Coach Tommy Walburn-" I have been here 3 seasons."
So you went from 2-8 in 2007 to 6-5 this past year and made the playoffs?
Coach Tommy Walburn-"We had alot of guys returning and alot of those seniors we had were 3 year starters for us. It has taken us a little while to get this thing going. I followed a coach that had been here a long time. We are building this program on trust and that takes a while. I feel like the kids this year have learned to trust the coaches and trust us in the weight room and also the scheme's we are using. The biggest thing I harp on each and every year is our practice habits. I think our kids were embarrassed over the 2007 season with a 2-8 record,just like we were as a staff. We all wanted to prove that we still had good football players in Crisp County.We made the first round of the playoffs this year but we have bigger goals than that here. We need to continue to get better each year."
Coach can you talk about your region as a whole?
Coach Walburn-" People ask me this all the time. I was at Lagrange for a long time in that West Central Georgia area and there is some good football teams there as well. The difference between down here and up there is that every week you are playing a really good football team and a really good coached team. That is every week. Region or Non Region it is tough week in and week out. It is also the enviroment down here. In alot of these towns all they have is their high school football team to talk about 365 days a year. I like that about Crisp as well. It is my community against your community every Friday night. I remember a fan telling me when I first got here, that Crisp County Cougars is everybody's favorite team here. We dont worry about the SEC and ACC teams as a number one priority."
Are you doing anything different this year in the offseason?
Coach Walburn-"We are always tweaking some things, but we are mostly staying with our same work ethic. Our kids know that a football team is made in the weight room from Jan. to August. Once the season starts in August you can't go back and make that time up. Working hard in the offseason gives you confidence to beat the man in front of you and also helps to prevent injuries. We know our kids understand that now."
One of the kids this offseason that has impressed me was Tommy Sanders off of your team. Can you tell me a little about him?
Coach Walburn-" Tommy is a very quiet kid. I took him down to Central Florida Junior Day and he barely said a word the whole time. He said thank you when we got back. He has a great knack for finding the football. He always plays full speed and he never takes plays off.( I saw this as well on film) The game outcome means something to him. He wants to win every week. If we can get 11 guys on offense and 11 guys on defense to have that in them we are going to be tough to deal with.He is a hard worker in the offseason and just really a good kid. Georgia, Central Florida, South Carolina and Alabama have all called about him recently. He measured out at 6'2" and 200 lbs at Central Florida Jr. Day. They just offered him last week."