Championship win starting to sink in at Morgan Academy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2003

Not even a week has past, but things are starting to settle down for Morgan coach Robert Gartman after his team’s exciting state championship win at Troy State over Faith Academy.

With the exception of the AISA all-star game that will take place at Selma’s Memorial Stadium on Dec. 5, football season is over.

Football players are on the hardwood playing a little hoop or resting up for baseball season.

Sometime after Christmas, Gartman and his staff will firmly put their nose back to the grindstone and begin working towards the school’s 11th state title.

But until then it’s time relax a little and enjoy the accomplishments of Morgan’s most improbable championship run.

The Senators dominated the favored Rams with their former Morgan coach Robbie James.

It came as a mild surprise to many who follow the program closely and a shock to other AISA followers around the state.

Faith was undefeated, the beat Morgan in Selma earlier in the year and common knowledge said that Morgan couldn’t keep up with Faith’s speed.

But what those who doubted the Senators missed was the team’s heart, their strength advantage and the fact that for three quarters, Morgan owned Faith earlier this season.

Last Friday night Morgan looked like the favored team and clearly deserved to be champions.

It was quite a growth from last year’s squad, but it was an improvement that Gartman saw coming months ago.

That was one of the things that stood out to Gartman this weekend as he went back and watch the game film, &uot;about 27 times.&uot;

The Senators won with a team style of football, like in the championship game, different players stepped up at different times.

In the title game, the kicking game made a huge difference.

Not just Jeremy Smith’s game-winning field goal, but effective punting by Smith, returning and kick coverage helped Morgan win the field position battle all night.

The all-star game marks the end of several Senators’ football careers.

They ended their career as champions, it’s something they can keep forever.

Their legacy is something team’s can learn from for years to come.

For now, the coaches and returning players get a bit of a break, but it’s hard to get that football fever out of the bloodstream.

Gartman said he caught himself working on some plays this week, but nipped it in the bud.

Then it will be time to start working on the 2004 title run.