Through several coaching changes and players coming and going, the Warriors are finally establishing a football program that the entire school and community can be proud of on a regular basis. The 2011 season was huge for the Warriors, as Skipstone set a school-record with a 7-3 mark in 8-man football action, including a win over North Ga. Christian in an 11-man game. Now they are poised to join a league for the first time since the team’s inaugural season of 2009, when they were part of the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama (ICSGA) and went 0-8.
Skipstone will be the newest member of the 11-man Glory For Christ League (GFC) and will be able to compete for a division and league championship in 2012. The Warriors will reside in the five-team GFC East and all four of their division games will be on the road. They researched the GFC last season and made the decision to join after their independent 2011 season ended.
“We felt that the program was ready and that the guys were ready as well to move up to 11-man football permanently. With our partnership with Solid Rock and with some of the home schooled players we have, we believe we have the numbers to compete,” said Warriors head coach Dan Salvador during practice Thursday. “Plus, the GFC is built for schools in our situation - they have several teams which feature home schooled players with their kids at their schools.”
Salvador said he has 22 players on the varsity squad and 27 on the junior varsity. The JV team also consists of middle school athletes as well. The varsity will be returning several starters from last year and has some new players who should help the team be even better next year, Salvador said.
“The good thing about joining this league is that the guys will have a chance to be seen playing 11-man football and possibly get a college football scholarship,” said Salvador. “The GFC web site [georgiafootballleague.com] has highlighted a few players who signed letters of intent from last season.”
The Warriors players are all excited to play in a league this season.
“It feels good that I’ll be able to play for something my senior year,” said rising senior defensive end/tight end Rico Corbin. “It’ll be a great way to go out. We’ve got some new big boys on the team and I think we’ll do well in our new league.”
Warriors rising senior Josh King is the only Skipstone player to have competed all four years on the squad and has seen the team go from the depths of 0-8 to the heights of 7-3. He said he is thrilled to be able to play for a championship as a senior.
“We finally have a light at the end of the tunnel,” King said. “Now we can play for a title. Not a bad way to finish my senior year.”
Salvador said he has his own idea of how he’d like the 2012 season to end for the Warriors.
“Holy Spirit Prep won the GFC championship in 2011, their first year in the league,” he said. “We want to follow suit.”
Skipstone will continue having late practice today, before starting their 2012 football camp at the school this Sunday at 12:01 a.m. Warriors camp will then continue on Monday through Wednesday with early morning and late evening practices plus a lot of team bonding activities. There will only be a morning practice at camp next Wednesday.
Skipstone will also have a scrimmage game at Warriors Field next Friday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. against Creekside Christian. The Warriors' next preseason scrimmage is Aug. 10 at Appling Christian at 7:30 p.m. before their regular-season home opener against the East Atlanta Mustangs Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
SKIPSTONE ACADEMY 2012
8/3 |Creekside Christ.
8/10 |@ Appling Christ.
8/17 |East Atl.
8/24 |@ Anderson*
8/31 |@ Ga. Force*
9/7 |North Ga.
9/28 |No. Atlanta
10/5 |Calvary Christ.
10/12 |@ East Atl.*
10/19 |@ Augusta Prep*
10/27 |GFC Playoffs
* — GFC East Div.