Over the weekend the Albany State Golden Rams held the first of two open practices before the annual blue and gold scrimmage to show fans there is a lot to be excited about heading into next season. The practice had game intensity, and you can tell the Golden Rams do not anticipate taking a step back following a 10-2 season that resulted in a SIAC championship.
In football, there is a term “iron sharpens iron “, and this term perfectly describes the scrimmage. The defense came out and set the tone of the practice early by flying to the ball every play and of course, trash-talking the offense.
It didn’t take the offense very long to respond with several long drives that resulted in touchdowns. This is exactly what you want to see in a scrimmage. You never want one side to completely dominate, but both sides compete at a high level and that’s exactly what we saw from The Golden Rams.
Another great thing that will make this squad special is the team chemistry. After each play you can just see the camaraderie of the team and how excited they were for each other.
After the scrimmage, I was able to catch up with senior safety James Hawkins who has been a key factor and leader of the Albany State defense over the past 3 years. Hawkins became an Albany State legend when he scored three touchdowns on special teams in the Fountain City Classic, in which he was also named MVP several years ago. Hawkins has high expectations going into his final season. “As a team, we looked good,” said Hawkins. “Everybody did their thing, but there is still a lot of areas where we can clean up”. Hawkins also went on to tell me that there are some coaching changes that the team is still getting used to. But, with a standard of success already set, it won’t take long for everybody to be on the same page. This is exactly what you want to hear from your senior safety.
The Albany State Golden Rams will open the 2022 football season Saturday September 3 against Mississippi College.