1A finalist Brantley reloads for #039;06

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2005

Brantley running back James Pittman already has plans for early December 2006.

The Bulldog junior plans to be back at Legion Field in Birmingham to play for the Class 1A championship.

&#8220I want to see Addison back here when we win the state championship,” Pittman said. &#8220And it will take the work of everyone on this team to do that, not just one individual.”

Pittman's plans may be possible for the 2006 Bulldog team since it is likely that Brantley will have 13 senior starters next season, including a backfield that tallied more than 3,100 yards and scored 40 touchdowns.

Pittman was second on the team rushing for 971 yards on 120 carries and 13 touchdowns, including a 75-yard burst in the title game against Addison, which beat Brantley 21-12 in the title game.

The Bulldogs also return their leading rusher, Chris Booker. He closed out his junior season with 1,489 yard on 177 carries and 18 touchdowns.

And Jeffery Daniels returns after rushing for 298 yards on 60 carries and four touchdowns.

&#8220That goal sounds realistic, but I think you will see a totally different team,” Bulldogs coach David Lowery said.

There will be some holes left to fill before the 2006 season kicks off. The Bulldogs will have a new quarterback at the helm as well as three new offensive linemen.

Jonathan Helms will step in to take Edgar Walker's place at quarterback. Helms saw mostly mop-up action this past season as a junior.

While the Bulldogs do return the nucleus of its offense, they will be better off on defense. Brantley looses just two starters from its lineup, while its leading tackler for two years in a row, Daniels, returns for his senior season.

But a championship is not what Daniels is thinking about right now.

&#8220As soon as we get back to Brantley, our objective needs to be to get stronger and better as a team,” Daniels said after the loss to Addison last Friday. &#8220We may be good next year, but we've got to start all over again.”