MILLEDGEVILLE — Game after game, senior running back Colby Lawrence came up big for Georgia Military Prep School on Friday nights this season, capping off his high school career with an impressive performance in the team’s 56-0 victory over Twiggs County last week.
Lawrence finished the contest defensively with six solo tackles, a sack and an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown, but more impressively the seasoned veteran carried the ball 27 times on offense for 351 yards rushing and four trips to the end zone, as well as a 10-yard receiving touchdown.
Friday night’s performance made Lawrence the first Bulldog to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season in a decade, as he concluded the year with around 1,100 yards on the ground.
“He kind of just topped off his season, basically his high school career, just showing what kind of player he could be and the potential he has. You could always count on him for something,” Steven Simpson, head coach, said. “Friday night was an outstanding night for Colby. It was just the culmination of all the hard work he’s put in the last four years.”
The senior spend four years with GMC Prep and for Simpson, this season was the perfect scenario for Lawrence to end his high school career.
“He was consistent all year. He had a couple games where he didn’t have a lot of yards, but he had a lot of carries,” Simpson said. “He didn’t have 100 in every game, but he always seemed able to get yards and keep the ball moving, and he did a great job of it. For us to be able to let him be the focal point for our offense is good for him and good for us.”
Reaching that monumental 1,000 yards in a season has been a goal of Lawrence’s since he began playing football, a goal of which was reached in the final prep game of his career.
“It came from hard work. I’ve been playing football since I was in first grade,” Lawrence said. “I thought it was a good accomplishment. I made a lot of people proud and got people excited about GMC football this year.”
Lawrence credits his offensive line to being able to reach the feat this season, as he relied on them all season to open up running room for he and his fellow backs against tough competition.
“When everyone started believing in the system and knowing what they were supposed to do, they excelled at their job and that’s what helped me reach 1,000 yards,” he said.
Playing historical powerhouses such as Lincoln County and Wilkinson County, as well as up and coming Aquinas, Simpson admits it is an accomplishment to be able to perform well against such strong programs.
“In our region it’s extremely tough,” he said. “I was looking the other night and 885 of those yards were against our region, which is a huge accomplishment. “
Etching his name into GMC Prep football history, Lawrence believes his 1,100 yard season will serve as an inspiration to players who follow in his footsteps.
“I think I’ll be remembered as a role model because I’ve done well in the classroom as well on the football field,” he said. “That can be motivation, because if they see I can do it, anyone can do it.”
While Lawrence’s season has been remarkable, he admits it could not have happened without the support from all those who followed him since that first grade season years ago.
“I want to thank the coaches, the fans and all the people who came out and supported GMC football,” Lawrence said. “I want to thank the offensive line and all the people who voted for me on Facebook as well as all the people who stayed with me ever since I started playing football.”