Sports News

Vandy Study Honors Bears

Puts Griffin High football in top 9 percent of schools nationally for Div. I recruits

by: JOHN SULLIVAN Sports Editor jsullivan@griffindailynews.com Griffin Daily News

Vandy Football PictureThe letter Griffin football head coach Steve DeVoursney recently received from Vanderbilt University was dated Nov. 25. It wasn’t the standard recruiting letter. Instead, it was a letter notifying him of the following: “According to our data, Griffin High School is one of 1,290 high schools producing Division IA football players at a much higher rate than the rest of the country.”

It was with great interest DeVoursney continued reading the letter he received after Thanksgiving. It continued: “This past spring, in an attempt to improve our recruiting efforts, we conducted a comprehensive study of the 11,549 high school seniors who signed Division IA football scholarships between 2004 and 2008. We discovered a large percentage of Division IA football signees came from a very small percentage of high schools. In fact, over 67 percent of signees came from less than 9 percent of the nation’s high schools. Intotal, 1,290 schools (less than 9 percent of all the schools in the country) produced at least 3 Division IA signees during the five year period we studied.”

The letter was signed by running backs coach Desmond Kitchings.

“It’s an honor,” said DeVoursney, in his eighth season as a head coach at Griffin and his 13th season overall with the Bears. “Less than nine percent of the high schools in the United States fall into the category. That says a lot about our program and the tradition. It’s a great compliment to our coaches and kids who have come through here.”

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The Bears’ Den|Griffin’s Memorial Stadium Voted as Top-15 Hardest Places to Play

by BRIAN GIANDELONEAssistant Sports Editorbrian@griffindailynews.com

Football Stands

Griffin’s Memorial Stadium was voted as the No. 15 toughest venue for visiting teams competing against the Bears in the latest issue of Varsity Sports Media’s Georgia Football magazine.

The magazine also voted Griffin High School’s defensive line as the second best in the state this season.

Memorial Stadium’s ranking comes as no surprise to Griffin’s coaching staff. The Bears have not lost at home since 2005 against Northside-Warner Robins.

“We have a lot of great fan support,” Griffin head coach Steve DeVoursney said. “People like to come see the Griffin Bears and wear the green and gold, and just love good football.”

Aside from Memorial Stadium, the Bears have also played recently at six of the other locations named on the list. Griffin traveled to Valdosta’s Cleveland Field at Bazemore-Hyder, Thomson’s Brickyard, Marist’s Hughes-Spalding Stadium, Brookwood Community Stadium, Lowndes’s Martin Stadium and Dalton High’s Chappell Field at Harmon Stadium

With his experiences at those stadiums, DeVoursney said he believes the list is fairly accurate.

“Those are some tough places to play at. The ones that I have played at, I know it’s tough to win there,” he said.

DeVoursney recalled hearing “Cat Scratch Fever” for two hours when playing against Dalton and the stories about the ghost of Valdosta’s stadium.

“You hear that tin banging when those kids come out,” he said. “It’s just tough to win down there. It’s big time football. That’s south Georgia football.”

As for Memorial Stadium’s ranking, DeVoursney said the Bears’ history has a lot to do with the team’s current respect.

“It says a lot about a lot of different people who’s had a lot of different input into this program,” he said. “It’s not something I did or this team. It’s something that teams in the past have done and the tradition that we’ve had.”