By Anthony Rhoads

In 2001, a local high school football team was playing at Tara Stadium against Evans, a school from Augusta.

That was nothing out of the ordinary as Evans was a part of the 16-team Region 4-AAAAA during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 school years.

The local team won the game handily but it was almost sad.

It was sad because Evans had more people in the stands than the local team.

The crew working in the press box at Tara was even amazed at the dismal turnout for the local team. One worker even did a quick count of people in the stands shortly before the start of the game.

Not counting the band, there were 29 fans in the stands. Attendance picked up a little bit by the time the game started, but there may not have been 100 folks in the home stands for the game.

It was a shame and embarrassment that Evans would draw more fans than a Clayton County team.

This season has been kind of the same.

At last week's Jonesboro-Lovejoy game at Tara, someone commented to me about the attendance. Attendance was not bad but it wasn't as good as what it should have been for a state-ranked football team taking on one of its main county rivals.

Rooting against the local guy: I usually hope the local players to do well at the collegiate level. For instance, I am not really a Georgia fan but I like to see D.J. Shockley do well. It's nice to see guys from this area to go on and succeed at the next level.

But on Oct. 18, I have to admit that I hope a local player doesn't lead his team to victory.

On Oct. 18, former Riverdale standout Kerrick Cooper will be leading the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets against Concord College, my alma mater. It will be Concord's homecoming and hopefully, the Mountain Lions will come away with a victory.

Last year Cooper passed for 184 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 30 yards for West Virginia State last year in a 44-14 loss to Concord.

I'm not hoping that Cooper has a bad outing. It might be okay if he has a good game but hopefully, West Virginia State will lose.

Chances are, Cooper will have a good game as he is off to a solid start this season. He is currently ranked second in passing yardage in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Giving some credit to someone behind the scenes: A couple of times since I have been here at the News-Daily and Daily Herald, I have been asked about historical information that is included in some of the football and basketball stories.

Some readers are amazed that we know what happened and have details on some of the games from years ago.

Credit and kudos for that information has to go to Ira Kirkpatrick, a Morrow High School teacher who is the unofficial sports information director for Clayton County.

Kirkpatrick has volunteered his time and efforts to put together a comprehensive history of Clayton County booklet. In the three yers I I have been a part of the sports staff here, his football, basketball and baseball books have been a big help and have made our jobs a lot easier.

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for The Daily and his column appears on Wednesdays. He can be reached at or