Down and Dirty

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 11, 2001

Sophomore RB Flowers benefits from Thurston Lee and big offensive line


Sports Writer

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When the season started Pike County head coach Wayne Grant knew he had a special group of young players, and they’ve lived up to his expectations by providing

excellent leadership and tons of talent.

Thurston Lee, a senior standout at tight end and defensive end, said that the Bulldogs’ success didn’t just happen, but started with hard work early in the spring.

"Our offseason work started back in the spring when we won the state powerlifting championship. I think that has made us a much better team," Lee said. "Coach Grant also did a good job of getting us prepared by going over and over the plays with us."

The Bulldogs received a terrible blow early in the season as senior lineman Jeremy Lampley went down with a season ending injury. The Bulldogs not only lost a talented player but they also lost a four year starter in Lampley.

"It was hard at first (losing Lampley), but we had to come together and realize that we still had to play football. It was a big loss though," Lee said.

The Bulldogs started the regular season off with consecutive losses to Eufaula and Lanett, and it was a hard pill to swallow.

The 24-20 loss to Lanett was a heartbreaker and is one that Lee would like to have back.

"More than anything I hope that we meet up with Lanett in the playoffs. I think we’ll win that one. No, I’m sure that we’ll come out on top," Lee said.

After the Lanett loss the Bulldogs rolled off seven straight wins and one of the main reasons is due to the play of junior tailback Craig Flowers. Flowers took over after the departure of his brother Duran, who graduated in May.

Flowers said it has been tough filling his brother’s shoes.

"It’s been a very hard challenge, but the coaches and my teammates have helped me out. I’m still trying to fill that gap, but I know that I still have a lot to learn. Duran and me are real close, and sometimes he comes to the game and tells me what I’m doing right or wrong," Flowers said. "Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s not, but I’ve got to listen to him because he’s my older brother."

Flowers also noted that he is very appreciative of the offensive line and the work that they do.

"I give them all of the credit because without them we wouldn’t be getting any of the yards that we get."

Lee also praises the offensive lines’ efforts, but is quick to point out the importance of the backup players on the line.

"I’m proud of the young players this year that have stepped up to give the starters a break. I’m very confident in their ability to get play."

Lee said he enjoys being on the same side of the ball as Chris Nickson, Joey Spikner, and Elijah Daniel.

"For a sophomore I think that Chris is very mature and intelligent. He plays over his head sometimes, but he has no choice in some situations," Lee said.

Flowers gives a lot of credit for his success to Grant’s coaching ability.

"I’ve improved a lot," he said. "Coach Grant tells us (running backs) that we have to be smart runners and he helps us to realize what to do in certain situations. He also tells us to hit the holes hard and to protect ourselves."

Flowers said that his most enjoyable game this season was a 58-0 win over Alabama Christian, not because he put up great numbers, but for a more important reason.

"Our whole team was playing great. Everybody stepped up and we really came together as a team," Flowers said.