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Will Austin ’12 has returned as an assistant coach for football and baseball.


Original story from the Savannah Morning News

Will Austin starred on the football and baseball teams during his days at Savannah Christian, helping lead the Raider football squad to the 2011 GHSA Class A state title his senior year, when he was selected as the Savannah Morning News Most Versatile athlete.

Austin, who went on to play baseball at Armstrong State, is back on the Raider sideline this year, coaching wide receivers and defensive backs for head coach Donald Chumley.

The Raiders (0-1) face New Hampstead (0-1) tonight at Pooler Stadium with the kickoff set for 7:30.

“Will is like the 15th or 16th player that I have had come back to coach with me,” Chumley said. “That’s what I am most proud of as a coach. That tells you that your relationship with the player was about more than just football. He saw the value of coaching, that we’re trying to teach the kids more than just football.”

Austin is working toward a human performance degree at Armstrong and wants to become a strength and conditioning coach. He also wants to help out the Raider baseball team in the spring.

“Coach Chumley always stressed hard work, and that had a big impact on me,” Austin said. “He taught us life lessons and helped me develop a passion for the game. Working as a coach lets me give back to the game, and it’s a lot of fun working with the kids.”

The Raiders travelled to Louisville last week and lost to Jefferson County 40-7. Chumley said five turnovers cost SCPS the game.

“We went toe-to-toe with them physically,” Chumley said. “I thought we were the more physical team, and we controlled the clock. But those turnovers killed us.”

The Raider defense was preparing for New Hampstead, which lost to Jenkins 21-20 in its first game under new coach Phillip Richards.

Senior quarterback Calvin Turner played well in the setback — rushing for 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while going 5 of 6 through the air for 91 yards.

“You’re not going to see a better set of skill players,” Chumley said of the Phoenix.

Senior Marcel Cooper had three catches for 48 yards and Jacquan White had 75 yards rushing and 18 yards receiving.

“Their quarterback is the real deal,” Chumley said of Turner. “He reminds me of (former Wilcox County and Auburn quarterback) Nick Marshall in that he can do so many things. You need to account for him at all times.”

Savannah Christian has some talented players of its own — including senior offensive tackle Zach Quinney, who has committed to Georgia Tech, and linebacker/tight end Evan Reese, who has committed to Tulane. Sophomore quarterback Jordan Grant is a playmaker, while A.J. Davis is a strong runner at fullback. Ben Jackson and Eric Davidson form a solid defensive nucleus as linebackers.

Phillips is familiar with Savannah Christian and Chumley from his days at Montgomery County.

“They are always going to be very well-coached and they have some doggone-good athletes,” Richards said. “I saw film of their game with Jefferson, and that score wasn’t really an indication of what happened in the game. What impresses me most about them is they don’t really have any weaknesses to exploit. They play with a lot of discipline.”