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THE TELEGRAPH

Sunday, June 24, 2012

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macon.com

Coming up in The Numbers Game The Numbers Game continues throughout the summer: July 1: The 70s July 8: The 60s July 15: The 50s July 22: The 40s July 29: The 30s Aug. 5: The 20s Aug. 12: The 10s Aug. 19: Single digits

online Telegraph file photo

Marcus Robinson recorded nearly 4,700 receiving yards in the NFL and had his jersey retired at Peach County.

NUMBERS from 8C Rod Whipple, Wilkinson County football Bio: Whipple was a true twosport athlete in high school. He helped lead the Warriors’ basketball team to state championships in 1999 and 2000. He starred on the football team, as well, coming up with 29 tackles for loss as a junior and finishing with five sacks as a senior. He earned all-state honors both years. Whipple played defensive end and later tight end at Clemson.

Why we picked him: Whipple’s performance in two sports merits his inclusion in the list. Along with Xavier Whipple, Rod Whipple helped Wilkinson County head basketball coach Aaron Geter lay the groundwork for a championship program. Others to consider John Skalko, Mark Smith, football: Skalko followed a solid career at Mark Smith by earning two letters as a linebacker, in 1972 and 1973, at Georgia Tech.

Marcus Robinson, Peach County, football Bio: Robinson was named to

the all-state team as a defensive back as a junior and as a receiver following his senior season. He was named The Telegraph’s Player of the Year in 1992. He played at South Carolina before being drafted by the Chicago Bears in the fourth round of the 1997 NFL draft. He played for four teams in 10 NFL seasons, finishing with 4,699 career receiving yards and 43 touchdowns. His 1,400 receiving yards in 1999 is the 64th best single season total in NFL history. Why we picked him: Robinson is one of the most successful professional athletes to come out of Middle Georgia. From an all-state high school career to 10 years in the NFL, Robinson could have made the list wearing almost any number.

Others to consider Fred Stokes, Vidalia, football: Stokes was more of a basketball player in high school before heading to Georgia Southern. He played 10 years in the NFL, starting for Washington in it Super Bowl win over Buffalo in 1992. Al Gerhardt, Lanier, football: Gerhardt earned three letters at Georgia Tech from 1966-68.

Benji Roland, Dodge County, football Bio: Roland earned all-state and All-Middle Georgia honors as a senior in 1984. He took his game to Auburn, where he

To see even more athletes we considered, go to Jonathan Heeter’s blog at macon.com/heetsblog.

played for all four years. His best season came in 1988, when the nose guard helped lead the Tigers to the 1988 SEC championship. Roland was named an All-American following the season. He played in three games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Why we picked him: It’s hard to not acknowledge an All-American who was also an allstate high school player. Auburn led the nation in total defense, rushing defense and scoring defense during Roland’s senior season. Others to consider Byron Walker, Warner Robins, football: Walker followed a solid career at The Citadel to play five seasons for the Seattle Seahawks from 1982-86.

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