August 24, 2011 When the Fort Valley State University Wildcats take the field this football season, fans from the Middle Georgia area might be surprised at the number of familiar faces on the roster. With 18 players from Fort Valley, Warner Robins and Macon, the Wildcats are hopeful that this group of homegrown talent will be the key ingredients to a successful season.
While the old adage of “too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the broth” applies in most cases, the FVSU football players believe that when it comes to winning football games, you can never have too many hands stirring the pot. For the hodgepodge of Middle Georgia players, each is prepared to lend unique abilities to a tasty blend of “home cooking” which could ultimately lead to a champion’s feast.
One of the top chefs for the Wildcats this season is Fort Valley native Antonio Henton(wearing jersey #1 in photo). The junior quarterback is scheduled to lead the FVSUoffensive attack and is comfortable relying on some familiar teammates to help him shoulder the load.
“The fact that we have so many guys from the area is a plus for me,” says Henton. “When it comes to our passing game, my comfort level is high because I’m reunited with Chris (Christopher Slaughter wears #2 jersey in photo), my “go to” receiver when we played together at Peach County High School.”
A similar feeling is echoed by freshman running back Travis Richmond. The former Peach County High standout (in jersey #4) already feels at home with his new FVSUfamily.
“Because I am familiar with a lot of the guys on the team who played high school football in Middle Georgia, the transition into the program has been pretty easy for me,” he says.
It’s not only the players who benefit from a roster with a strong local presence. The residual effect of the team’s local flavor should also be felt in ticket sales this season. With almost one fourth of the team from the Middle Georgia area, family, friends and fans who watched the players on the high school level can continue to view their growth on the collegiate level.
“It was deliberate on our part,” says FVSU Head Coach Donald Pittman. “When we drafted our recruiting policy, we put a strong emphasis on local players. We knew that we would win on two fronts with that approach. Not only would we get quality student-athletes, we also knew we would get a loyal following of fans. So far, our home cooked menu tastes just fine.”
Tickets to the FVSU Wildcats vs. Florida A & M Rattlers are available. Visithttp://www.wildcatticketoffice.com or stop by the FVSU Cashiers Office located on the second floor of the Troup Building between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For additional information, please call (478) 825-6433.