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|Bowden overcomes lost luggage|
Huntington School kicks off its 2008 campaign Friday at Central Private School in Baker.
Central Private advanced to the MPSA Class AA playoffs as a wildcard before losing to eventual state champion Centreville 18-0 in the first round.
"They've got most of their linemen back and their running back," said Huntington coach Chad Harkins, who led the Hounds to the Class A semifinals last year.
Central Private returns 14 starters.
Bobby Muse, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior, rushed 225 times for 1,205 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2007 in Central Private's multiple-I offense.
"He's a real good running back," Harkins said. "They have high expectations. It's going to be a challenge for us."
Jacob Fryoux, a 5-foot-8, 145- pound senior, takes over as quarterback for the Rebels. Center Steve Whiddon, guard Andy Kinchen and tackle Travis Rose are all four-year starters on the line for Central Private. Kameron Tate and Matt Overlease are the other returning line starters. Tight end Thomas Bourgeois also returns.
Brit Myers (6-3, 165) is a senior transfer from Central High who will play receiver and linebacker for the Rebels.
Leading Central Private's defense are Brennon Courville (5-10, 200 senior) at middle linebacker and Fryoux (five interceptions, 62 tackles) at free safety. Courville recorded 100 tackles, including 75 solos a season ago.
Huntington competed in the Wayne Jamboree Friday, defeating Amite School Center, 8-0 and Wayne Academy, 12-8.
"I am really impressed with their down people," said Central Private coach Mike Longmire. "They play well, especially No. 54 (Kevin Brown) on defense. Their linebackers will come get you. Their offensive line does a good job coming off the ball. (Josh) Lee is a good player for them and their quarterback (Joey Roberts) does a good job of running the offense. They look solid and it will be a big test for us."
Jeremy Randall scored the Hounds lone TD against Amite, while Andreas Swanson ran in a score and Roberts passed to Tyler Pere´ for another TD against Wayne.
"Joey threw the ball pretty good and Tyler had three catches," Harkins said. "Josh (Lee had a couple of catches. Swanson and Randall did a good job running the ball. Our defense plalyed well and really got after it. We were kind of lackadaisical against Wayne until Kevin Brown had a big hit that seemed to get everybody going. Josh did a good job at noseguard and Adam Roberts and Jesse Dossett played good at the linebacker positions. We had a lot of mistakes, but some were because of our intensity. We'll see where we are Friday when the players are battle-tested for four quarters."
There are hundreds of lost luggage stories out there. Vidalia's Barry Bowden has one now to go along with some of the best.
Bowden has been pitching for the Burlington Royals in Class A short season after signing as a free agent with the North Carolina minor league team.
Last week he got a call at one o'clock in the morning telling him he would be going to Burlington, Iowa at 7:45 in the morning to the Royals' Class A long season team because their top two pitchers were on a 75-pitch count.
Bowden made the trip, but both pitchers stayed under their limit and Bowden was not needed. He then returned to North Carolina.
"That was a long trip," Bowden said. "But it was nice to know they were thinking about me. It would have been nicer to be able to pitch. But it let me know that's what the Minor Leagues are all about."
Bowden arrived back in Burlington, N.C. Friday, but his luggage was on the next plane.
Bowden arrived in the second inning at the ballpark in full uniform. He had to rummage through the clubhouse to find cleats and a glove. Bowden ended up using pitching coach Bobby St. Pierre's glove to close out the game.
"My host family picked me up at the airport and I found out my luggage was on the next plane," Bowden said. "I borrowed a glove and undershirt and used my spikes from college."
Bowden (3-1) recorded the final out of the inning.
Hilton Richardson hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the ninth for the Royals to win the game against the Bluefield Orioles 5-3.
"It was kind of difficult, but it was still all about just getting people out," Bowden said.
Bowden has a 1.09 earned run average, pitching 24.2 innings. He has struck out 33 and walked 10.
"Everything is going well," he said. "It's been a great year except for my injury at USM which sidetracked me a little bit. But I am tired. It has been a long one."
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