Cougars wrap up season with win

Published 2:07 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

LAGRANGE – They closed on a winning note.

The Lafayette Christian School Cougars finished the season with a 56-31 road win over Twiggs Academy on Friday.

The Cougars lost their first six games, but they won two of their last three to finish 2-7.

The Cougars had made four consecutive trips to the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association semifinals, but this was a rebuilding year.

Nearly half of the players were freshmen, and most of them either started or saw significant playing time.

Lafayette Christian head coach Nate Shaw, who led the team to an eight-man state championship in 2015, was happy with the way the young players developed.

“I’m pleased,” Shaw said. “Our young guys started to look more like Lafayette football players, which is a good thing. We did have a lot of young kids, and we did expect a lot of them. We’ve really moved that bar as far as how you perform. And they responded to it. That’s a good thing.”

Despite the losing record, Shaw believes the season was a success because of how the young players developed.

“It doesn’t help the win column all the time, but it lets you know as a coach you’re moving in the right direction,” he said. “And I can be pleased with that.”

Last week’s game was the end of the road for a group of seniors who have accomplished a great deal during their time as Cougars.

The seniors who entered the program as eighth-graders were a part of four semifinal teams, as well as one state-championship team.

One of those seniors, Knox Evert, exited the high-school stage in style.

“We were up big, and we put Knox Evert in at tight end,” Shaw said. “He’s been a perpetual guard or center his entire career. And he catches a 35-yard touchdown. He gets his first and only career touchdown.”

One of the players who will be returning next season is Landon Whitley, who had a phenomenal junior season.

Whitley, who was the starting quarterback on the state-championship team, capped his season by running for 231 yards on 17 attempts against Twiggs Academy.