|Cumby seniors want good going-away party|
|Joseph Elerson | News-Telegram Sports Writer|
Sept. 16, 2004 - CUMBY - Senior's Brian Colbert and Rusty Vaughan know one thing for sure - the 2004 season needs to be different for their going-away party.
Colbert and Vaughan have taken years off, had bad ankles and dealt with back-to-back 2-8 seasons at Cumby High School.
"Both of them are seniors and play both ways for us. They both have bad ankles with Rusty having his operated on last year and has pins in it," head coach Kent Hawthorne said. "Brian needs to have his done because he popped it out during the summer and it was the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life."
Vaughan suits up at running back and defensive back, while Colbert handles the lineman duties at guard and defensive tackle this year.
Rusty did not play during the team's first 2-8 year, while Colbert decided not to play during the Trojans second 2-8 season.
This season, Vaughan and Colbert have helped the team get to 2-1 on the season, and on defense the team has only allowed 27 points during three games.
"It makes me feel real good about the team this year. We have players that have high expectations for themselves and for this team," Vaughan said. "Our running backs, I think, are a lot better than they were last year."
Colbert said he believes the linemen are more aggressive this season than in years past due to the fact they have a weight room and an offseason program this year.
"Our line has started to get a lot more aggressive this year. Last year, they would just stand up and lay down," Colbert said.
In Friday night's game against Maud, Vaughan had four carries for 27 yards, bringing his season total to 46 yards on nine carries, and also was the team's big-hit award winner last week.
"Our line has really picked up a lot this year because last year I was getting tackled in the backfield, and this year I have only had one negative yardage play," Vaughan said.
In the 13-7 loss last year against Maud, Vaughan recorded 29 tackles in that game before his ankle injury occurred two weeks later during their bye week.
"Last year, I might have had 29 tackles in the game, but they were eight to 10 yards down the field," Vaughan said.
Vaughan said he remembered the injury from last year and that this year means a lot to him because of what is at stake this year for the Trojans.
"My injury came on the Thursday of our bye week last year. I played for the JV for one game because coach wanted to see me at running back, Vaughan said. "We had about a minute left in the game and I was running the reverse. I tried to cut up field and when I did my left ankle curled in and it snapped. The football part means a lot more than it ever would have, because this is my last year to play and I almost didn't get to make it."
Friday night's game against Simms James Bowie Pirates could be the first three-win season for the Trojans since the team reassembled and Colbert believes that will bring confidence to the team heading into district.
"It would be great to go 3-1 before district because this would be the first time for us in a while to ever go 3-1," Colbert said. "It's been 25 years since we have won a homecoming game, and we did that Friday night."
Hawthorne said the leadership Vaughan and Colbert are showing this season will be the stepping stone for next year's team to build on.
"What they are leaving behind is what the next group has to live up to. I have told them to set that bar high and make this next group attempt to get over it next year and that is what they are doing," Hawthorne said. "Neither one of them miss a day out here and they work their butts off, and both of them are pushing forward and doing whatever they can to move this team forward and keep them rolling."
Vaughan and Colbert's senior seasons could bring the Trojans back to the Class A playoffs and each senior knows what they have to do to get them their this season.
"We need to go out there with our heads high every practice and game. We have gotten a lot stronger in the backfield this year and on the line we need to work everyday," Colbert said.
"I believe we are going to have to get them pumped up for every game and get everybody ready and make sure everybody knows their plays," Vaughan said. "I think that we need to step up in our position's and I think we should do pretty well this season because we have better leaders than we did last year."