Tifton Gazette

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January 16, 2014

Tift coaches, players defend border tonight

TIFTON — The prep football season has long been over, but for the Tift County Blue Devils coaching staff, this week was just like any other from September-November.

Devils head coach John Reid has been tasked with leading the Georgia team against Florida tonight in the second War of the Border game, which will be played at Mack Tharpe Stadium in Moultrie at 8 p.m. It will be a thoroughly blue effort as several of his assistants have also been enlisted to care for the team.

The first game of the series, played last week in Valdosta, resulted in a 31-24 victory for the Peach State. A third game is scheduled to be played next month.

South Georgia players made up the bulk of the roster of the first game, with athletes from Tiftarea Academy, Cook, Berrien, Irwin County and Turner County being involved. That will be the case tonight, too, albeit with different schools.

Reid is taking some of his own to the game. He said Devils Ryan Wedgeworth, Steve Waters, Davarious Butler, Rashad Parks, Javier Clark and Malik Pittman will be involved.

Quarterback Wedgeworth threw for six touchdowns in 2013, ran for 10 and even caught a scoring strike. Pittman, a wide receiver, had receptions in seven games with his biggest game coming against Coffee. The Devils had a huge comeback win and Pittman had two touchdowns and threw for another. Playing a big role in their production was Clark, one of the anchors of the offensive line.

Parks is a defensive lineman, Waters a linebacker and Butler was a defensive back. All made key contributions during the season, Waters and Parks racking up sack after sack and Butler had several interceptions, including two in a single game against Lowndes.

Several of the players were also on the Region 1-AAAAAA squad. Clark and Butler were 2nd team players. Wedgeworth, Pittman and Waters were named honorable mention.

The squad will also have area representation from Worth County.

Coach Jason Tone said the Rams will be sending running back Quantavious Sweney, quarterback Tay Curry, linemen Greg Clark and Jeff Bradley and tight end/offensive lineman Kyle Evans.

Other teams represented will be Colquitt County, Americus-Sumter, Cairo, Bainbridge, Brooks County, Early County, Mitchell-Baker, Monroe of Albany, Miller County, Pelham, Thomas County Central, Thomasville and Westover.

Mike Coe will be the head coach of the Florida squad.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, with children under 5 admitted free.

A third War of the Border game will be played Feb. 15. That one will require a bit of travel for area fans as it will be hosted by Charlton County.

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