By Doug Gorman
When Kenndy Holt walks down the hall toward his football office at Morrow High School, he can't help but get inspired.
After all, the walls are full of old photos which serve as a visual reminder that the Mustangs once had a rich football history.
Hanging in his own office is a team photo from Morrow's 1987 state championship season.
The first-year Morrow coach realizes most of his players weren't even born when the Mustangs beat Effingham County 21-0 at Tara Stadium in front of a crowd estimated at 18,000 to win the state title, but he hopes his troops can draw from the school's past history.
So far, he has a reason to be optimistic.
"We are of one accord," he said. "Everybody is coming together, and we are on the same page."
The Mustangs concluded what the new coach dubbed "Camp Victory" Friday afternoon. Morrow football players were served a high concentration of football, but also ventured into the community to help with service projects in an effort to build team unity during the five-day camp.
Holt will also bring a new brand of discipline to the Morrow football team. Before teaching and coaching at Forest Park Middle School and also coaching at Alabama A&M, Holt had a 20-year military career in the Army.
"I have an open-door policy," he said, "I want my players to know that I am always going to be here for them."
Along with his optimisitic outlook, Holt knows there's work to be done in order for Morrow to get back on track.
The Mustangs won just three times in the last two seasons, and Morrow fans have to go back to the team's 10-2 playoff season in 1998 to find a winning record.
Holt has dipped back to the team's past and asked veteran coach Jerry Moore to join the staff. Moore was the head coach of the Mustangs during that successful 1998 campaign, and as a long-time assistant, was part of the state championship team in 1987.
"It will be good to have him on the staff," said Holt. "He has been around Morrow, and he is a part of the team's rich history.
As the Mustangs get closer to the regular-season, it appears Holt could go with a two-quarterback system.
Both Marlon Riddick and Demetrius Williams have looked sharp for the Mustangs and could share time under center.
They will be able to hand the ball off to Claude Williams, who is returning at running back or pass the ball to DeJuan Gomillion, who comes back at wide receiver.
Stephenson, Douglass and Riverdale should again be the three teams to beat in the quest for a Region 2-AAAAA title, but Holt is confident his team can compete.
"I guess you might say we are on the bottom of the food chain right now, but that's okay, because I think we are capable of sneaking up on people and surprising them," Holt said.
Aug. 19 Forest Park (Twelve Oaks)
Aug. 25 Riverdale (Tara)
Sept. 2 Mundy's Mill (Tara)
Sept. 10 Lovejoy (Twelve Oaks)
Sept. 17at Stephenson (DeKalb Memorial) *
Sept. 24 Douglass (Twelve Oaks) *
Sept. 30 Tri-Cities (Twelve Oaks) *
Oct. 14 at Lithonia (Panthersville) *
Oct. 22 Newton (Twelve Oaks) *
Oct. 29 at Redan (DeKalb Memorial) *
* Region 2-AAAA game