Looking forward to 2005

By Anthony Rhoads

The year 2005 is right around the corner so I thought I would list a few things I would like to see happen in the upcoming year.

First off, I want West Virginia to beat Florida State in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day.

I am a die-hard West Virginia fan and there's nothing I would like to see more than the Mountaineers win a bowl game. Even though West Virginia has been one of the most consistent Division I-A programs since 1980 – the team has only had five losing seasons and showed flashes of brilliance including two undefeated regular seasons (1988 and 1993).

But one thing that has plagued the Mountaineers throughout the years is a lack of success in bowl games. They went to 16 bowls from 1981-2003 but only won four, the 1981 Peach Bowl, the 1983 Hall of Fame Bowl, the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl and the 2000 Music City Bowl.

They just never have seemed to get up for the post-season and this year, I hope things change. I sincerely hope they smack Florida State in the mouth.

In pro football, I would like to see to see the Atlanta Falcons go to the Super Bowl and at the very least, have two consecutive winning seasons in a row, something that hasn't been done in the history of the franchise.

In pro baseball, I want the Atlanta Braves to win the World Series. Winning division titles is nice and it sure beats what was going on in the mid to late-80s but it would be good to see Atlanta win its first World Series since 1995.

When the 2005 high school football season rolls around I would like to see Lovejoy get past the second round in the state playoffs. For the past several seasons, Lovejoy has put exceptionally talented teams on the football field but they just haven't been able to get past the second round.

I would like to see Forest Park win at least one game in 2005. In 2004, the Panthers went 0-10 and set a Clayton County record for most points allowed in a season. That kind of season has to be tough to go through and I hope the kids who come back next year can enjoy a little success.

Speaking of struggling teams, can any of the Henry County public school teams have a winning season in 2005? I hope so. With the exception of a few seasons here and there, football has been bad year in and year out in Henry County and it would be good if those programs can turn things around. But it is going to be a tough battle for next few years as the county keeps adding schools and depleting the talent pool.

I hope the Eagle's Landing Christian Academy football team can continue to compete in Class A in 2005. The Chargers are losing three of the best football players in the area, quarterback Cole Springer, tight end/linebacker Alec Huber and all-around athlete Tim Waters. They do have some good kids coming back like Russ Cooper but for a team that only has about 40 players on its roster, losing three Division I-A and I-AA level athletes can really hurt.

Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for the Daily and his column appears on Wednesdays. He can be reached at arhoads@news-daily.com .