Alba-Golden wins final game, optimism up for next year

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Athletes accumulate lots of memories during their careers, most of them good, and of course some better than most. Senior year performances are always great memories for former athletes, particularly one special game, a special win and even most especially that last game of a high school football career. Oh, what grand moments those memories can be, especially if everything goes the right way.

Well, two Alba-Golden Panther seniors stuffed their memory locker to the brim Friday night in Alba as they led their teammates to a 49-27 season-ending victory over Como-Pickton. No, the season didn’t end the way they or their teammates had pictured it. The Panthers only posted three wins during the 10-game campaign and are sitting at home while four other teams from their district get to enjoy the postseason playoff festivities.

That was painful for all the Panthers, but breaking a six-game losing streak to end the year had to ease the pain a little and for seniors Cody Frazier and Frederick Reeves that last game in their dandy red football togs is one they will probably be telling their kids, grandkids and even their great-grandkids about.

“It has been a long season for us. A hard season for us. We have had injuries we never expected to have and that hurt us, but still we had a great season in many ways,” Panther Head Coach Ron Callahan said after the game.

“We needed this win and I am real proud of the way we played for all our kids. The seniors were just great and this is a game they will never forget. We had a lot of young kids playing for us this season. When we started the year, we had 18 kids in our 22 starting positions that had never played a down of varsity football. Our kids learned a lot this season and we will be far better off for it in the future. I just can’t say how proud of the effort all of our kids gave us this season,” Callahan added.

For Frazier, who had four 100-yard plus games this season, he put on a show running the football that was, to say the least, nothing short of fantastic as he gained 283 yards on 16 carries which included touchdown jaunts of 43, 78 and 98 yards. In addition, he also ran over one two-point conversion.

However, it didn’t stop there for the 6-1, 172 pound Frazier. He was called on to pass the ball twice during the contest and he completed both of his tosses, one for a dandy 36-yard gain and the other for a 30-yard touchdown strike.

But that isn’t all this young man did in his football swan song, he also returned one punt for 6 yards and one kickoff for 40 yards.

Oh, but that still wasn’t all he did for the Panthers Friday night. Frazier started and played the whole game at safety on defense, making no less than five tackles that eliminated very strong Como-Pickton scoring threats.

Well, now, how about what Reeve did on the night. It was spectacular also. Besides being a great wide receiver, Reeves is a fanatical cornerback on defense. He turned defense into an offensive weapon for the Panthers in the first quarter when he intercepted a pass off the hand of Como-Pickton quarterback Conner Childers and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown. He picked off another Childers pass in the waning moments of the game and returned it 21 yards to the Eagle nine-yard-line. The Panthers did the gentlemanly thing at that point and simply took a knee on the next two plays to end the game.

At his cornerback slot Reeves was all over the field and made his present from starting kickoff to the final gun. Como-Pickton put the ball in play 59 times on offense during the contest and Reeves either made or assisted the tackle on some 20 of those plays.

Now shifting to offense, the little wide-out caught two passes for 66 yards, one of them Frazier’s 30-yard scoring strike. Reeves usually gets called on to run with the ball a few times in most games and Friday wasn’t his best night in that venue. He was only called on to tote the mail once and the play resulted in no gain, but no loss either, and considering all the other things he did accomplish for the Panthers Friday night, who’s too worried about that?

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