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Sweet Water works to fill positions of last year’s champs

SWEET WATER &045; The hardest thing facing the Sweet Water High school football squad as it prepares for next season isn’t necessarily filling positions of players who graduated after last year’s championship season.

While the group did lose seven seniors from the team, all seven of which were starters for the program, head coach Stacy Luker said he feels the group can and will adjust to the vacancies left by those player’s exeunt. The biggest challenge he said his group faces is adjusting to the transition in the coaching staff after the group lost two coaches to, down the road rival, Linden High School.

Luker said the voids left in the coaching staff have since been filled by two coaches from Thomasville High School. Filling Williams’ defensive coordinator position is Pat Thompson, who filled the same role at the Thomasville High School a school at which he previously coached. Kevin Byrd will take over the defensive backs and receivers, while also stepping into the head baseball position at the school.

Luker said he has previous experience coaching with Thompson, which made the choice easier as well. He said this season with Thompson at the helm of the defense the group will run the same 3-4 defense it has run in the past, but he noted there will be subtle differences in both the way the formation is run and the coaching styles.

Luker said the change from high energy to a more relaxed system of coaching might be good for his defensive unit, though. He said players who have been in the system for a long period of time will now have the opportunity to be exposed to a slightly different coaching style, something that may help the group in the long run.