Cougars on road for season opener

Published 12:23 am Friday, August 18, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – It’s go time for the Lafayette Christian School Cougars.

Lafayette Christian will embark on a new season with a road game against Solid Rock Christian today in Fayetteville.

It’s a familiar foe for the Cougars.

The two teams have been playing for a decade, and they’re meeting in the season opener for the second straight year.

Lafayette Christian lost last year’s game 18-6, but it went on to enjoy another successful season that ended with a loss in the semifinals of the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association semifinals.

Lafayette Christian won a state championship in 2015, but the team suffered heavy losses to graduation.

Despite the massive roster turnover, the Cougars continued to thrive a year ago, and they reached the GICAA semifinals for a fourth consecutive year before losing to Holy Ground.

Despite the loss of a handful of all-state players from last year’s team, expectations are high once again.

Among the talented returnees is junior quarterback Landon Whitley, who was a starter on the 2015 team that won a state title.

Whitley is back for his third year as a starter, and he’s feeling comfortable heading into today’s game.

“I pretty much know the playbook,” Whitley said. “I feel like I know everything I’m supposed to do, how I’m supposed to do it. I’m pretty confident.”

Whitley is also feeling good about the men who’ll be protecting him this season.

The Cougars had offensive-line issues at times a year ago, but that position figures to be a strength this year, much to Whitley’s delight.

“Having those guys up front helps a lot,” Whitley said. “You don’t feel like you’re going to get hit every play.”

Whitley will be surrounded by some talented skill players on offense, and the defense should be in good shape as well with a number of returning players.

Add it all up, and the Cougars could be poised to be in the hunt for a state championship once again.

“I think we have a chance this year to win state,” Whitley said.

Lafayette Christian will make its home debut on Aug. 25 against New Creation.