The Union Recorder

Local Sports

October 25, 2012

Braves’ youth, inexperience shows

MILLEDGEVILLE — Westside took region control Oct. 19, dominating Baldwin in the fourth quarter. The Seminoles scored 21 unanswered points to pull away from the Braves.

Baldwin head football coach Dexter Copeland said his team is short on experience. Preseason state title contenders like Washington County in AAA and Westside in AAAA exposed Baldwin’s youth.

“Westside is a good football team. We knew we needed to play a perfect football game if we wanted to win. They were full of athletes and speed. They took advantage of some of the things that we don’t have right now,” Copeland said.

Westside’s quarterback Noah Grayer and tailback Daniel Hall posted over 300 rushing yards and five-combined touchdowns last Friday.

Missed tackles and bad routes add up in crunch time. When the Seminoles hit the gas, the Braves stayed in the slow lane.

Copeland is more focused on developing a sophomore heavy team this year.

“A lot of the mistakes we made Friday we won’t make the next couple years. We have a sophomore led football team right now. Yes, Baldwin wants to win,” Copeland said. “We all want to win, but at some point you have to raise kids. We are going to take some lumps right now.”

Baldwin needs to mature to improve on field results. BHS is 4-3 overall and 3-1 in region heading into an away contest against Mary Persons.

Defensive lapses must be addressed to stop the Bulldogs stud back Nick Davis. Copeland expects Davis to get a bulk of touches.

“He is probably the best running back in the region. They will give it to him 30 or 40 times per game. You have to stop it and do what you can do,” Copeland said.

Mary Persons is senior heavy, which brings up the Baldwin youth argument. If the Braves play vintage Ronnie Baker defense, they can rebound.

The problem isn’t hard to fix, according to the Braves head coach.

“Defensively, we are struggling. It’s tackling, lining up and just doing what you are supposed to do,” Copeland said. “We have a problem with that right now. We need to grow up and change some attitudes on defense.”

The Braves should work backs Kentavious Thomas and Deon Kelsey out fully against the Bulldogs.

Regardless of the finish to the regular season, Copeland believes in the roster. The Baldwin Brave future prediction is luminous.

“All the kids that made plays last week will be back next year. We have to build. They are coming along. They see the mistakes we made. The kids see how close we are,” Copeland said.

Baldwin travels to Forsyth Friday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff facing Mary Persons.

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