Life goes on at Wilcox after championship

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 27, 2003

On Friday night, Wilcox Academy coach Chris Burford pulled out all the stops in the AISA AA State Championship game.

Burford was fiery and animated on the sidelines.

The coach alternated between giving energy to his team when they flagged to taking his energy from them as they showed amazing heart and spirit.

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In the end, it was good enough for an exciting 30-29 win over pass-happy Edgewood and the state title.

It worked.

From the start, the Wildcats of Wilcox seemed to be precariously holding onto a slim advantage.

Every time Edgewood punched, Wilcox made a big play to come back.

Whether it was quarterback Phillip Merryman, running back Michael Riggs, fellow runner Michael Montee or receiver Chase Felts, it seemed whenever Wilcox needed a big play they got one.

Things went south during the third quarter for Wilcox.

They roughed the punter, which allowed Edgewood to continue a scoring drive.

They missed on a fake punt which gave Edgewood some points, but the team battled back.

During the course of the game, it’s easy for a coach to miss the little things that happen here and there. But in all the excitement of Friday’s win, Burford got a few nice surprises when he looked at the game film.

Of course even when a season ends in a championship, the ending is still bitter-sweet for a coach.

Still Burford will get to work with many of the players again.

The coach didn’t get much time to sit back and enjoy the win.

Basketball season is starting and Burford will coach several of his football players will play for him.

Then after basketball, it will be time to concentrate on next football season.