Wednesday, August 21, 2013
There hasn’t been a great deal of talk around the Cross Trojans football camp this summer.
The mood has been subdued for obvious reasons, but a determined and unyielding sense of purpose has locked in – these Trojans want another state championship.
And they want it for Coach Antonio Simmons, who passed away suddenly last month.
These players have grieved; the shock of Simmons’ passing has waned, being replaced instead by a quiet sense of purpose. These players are focused.
“We’re not going to trash talk about anybody,” said All-State running back and team leader Devontae Shepherd. “We saw what happened with that last fall.”
What happened last fall were comments the Trojans saw in the paper and on their state title game opponent McCormick’s team website a week before the Class A, Division II State Championship game that said, “Cross who?”
“You all know what happened with that,” Shepherd said with a smile. “We will not trash talk with anybody.
“We’ll do our talking on the field.”
Cross added former Kingstree head coach Reginald Jamison who will handle defensive coordinator duties with Berkeley grad and former Arena Football League veteran Denario Smalls.
Smalls played for five seasons in the AFL with Kansas City and New Orleans.
The Trojans are ready to start defense of their 2012 state crown.
“We now turn our attention to Kingstree,” Wright said. “We don’t have much film to look at but from what I'm hearing they are much improved and are loaded with athletes. We need a good week of practice and we will give our best effort come kickoff.”
Kickoff Friday at Kingstree is at 7:30 p.m.