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King of the Plains: DHS Tigers capture Passing Camp Title

Demopolis High School football is back, stronger, faster, and already have a championship under their belts, as the Tigers walk off the Plains of Auburn University this weekend with the 7-on-7 Auburn Passing Camp Championship.

Auburn opened up its summer camp schedule Friday afternoon with the first of two 7-on-7 team passing camps. Nearly 300 high school football players from schools across the South flocked to the Plains this weekend for the first of two passing camps.

Demopolis may not have been considered the best team coming into this weekend tournament, which was loaded with plenty of big-time prospects, but by Saturday’s end the Tigers had accomplished what no other team in Alabama has ever been able to do on the plains.

Win it all.

DHS took to the plains of Auburn with a five-year itch to win that was finally soothed on Saturday when the Tigers beat South Gwinnett (Ga.) High School 27-7 to claim the tournament title and become the first Alabama team to do so.

“I’m real proud of the players because they really scrapped and fought hard,” said Demopolis head coach Doug Goodwin. “They did what they had to do to win.”

To make the win more impressive, the Tigers were forced to play without four starters at the skill positions, two of which came on the defensive side of the ball at corner and rover. Although the defense was shorthanded, the Tigers only allowed one touchdown in the finals which came late in the second half with the outcome already determined.

South Gwinnett, who entered the contest with a 6-1 camp record, failed to cross midfield until their only score came with three minutes left in the game when Anthony Davy hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass.

Offensively, Demopolis was led by the best overall quarterback at the camp in senior Devin Goodwin.

Devin, whose brother Dusty Goodwin is a walk-on quarterback at Auburn, was accurate and displayed great touch on his throws consistently throughout the tournament.

In the championship game alone, he threw for touchdowns of 15, 40, 25 and 30-yards.

On top of being a solid high school quarterback, Goodwin is also a standout baseball player. As a junior, he was selected first team All-State at shortstop after hitting .360 with 18 doubles and three triples. He is being heavily recruited as a baseball player from some SEC schools and in-state Troy State and UAB.

As for the camp, coach Goodwin believes it only helped his team get better on both sides of the ball.

“The camp helps as much for the defense as it does for the offense,” he said. “We like to come here (to Auburn) because we get to play teams from Georgia and Florida who are a lot bigger than us (in classification).”

Demopolis, who finished the camp with a 6-2 record, got off to a slow start Friday in the round-robin format losing their first match-up with South Gwinnett on the final play of the game.

But after going 3-2 during the first day’s action, the Tigers caught fire under Saturday’s sun and came out smoking.

In the first round of the playoffs during Day 2, Demopolis beat Marbury (Ala.) High School 28-21 before edging North Florida Christian 22-21 in the semi finals and advancing to the championship game.

South Gwinnett, which went 4-1 during Friday’s games, came out Saturday morning and beat Bainbridge (Ga.) 28-18 before eclipsing previously unbeaten Sequoyah (Ga.) High 21-12 to reach the championship game.

Sequoyah High, led by quarterback Tony Pastore finished the camp tied with the best overall record at 7-1 after beating North Florida Christian in the consolation game.

The biggest upset of the tournament came in the first round of the playoffs Saturday morning when NFC beat tournament favorite Niceville (Fla.) 26-20. Niceville went on to finish the tournament at 7-1.

Bainbridge, which was sent to the loser’s bracket after the opening round loss to South Gwinnett, featured the strongest armed quarterback at the camp in Patrick Riley. Riley, who is an outstanding athlete, is likely headed the junior college route due to academics. Bainbridge did manage to ride his talent to a 5-3 camp record.

The best of the bunch this weekend just happened to hail from the same high school in New Orleans, La. – St. Augustine.

St. Augustine is home to possibly six Division I prospects for the Class of 2005. However, only two made the trip in safety Patrick Trahan (6-foot-2, 210-pounds) and tight end Selvish Capers (6-foot-5, 248-pounds).

Trahan has secured early offers from Auburn, Colorado, UCLA, Indiana and West Virginia and is being heavily recruited by many other schools including LSU, Florida and Michigan.

Selvish recently picked up his first offer from Bowling Green and is also receiving attention from Auburn, Georgia Tech, LSU, West Virginia, UCLA and Virginia Tech.

Other schools with top prospects at this year’s camp included: L.D. Scott and Brandon Carlisle of Auburn High School, South Gwinnett’s Anthony Davy, Niceville (Fla.) High School safety Brett Carr and linebacker Coy Williamson, Dalton High safety Drew Parks, Sequoyah (Ga.) High School quarterback Tony Pastore and Rome (Ga.) High School safety Marcus McClure.