 for 271 yards and three touchdowns.
However, he decided to leave Virginia for a chance for more playing time and wound up in Cullawhee, N.C. at Western Carolina. He had a big senior campaign for the Catamounts. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 2,878 yards and 17 touchdowns.
After his breakout year he was signed to a free-agent contract by the St. Louis Rams. Although he was cut by the Rams, he did have a solid camp and got a reputation as a hard worker. That reputation has followed Rivers to Atlanta, and he will make the Falcons' choice a difficult one.
Shanks continues to soar after promotion
Most people in the Marlins organization felt like former Greenbrier star James Shanks would not be with single-A Greensboro very long, and that assumption was proved to be true on July 13 when he was moved up to high Single-A Jupiter.
Since joining the Hammerheads, Shanks has been on a tear. Through 24 games he is hitting .348 with four homers and 15 RBIs and a slugging percent of .576. He is also roaming the outfield with one of the Marlins' top prospects and fellow Georgia native, Jeremy Hermida of Marietta.
Also, Jupiter plays in the Florida State League, the same league that features J.J. Johnson (Greenbrier) and Jonathon Broxton (Burke Co.) that I featured in my last column. So the county and the CSRA is well-represented in the Florida State League. Shanks seems to be back on the fast track to the major leagues.
Koester battling for backup role
Although Klay Koester spent only one season at Lakeside, his situation is one that is hard to forget.
With his father as head coach, Koester spent one controversial season at the helm of the Panthers offense. He threw for nearly 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns but transferred to Duluth when his father was ousted as head coach.
In 2002, Koester set four school records throwing for 1,981 yards and 11 touchdowns and completed 151 of 258 passes. He also earned All-Metro, All-County and Honorable Mention All-State.
Now Koester is a 6-5 215 pound redshirt Freshman at Eastern Kentucky. Koester is currently fighting for the backup quarterback job and seems to be EKU's QB of the future.
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