Before we get to the updated Georgia High School Association/MaxPreps Class A Power Ratings, we check in with McIntosh County Academy’s Robby Robinson, who has returned to the place he helped put on the football map more than a decade ago.
Robby Robinson, McIntosh County Academy
Robby Robinson is back in Darien. Actually, he never left.
From 2004 to 2010, Robinson was head coach at McIntosh County Academy, located in the Golden Isles area of southeast Georgia. Though he compiled a record of 54-24, won all three of the program’s region titles (2004, 2005 and 2008) and took the Buccaneers to the playoffs every year, a new superintendent came aboard and told him it was time to take the program in another direction.
Robinson is still a bit miffed about that decision. “I asked him, just what direction that would be,” he said. “We had something special going, I thought. This is a great community and I loved being here.”
And so even though he was hired quickly by Washington-Wilkes, and resurrected that proud program over a four-year stint (2011-2014) to a combined record of 33-14 with a region title, Robinson’s heart was still in Darien. So was his address.
“We kept our house there,” he said. “From a football standpoint, Washington-Wilkes is one of the best jobs there is. The community is so supportive. Great kids. But something was always tugging at me to come back here.”
In Robinson’s four-year absence, the program fell apart. The Bucs went 18-25, and were winless in 2014. Even worse, the athletic department was more than $25,000 in debt, Robinson said.
“It was sad. It just broke my heart when I came back here and saw how things had just deteriorated,” he said. “Our fieldhouse was a mess. Our weigh room was a disaster. Our stadium was in terrible shape. It made me want to cry.”
But in just two years, the MCA program is back. The Bucs, ranked No. 7 (Public), are 6-1, 3-0 in Region 3, Division A, and preparing for a showdown Saturday with No. 4 (Private) Calvary Day (7-0, 3-0).
“The community, a lot of my former players, wanted us to come back and rebuild this program,” said Robinson, who is also the athletic director. One of those former players is Kansas City Chiefs’ DE Allen Bailey, who starred at MCA from 2004 to 2007, before becoming an all-ACC player at Miami. “We’re on our way. It has taken some hard work, but we’re getting there. We’re $11,000 in the black with our budget. And our softball team made it to the playoffs. Our whole program is heading in the right direction.”
On the football field, Robinson credits his staff and a group of 13 seniors who have bought in to the rebuild. They are led by linebackers Jonathan Jason and Dallas Anthony, who hold down the middle of Robinson’s 3-4 defense that is yielding less than 10 points per game.
“They are old-school, tough linebackers,” Robinson said. “Really good players who are doing an outstanding job for us.”
WR/DB MJ McCray and RB Quan Drake help lead a spread offense that is averaging more than 30 points per game. Dustin Anderson is a big-play threat that moved from quarterback to receiver earlier in the season when Robinson’s son, Major, a junior, took over control of the offense.
“We just felt like making that move gave us the best chance to win,” Robinson said. “We had an open competition over the summer and Dustin earned the job. But moving him to receiver gives us a chance to get him the ball in a lot of ways. He’s such a great athlete and he’s bought into the decision and is doing a great job.”
As the Bucs and the rest of the sub region close out the regular season with four games in 17 days, due to the damage and school closures caused by Hurricane Matthew, Robinson hopes a roster of healthy players and a loss to No. 1 (Public) Clinch County (32-7) will help his team make a deep run in the playoffs.
“That was a measuring stick for us,” Robinson said. “We’ve gotten better just like everybody else has at this point in the season. But I like our team and how we’re playing.”
Prince Avenue, Mt. Zion sit atop new power ratings
Prince Avenue Christian maintains a slight advantage over Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in the private school power ratings, while Mt. Zion-Carroll has taken over the top spot on the public schools side.
Class A Private
|1||Prince Avenue Christian||8-A||8-0||14.87|
|2||Eagle’s Landing Christian||5-A||8-0||14.62|
|8||Tattnall Square Academy||7-A||8-0||13.30|
|9||Mt. Paran Christian||6-A||7-1||13.26|
|10||Calvary Day School||3-A||7-0||13.25|
|14||George Walton Academy||8-A||6-2||11.99|
|18||Mt. Pisgah Christian||6-A||5-2||11.48|
|19||Hebron Christian Academy||8-A||5-3||11.05|
|21||Savannah Country Day||3-A||4-3||10.41|
Class A Public
|1||Mt. Zion, Carroll||6-A||8-0||14.59|
|6||McIntosh County Academy||3-A||6-1||13.41|
|7||Emanuel County Institute||3-A||8-0||13.29|