In 2010 the Fort Valley State Wildcats finished the season 8-3 ready to build on a season consisting of post season play. The offseason saw a musical chair of quarterbacks losing transfer Eugene Smith and gaining hometown native and Ohio State signee slash Georgia Southern transfer Antonio Henton to run the show. Everything looked great for the Wildcats when Henton's high school teammate and Auburn signee joined the squad until the season started and injuries painted the blue and gold, black and blue.
There's usually not much good you can say about your ball club after a 2-8 season but fourth year head man Don Pittman offered this advice to his squad. "I told the team in the spring that we were the best 2-8 team in the nation. We had some great coaching, great talent. We just had some key injuries and lost some close games, ball didn't bounce our way," says Pittman.
Not a man for excuses, but Pittman's Wildcats at times looked more like a MASH unit than a football team losing starting quarterback Antonio Henton during the second game of the season then backup W.J. McAllister, giving way to two freshman QBs under center for most of the season. Offensive line, David Garbo admits the inexperience was challenging, "Having him back is a big improvement for our offense this year. After the second game, we had some freshman quarterbacks who didn't have a feel for the game yet, some were scared. So were looking for big things out of our offense this year", says Garbo.
One major highlight for the blue and gold was freshman running back Travis Richmond who led Fort Valley in rushing and was named SIAC Freshman of the year. And with 6 other offensive starters returning, the Cats hope to see the endzone more often this fall. Garbo adds, "We're very confident. Everybody knows we went 2-8 last year. Were not talking. We won and lost as a team. The whole coaching staff and players. We won 2 games together and lost 8 together, but this year were looking for a 10 win season."
On the other side of the ball the Blue Death defense return a half dozen starters as well and they say the buck stops here. "Defense will come together real well, I'm not too concerned how we will play", says free safety DaJuan Williams. "Because we got a lot of hungry players ready to make plays and get the ball to the offense to score", says Williams.
As if the SIAC conference wasn't tough enough, FVSU kicks off the season with two preseason ranked non conference stalwarts in Delta State and Valdosta State both on the road, but Pittman says they will be ready this go round. "We just hope we are blessed to stay healthy and you will see some exciting play, physical play. Were going to play with a lot of excitement, intensity and make minimum mistakes. It should be good exciting, competitive football", Pittman states.
The Wildcats open the season on the road Labor Day weekend against Delta State.