August 20, 2014 8:42:34 PM
SULLIGENT, Ala. - Dennis Robbins is no stranger to championship football.
Robbins spent the last eight years as offensive coordinator at highly successful Lafayette High School in Oxford, Miss. Since 2009, his team played for the Mississippi High School Class 4A state championship four times, winning back-to-back state titles in 2010 and 2011.
Now, Robbins brings his championship pedigree to Sulligent High School, which has experience some lean years on the playing field of late. The Blue Devils have endured three consecutive losing seasons, averaging seven losses per year since 2011.
"It's a matter of starting right now and forget about the past,"Robbins said. "We are building for the future. I think we can be successful here, I really do. It takes everyone, a lot more people than just the football team. It's going to take some time."
Senior offensive and defensive tackle Brant Byrd has stood out in fall camp. The 6-5, 270-pounder is attracting attention from college recruiters.
"When you have that kind of size, someone will sign you," Robbins said. "He has all the physical tools."
Byrd will be by seniors Lucas Reeves, Brad Merchant, Will Benefield and Dakota Lugo, along with sophomore Collin Carruth.
Robbins was not hired until late June, so he did not have the luxury of spring practice.
"We are behind for sure," he added. "We have to install the offense, defense and special teams. We have a lot to do in short amount of time."
Sulligent will run the spread offense and returns several skill players that will fit nicely into the system, including senior quarterback Nathan Gardner, senior running back Roman Glass, senior receiver Justin Metcalf and junior receiver Codarious Metcalf.
"Gardner will be the key to our offense," Robbins said. "I like what he does back there. The returnees on offense should be a real plus for us."
Senior linebackers Jesse Keller and Skylar Hawkins return along with sophomore linebacker Hunter Lockhart, junior linebacker Jonas Brock and junior corner Duston Summerville. The story goes here
1. MSU vs. Southern Mississippi: Five Things to Watch COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Oak HIll Academy looks to stop skid in series with Heritage Academy HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
3. New Hope looks for continued improvement against Columbus HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Game of Week: Starkville, West Point renew HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS