Clinch County panthers
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This has been a season of redemption for both the McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers and their coach Robby Robinson.
McIntosh has returned to playing a style of winning football that was only attained in Robinson’s previous stint when he was in Darien from 2004-2010, and compiling a 54-24-1 record.
After the Bucs hit bottom following a winless 2014 season, McIntosh looked to their past to improve their future by bringing their former coach back home.
In 2015, Robinson returned and gave the team the belief that they could actually win again by going 4-7.
Coach Robinson and his team would take the next step this season by going 7-2 and capturing second place in Region 3-A.
With the arrival of the state playoffs, McIntosh is playing their best football of the season and have an opportunity to bring home a state championship in Atlanta against the Macon County Bulldogs at the Georgia Dome. Recently, I had the chance to catch up with the McIntosh County Academy coach and talk to him about the season and what it has been like coming back to MCA.
SSE: Before the season officially got underway, I saw your team play Glynn Academy in a scrimmage and recalled thinking that your Bucs could be in for a very good season. When did you feel like your team could have a special season?
Robinson: “This summer when we competed at a high level at padded camps vs Glynn Academy, Brookwood, Warner Robins, Valdosta and Ware County.”
SSE: A big turning point in the season was when Coach Robinson’s son, Major Robinson, took over the reigns of your offense. Has it been difficult to balance the father/son & coach/player dynamic?
Robinson: “He’s my third son to be my quarterback, so I’ve had to learn the hard way to be a daddy at home and coach on the field. I’m still learning though,” Robinson laughed.
SSE: A team doesn’t turn around from winless two seasons ago to playing for a state title without respected leaders on the team. Who are the players you depended on for leadership this season?
Robinson: “Jonathan Jason, Akhira Roberts, and Dustin Anderson….they were elected as our Senior Leaders by their teammates.”
SSE: Your team will be riding up to Atlanta, playing in the Georgia Dome, do you talk to your team about not making this game any different than another game? Maybe borrow from Hoosiers, “a football field is the same 100 yards in Atlanta as it is in Darien…”
Robinson: “YES! Did that Monday at a team meeting…..It’s the same field in a big building.”
SSE: Your team has displayed winning football all season, what are the keys for your Bucs to bring home the win against Macon County?
Robinson: “We have to eliminate the big play, control the clock, and win with special teams.”
SSE: What would a victory mean, not only for you as a coach, but what would it mean for the whole county of McIntosh to finally have a championship to call their own?
Robinson: “Win or Lose…………All of McIntosh County should be proud! All of McIntosh County can learn a lesson from our team. If we unite with a common goal, then great things can happen.”
This has indeed been a year of redemption for both Coach Robinson and his Buccaneers football team.
Robinson has proven previous detractors wrong by returning to Darien and righting the Buccaneers ship yet again. The McIntosh team found redemption of their own over the course of the season, after a week two loss at home to defending state champion Clinch County 32-7.
The Buccaneers sailed onward and headed to Homerville in the state semifinals against those same Panthers defeating Clinch 24-8 to complete their 180-degree turnaround and earn the right to play for a state championship.
Coach Robinson and his Buccaneers have a tough task at hand with Macon County, but they have faced tough situations before and have come out on top. Win or lose, this has been a special season that all of McIntosh can be proud.