By Anthony Rhoads
Just about any team would love to have had the ?rebuilding' year Lovejoy just experienced.
The Lovejoy Wildcats football team finished the 2003 season at 11-1 after falling to Westside-Macon Friday in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs.
"This was a rebuilding year; we lost so many seniors last year," Lovejoy head coach Al Hughes said. "Now, we're just going to learn from our mistakes this year and do the best we can next year."
Seniors: Lovejoy again is losing a slew of seniors including quarterback Kisan Flakes; wide receivers Santini Washington, Vernard Hoover and Dennis Thomas; running back Aaron Williams; defensive ends Jeremy Lomax and Richard Carter; offensive linemen Derek Baker, Brett Rochester, Andy Lassiter, Anthony Parker; tight end/defensive end Kyle Neal, tight end/linebacker Keith Boykins, kicker Rod Ferreira and linebacker Robert Hall.
Other seniors on this year's team were Allande Jean-Jacques, Shannon Mayfield, Vincent Brookins, Jordan Chastain, Daniel Montgomery, John Latta, Cody Nelson and Jimmy Le.
"This is a great group of seniors to lead the program," Hughes said. "They accepted the challenged and they met the challenge this year."
Who's coming back:?Lovejoy should be in pretty good shape next year with starters returning.
Offensive starters returning will be running back Mark Pettaway and linemen Martegus Yancey and Lee Isom. On defense, lineman Jonathan Battle and defensive backs Keith Fitzhugh and Anthony Stanley will be returning.
Punter/linebacker David McHone will also be returning.
For the record books: Lovejoy's 11-1 season in 2003 ties the record for most wins in school history.
In 1999, the Wildcats also went 11-1.
Lovejoy's 30-6 record over the last three years rank as one of the best three-year periods of all-time for Clayton County teams.
Morrow put together a record of 33-6 from 1987-89 and Mt. Zion went 32-6 from 1999-2002.