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Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 1B

Chip Walker Newnan High School

By JEFF ARMSTRONG jarmstrong@newnan.com

John Small

East Coweta High School

Kenny Dallas

Trinity Christian School

Micah Alba Kesley Dalrymple

The Heritage School

Change will be the operative word relating to the 2017 high school football season in Coweta County. In a series of moves that is unprecedented in the area — and throughout the state — there will now be five new head football coaches in the county heading into the 2017 prep football season. The five new head football coaches are: Chip Walker at Newnan, John Small at East Coweta, Kesley Dalrymple at Northgate, Micah Alba at The Heritage School and Kenny Dallas at Trinity Christian School. These five replace former coaches Mike McDonald (Newnan), Steve Pardue (EC), Tommy Walburn (Northgate), D.J. Clay and Jake Copeland (Heritage) and Dan Matthews (Trinity). Two of the former head coaches at these schools had enough years in education to retire and move on, two resigned on their own, one took another job out of state and one was let go. The domino effect certainly rang true as one by one, each coach left their particular school and forced each of their athletic directors to set up coaching searches. Todd Holcomb, who runs the Georgia High School Football Historians Association (GHSFHA) web site, was stunned to learn that Coweta County would have five new head football coaches to start a new season. The GHSFHA tallies the records, coaches, region and state titles, and other milestones of each high school football team in the state and Holcomb said he’s never seen anything like what’s happening in this county. “This is certainly an interesting phenomenon. I’m not aware of any county in Georgia that has at least five high schools with complete turnover of their head football coaches,” Holcomb said. “Going as far back as the 1940s, the average high school coaching turnover rate in Georgia has been about 20 percent each year.” Holcomb said Coweta’s high school head football coach situation is akin to “a baseball player with a .200 batting average going 5 for 5.”

Northgate High School

Steve Figueroa has been the media relations director of the Georgia High School Association for 17 years and he has never heard of anything like the Coweta County prep football coaching turnover. He has no idea if a county the size of Coweta has ever been through this before. “There’s no way we can know if this has happened before in the entire state. It’s literally impossible,” Figueroa said. “Here at the GHSA, we basically formulate the football playoffs — we let the print and other media determine things like football coaching changes.” The new head coaches all explained their reasons as to why there are so many new coaches in the county at one time. “This is interesting, but I’ll say this: at least the former coaches pretty much left on their own terms. That’s more than you can say about a lot of coaches who leave their programs,” said East Coweta’s Small, who came from South Gwinnett High. “This is a great county with great players and parents, so I can see why so many coaches want to come here. Now the funny part is we all need to have winning records this year, so we will all make it to year two.” Dallas, who came to Trinity after a stint as the defensive coordinator at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy, echoed Small’s statement about the benefits of coaching in this county. “I am surprised that I am one of five new coaches here, but I’m not surprised that coaches are flocking to Coweta County. We’re surrounded by great families and great athletes here,” said Dallas, who also coached football at Landmark Christian School for 11 years. “I can’t predict how soon we will win region and state titles at Trinity, but I can tell this community that I’m happy to be a part of it. I love getting the chance to coach in this area.” Walker said one positive of having so many new head

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2B — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 East Coweta Indians Schedule Aug. 18 at Lovejoy (Twelve Oaks)

Oct. 6* Westlake

Sept. 1 Jackson-Atlanta

Oct. 20* Pebblebrook

Sept. 8 LaGrange

Oct. 27* Campbell

Sept. 15 at North Cobb

Nov. 3* at Newnan

Sept. 23 at Arabia Mountain

*Region 2-AAAAAAA games

Oct. 13* at Wheeler

Indians hope rebuilt defense is up to par BY DOUG GORMAN

dgorman@newnan.com

The f irst thing East Coweta football fans are going to notice when the Indians take the field for the season opener Friday night at Lovejoy High School is a rebuilt defense. But it has nothing to do with new head coach John Small’s desire to change the lineup. The Indians were going to have to revamp that side of the ball no matter who was in charge. East Coweta was hit hard by graduation on defense as all 11 starters finished their high school careers last season. A m o n g t h e p l ay e r s Small will have to replace is linebacker and four-year starter, Jeremiah Gemmell. G emmell was named The Newnan Times-Herald Defensive Player of the Year and is about to start his college career at the University of North Carolina. But the new coach is ready to reload and looks forward to the task of getting the Indians deep into the playoffs.

Small ta kes over for Steve Pardue, who spent three seasons as the head coach of the Indians, guiding them to 8-3 seasons each year and into the first round of the playoffs. Small arrived at East Coweta after spending 13 years at South Gwinnett. Last season, he led South Gwinnett to an 8-4 record and two rounds into the playoffs. Small had a clear message to the Indians when he took over the program. “We just told them to trust the process,” he said. “We wanted them to buy in and just to build on the philosophy of team and not individuals. We want everybody to take ownership in what we are trying to do hold themselves accountable.” “We want to approach it with tunnel vision,” Small said. “We don’t want to look too far ahead or look behind them.” Small also wants his football players to be great ambassadors for the East Coweta community on and off the field. “We want our guys to

be complete in everything that they do,” he said. “Not just on the field, but in the classroom and out in the community. We want them to be the best that they can be in everything that they do.” Small says defensive coordinator Rusty Easom and the rest of the defensive coaching staff have done a great job reassembling the Indians’ defensive unit. Small plans to build the defense around some younger players with some upperclassmen added to the mix to provide leadership. Despite inexperience on defense, Small likes the speed and quickness on that side of the ball. “We are going to have our growing pains in those early non-region games, but we are going to be able to get some of our younger guys experience quick,” he said. Up front on defense, seniors Jaylen Smith, Josh Hill, Daecian Cox and Will Underwood will get their chance to start. Junior Bubba Hill and Ethan Martin are also ex p e ct e d t o s e e pl ay-

ing time in the Indians’ rotation. “We try and get keep guys fresh on the defensive line, and they all have a certain skill set,” Small said. “They all play hard. We try and preach to our guys that they will only be as good as the offensive and defensive line.” At the inside linebacker p osition s , ju n ior A lex Derico has stepped up and impressed the East Coweta coaching staff. Sophomores Devin Holmes, Chris Moore and Taylor McCa lley, who moved in from Lowndes High School in Valdosta, are impressing the coaching staff. At the outside linebacker spot, junior Blake McMahan, Ryan Griffin and Jaylen Ingram have solid preseason camps. I n t h e s e c o n d a r y, Devonte Ford and Dantarius Chunn will be counted on to start this season. At the free safety positions, junior Jalen Wisby and Aaron Adams will see playing time. “We feel like we have plenty of depth at each

position,” Small said. “It allows kids to play, and it allows them to stay fresh.” On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback Christian Reid is back for his senior year. Reid is a double threat with his ability to both throw and run the football. “He is a great football player, but he is a better person,” Small said. “He has bought in from day one. He is a coach on the field, and he is a tremendous leader.” Gone from last year’s collection of running backs is Devonte Brown, who signed a baseball scholarship with Georgia Tech. A lthough baseball is where Brown excelled, he had an outstanding career on the football field and was one of the leading rushers in 2015. There are several candidates who are ready to step in at running back and add depth to the lineup, including senior Jack Newton and junior Gerald Green. Both played last year, as well. In addition to playing on the defensive side of the

ball, DeVante Ford will see action at running back when the Indians have the ball. Sophomores Chris Moore, Jayland R ivers and Corey Bridges should also see time out of the backfield. The offensive line has had to learn a new blocking scheme, but it brings back some experienced players, including guard Evan Fields, tackle Rodrigo Salas, guard R.J Pettaway, and center Riley Jewett. Others expected to play multiple positions on the offensive line are Ronald Baker, Chase Cortez, Cameron Klass and Titus Aun. L andon Mathis, who played guard last year, moves to tight end this year. Jonathan Hudson will also see time at the tight end spot. At the wide receiver spot, senior Juan Calipolliti returns to the lineup. Other wide receivers are Brayden Carey and sophomore J.J Freed. Senior Jamal Kennedy,

INDIANS • 7B

2017 EAST COWETA INDIANS Roster

Know the score... and more! Know what your neighbors know! Read The Newnan TimesHerald Sports

1

Christian Reid

12

QB

34

Antino Hogan

10

2

Peter Walker

3

DeVante Ford

4

Gerald Green

DB

68

Keegan Rich

10

12

K

36

Taylor Mcawley

12

RB

37

Jacob O’Brien

11

RB

38

Jack Newton

OL

11

LB

69

Bryce McKelphin

10

DL

11

TE

70

Cooper Perkins

10

OL

12

RB

71

Evan Fields

12

OL

5

Dantarius Chunn

11

RB

39

Blake Lindler

11

DB

72

Bubba Hill

11

DL

6

Jalen Whisby

11

DB

40

Keaton Syverson

12

Snapper

73

Austin Reeves

10

OL

7

Brayden Carey

11

QB

40

Matthew Lindler

10

WR

74

Zack Faulk

10

DE

8

Juan Calipolitti

12

DB

41

David Sanchez

11

RB

75

Ja’Kolby Smith

11

DL

9

Jaylen Ingram

12

WR

42

Anthony Hawes

10

DB

76

Hayden Haskins

10

OL

10

Christian Pace

12

WR

43

Caleb Jackson

11

WR

77

Jarell Ball

10

DL

11

Julian Connell

12

WR

44

Christian Hatzo

10

DB

78

Jarmaine Elder

12

OL

12

Jamal Kennedy

12

WR

45

Trey Gray

10

WR

79

Cameron Krass

10

OL

13

Jamari Alford

10

OLB

46

Cody Stansell

11

LB

80

Austin Dees

11

TE

14

Nate Cronic

11

QB

47

Jonathan Hudson

11

TE

81

Levi Wilson

10

WR

15

Aryann Adams

12

DB

48

Andrew Murphy

12

TE

82

Jamil Burch

10

WR

16

Blake McMahan

12

OLB

49

Gavin Hall

11

LB

83

Hiram Walker

11

WR

17

Chris Pitt

10

DB

50

Will Underwood

12

OL

84

C.J. Powell

12

LB

18

Devin Gelband

10

QB

51

Chase Cortez

11

OL

85

Ashton Hill

12

DB

19

Alex Derico

11

LB

52

Cameron Childers

11

OL

86

Harrison McCoy

10

TE

19

Owen Laguardia

10

QB

53

Ben Morgan

10

OL

87

Kyle Marshall

10

DE

20

Ryan Griffin

12

OLB

54

Jason Izzo

11

OL

88

Jager Weddington

10

QB

21

Chris Moore

10

RB/LB

55

Xavier Sinkfield

10

DL

89

Tristan Young

10

LB

22

Bryan Crow

11

DB

56

Riley Jewett

11

OL

90

Nicholas Walker

10

K

23

Devin Holmes

10

LB

57

Zerimiah Crayton

10

OL

91

Daecian Cox

12

DL

24

J.J. Freed

10

WR

58

Rodrigo Salas

12

OL

92

Elijah Adams

10

WR

25

Jayland Rivers

10

RB

59

Ron Pettaway

11

OL

93

Rayshaud Brown

11

DE

26

Landon Mathis

12

TE

60

Avery Brook

11

DL

94

Ethan Martin

12

DE

27

Deon Woods

12

DB

61

Justyn Henderson

10

OL

94

Kaleb Trotter

10

LB

28

Rakiyan Moss

10

WR/DB

62

Joshua Render

12

DL

95

Ryan Morgan

10

DL

29

Corey Bridges

10

RB

63

Anthony Olvera

10

OL

96

Connor Westerman

11

K

30

Ramal Holston

11

WR

64

Ronald Baker

12

OL

97

Walter Lloyd

10

DE

31

Lamund Alexander

12

RB

65

Thomas Britt

10

DL

98

Jalen Smith

12

DE

32

Chandler Reid

11

DB

66

Titus Aun

11

OL

99

Dylan Lewis

10

K

33

Hunter Bradberry

10

WR

67

Dooley Bunn

12

OL


Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | The Newnan Times-Herald — 3B

BY DOUG GORMAN

dgorman@newnan.com

Micah Alba takes over for D.J. Clay, who stepped down after leading his team to a 10-1 record and a trip to the playoffs. Alba makes his head coaching debut for the Hawks in this contest after spending his career as an assistant at Troup and Carrollton. He takes over a team that went 9-0 in the regular season, but was hit hard by graduation. A year ago, Heritage started its run to an undefeated regular season with a 48-18 victory over Windsor Academy.

High School football has been around for about 100 years in some form, and even though the game has evolved over the years, one thing hasn’t changed: Rivalries are still what makes the game exciting. This year, there have been some big changes for local teams, as Newnan, East Coweta, Northgate, Heritage and Trinity all enter the campaign with new head coaches. However, no matter who is charge, there are plenty of exciting games to circle on Aug. 17 — Newnan vs. Carrollton the calendar over the next three months. Here is a list of 10 games that could (University of West Georgia): This game has become a little bit of tradition have an impact on the 2017 season: between the Cougars and the Trojans. For Aug. 11 — Deerf ield-Windsor at the second year in a row, the two longtime Trinity Christian: First-year Trinity rivals will get a jump start on the season head coach Kenny Dallas hasn’t been a with a Thursday kickoff in a game to set head coach since 2011 when he stepped be played at West Georgia. Newnan will down from a successful career at Land- try to avenge last year’s 16-6 loss. Newnan mark Christian. There he went 88-41 in comes into the game with a 14-12-1 record 11 seasons. He returns to the sidelines in in the series. the season opener for Trinity. The Lions Sept. 1 — Starr’s Mill at Northgate: are trying to regroup from last year’s disappointing 3-8 record. This will be just These two teams were once region rivals. the second meeting between Trinity and Now they play in different classificaDeerfield. A year ago, Deerfield won tions, with Northgate playing in Region 5-AAAAAA and Starr’s Mill playing in 47-21. 3-AAAAA. Still, the close proximity of Aug. 11 — Windsor at Heritage the two schools makes for a perfect nonSchool: Heritage first-year head coach region contest. With Northgate’s 34-17

Region 2-AAAAAAA Schedules 2017 Campbell Schedule Aug. 18 at Etowah Aug. 25 South Cobb Sept. 8 at Sprayberry Sept. 15 Hillgrove Sept. 22 at Marietta Oct. 6* at Pebblebrook Oct. 13* Newnan Oct. 20* Wheeler Oct. 27* at East Coweta Nov. 3* at Westlake 2016 Results (0-10) L Etowah 56-0 L South Cobb 28-21 L Sprayberry 47-13 L Hillgrove 53-6 L Marietta 49-0 L Pebblebrook 19-14 L Newnan 39-6 L Wheeler 38-26 L East Coweta 42-14 L Westlake 52-6

2017 Pebblebrook Schedule Aug. 18 at South Cobb Sept. 1 at Osborne Sept. 8 Marietta Sept. 15 at Berkmar Sept. 22 at North Cobb Oct. 6* Campbell Oct. 13* at Westlake Oct. 20* at East Coweta Oct. 27* Newnan Nov. 3* Wheeler 2016 results (5-6) W South Cobb 40-0 W Osborne 69-0 L Marietta 38-7 W Berkmar 52-7 L North Cobb 35-0 W Campbell 19-14 L Westlake 10-7 L at East Coweta 37-0 W Newnan 27-14 L Wheeler 35-13 State playoffs: L Roswell 45-7

Sept. 1 at Shiloh Sept. 8 Cartersville Sept. 15 at McEachern Sept. 22 at Lithonia Oct. 6* at East Coweta Oct. 13* Pebblebrook Oct. 20* at Newnan Oct. 27* at Wheeler Nov. 3* Campbell 2016 results (10-4) L Hughes 10-9 W Shiloh 29-13 L Cartersville 31-0 L McEachern 6-2 W Lithonia 25-14 W East Coweta 37-34 W Pebblebrook 10-7 W Newnan 24-14 W Wheeler 35-31 W Campbell 52-6 State playoffs: W Etowah 24-23 W South Gwinnett 41-7 W Lowndes 24-21 L Roswell 28-0

2017 Wheeler Schedule Aug. 18 Marietta Aug. 25 at Centennial Sept. 1 at South Cobb Sept. 15 at Walton Sept. 22 Lambert Oct. 6* at Newnan Oct. 13* East Coweta Oct. 20* at Campbell Oct. 27* Westlake Nov. 3* at Pebblebrook

2017 Westlake Schedule

2016 results (5-6) W Marietta 35-19 L Centennial 36-22 W South Cobb 30-12 L Walton 35-14 L Lambert 38-35 W Newnan 19-17 L East Coweta 27-24 W Campbell 38-26 L Westlake 35-31 W Pebblebrook 35-13 State playoffs: L Cherokee 45-21

Aug. 25 Hughes

*Region 2-AAAAAAA games

Oct. 20 — Trinity at Heritage: As victory over the Panthers in last year’s game, the Vikings took a 6-5 lead in the rivalries go, the Trinity-Heritage series doesn’t have too much longevity, but series. there is no love lost between the two local Sept. 8 — LaGrange at East Coweta: teams. Last year, Heritage beat Trinity Last year there was a great storyline when 42-10 en route to an undefeated record. the two teams clashed in LaGrange. East The Hawks hold a 5-1 edge in the series, Coweta’s then-head coach Steve Pardue which was first played in 2011. Trinity’s was returning home to play against the only victory came in 2013, when it won team he had coached for 17 seasons. Now, 12-0. John Small has taken over the Indians’ Nov. 3 — East Coweta at Newnan: coaching duties after spending time at South Gwinnett High School. It won’t There are some great high school rivaltake away from the importance of the non- ries in the state of Georgia, but when the region game as the Indians try to win for Cougars and the Indians play, especially in football, all eyes are focused on the big the second year in a row. game. The storylines should be plentiful in Sept. 15 — Heritage at Loganville Christian: There is not a whole lot of tra- this game, including East Coweta head dition between these two GISA Region coach John Small and Newnan coach 1-AAA opponents, but the contest could Chip Walker each coaching in the rivalry go a long way in determining playoff for the first time. East Coweta won last positioning. The Hawks hold a 2-1 edge year’s game 28-0 and has a 14-11 lead in over the Lions, including last year’s 67-9 the series. victory. Nov. 3 — Mays at Northgate: Last Oct. 6 — Westlake at East Coweta: year’s meeting between the two Region East Coweta will have revenge on its mind 5-AAAAAA rivals was a shootout, with when Westlake comes into Sharpsburg for Mays winning 42-27 in the final game of the regular season. This will only be the the Region 2-AAAAAAA clash. A year ago, Westlake upended the Indi- third meeting in the series, and Northans 37-34. This will be the 10th meeting gate will be looking for its first win. Mays in the series with East Coweta holding a also won in 2009 when it beat the Vikings 35-32. 5-4 lead.

What to know about Region 2-AAAAAAA BY JEFF ARMSTRONG

jarmstrong@newnan.com

There ’s not much room for error in Region 2 -A A A A A A A — s i x teams reside in the region, and only the top four can qualify for the state playoffs. That means in order to secure a playoff spot, Newnan and East Coweta must win at least two of five region games, and that is no small feat. We s t l a ke , t he 2 016 region champions, lost some strong defensive players from its Final Four team, but the Lions remain a formidable opponent. Playoff teams Wheeler and Pebblebrook cannot be taken lightly while Campbell hopes to improve this season after going winless.

Campbell Spartans

H e a d C o a c h : Ky l e Adkins — Career Record 0-0 (First Season) Last season: 0-10 Key Players: WR Ray Decosey, Sr.; DE Justin Hayes, Sr.; WR/S Marcus Rogers, Sr.; QB Kameron Smith, Sr. What to expect: The S p a r t a n s h ave a new coaching staff and hope that will help turn things around after a dismal 2016 season. Campbell will rely on seniors Decosey, Hayes and Rogers to lead the team to a better campaign in 2017. Decosey is fielding offers from Arkansas State and Georgia State.

Pebblebrook Falcons

Head Coach: Kev in Saunders — Career Record 9-12 (Third Season) Last Season: 5-6 Key Players: QB Marquise Cooper, Sr.; RB/LB Aquantis Sajna, Sr.; RB/ LB Michael Collins, Sr.; RB Tyler Thomas, Sr.; LB Tre Pinkney, Jr. What to expect: Pebblebrook qualified for the postseason last year for the first time since 2007, and with 13 starters returning for the Fa lcons, a return trip to the playoffs is certainly possible. Cooper leads a dynamic

offensive lineup that features three senior running backs, including the speedy Thomas, who runs a 4.6 40-yard dash. The Falcons also play three of their five region opponents at home, just like region foes Newnan and East Coweta.

Westlake Lions

Head Coach: Kareem Reid — Career Record 10-4 (Second Season) Last Season: 10-4 Key Players: CB Myles Sims, Sr.; S Tyrese Ross, Sr.; RB Gino Appleberry, Sr.; RB Jajuan White, Sr.; QB Garrison Hand, Jr. What to expect: Region champion Westlake loses three talented playmakers on defense in A.J. Terrell, Jaden Hunter and Tre Person from its Final Four team, but the Lions usually reload instead of rebuild. Terrell and Person were also dynamic on special teams, so that will be a factor for Westlake in 2017. The Lions will have an experienced backfield with Appleberry and White tot-

ing the ball, and Sims and Ross will help Westlake in the secondary.

Wheeler Wildcats

H e a d C o a c h : M i ke Collins — Career Record 28-45 (Eighth Season) Last season: 5-6 Key players: QB Landon Bradley, Jr.; WR Reikan Donaldson, Sr.; RB Davion Wright, Sr.; RB Isacc Pinero, Sr.; CB Noah Benson, Sr. What to expect: The Wildcats have made the st ate playof fs for two straight years, but if they want to make it three in a row, they will have to overcome losses on the defense to graduation. D on a ld s on w a s t he te a m’s se cond-le ad i n g receiver last year with more than 500 yards on the season, and he looks to replace 1,000-yard receiver T.J. Smith, who graduated. Just like the majority of the teams in this region, the Wildcats will be led by two senior running backs, Wright and Pinero.

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4B— The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 Newnan Cougars Schedule Aug. 17 Carrollton

Oct. 6 * Wheeler

(at UWG Stadium)

Oct. 13 * at Campbell

Aug. 25 at Starr’s Mill

Oct. 20 * Westlake

Sept. 8 at Etowah

Oct. 27 * at Pebblebrook

Sept. 15 Washington

Nov. 3 * East Coweta

Sept. 22 West Forsyth

* Region 2-AAAAAAA games

Cougars look to make their mark with Walker BY JEFF ARMSTRONG

jarmstrong@newnan.com

There is a buzz around around the Newnan High Cougars football team these days, and it’s for a good reason. After eight-year head football coach Mike McDonald resigned last winter following a rough 3-7 season, Newnan made one of the biggest coaching hires of the year when school officials gave Chip Walker the job. That’s the same Chip Walker who was the head football coach at Sandy Creek High in Tyrone from 2005-2016, sporting a 127-26-1 record in 12 years. The same Chip Walker who led Sandy Creek to six consecutive region titles (2008-13), three state titles in four years (2009, 2010, 2012), and never had a losing record during his tenure at the Fayette County school (his worst regular-season record was 6-4 in 2007). Expectations are naturally high at Newnan with the arrival of a head coach who’s won three state championships. Walker said a grand total of 150 athletes came out for football this season — 100 sophomores through seniors and 50 freshmen. The new head coach understood that Newnan was down last season, but he’s not interested in a repeat performance, despite the fact Newnan lost a lot

of seniors and competes in Class AAAAAAA, the highest classification in the state. Sandy Creek was a perennial football power, but it has been a Class AAAA school for the most part, and it was even a AAA school for four of Walker’s years at the helm. “Our goal here at Newnan will be to compete for the 2017 Region 2-AAAAAAA title. We’re not talking about last year at all. That year is gone,” Walker said. “We want to show up and get better each week as the 2017 season goes along, and I believe we can do that.” Wa lker sa id the C ouga rs worked hard over the summer, and he was pleased the players’ enthusiasm since he’s been here. “I’m very happy and pleased with the work ethic shown by the guys. They’ve done a really good job adapting to the new coaching staff,” he said. “The kids have been great at making adjustments and understanding what we want to do here at Newnan High.” He said he was impressed with how the team fared when it finally got to face other players in teamcamp scrimmages against Callaway High and Villa Rica High. The first set of scrimmages was at Newnan while the second set was at Callaway. “The camp was a great deal for us. We got to pop some pads

against different competition, and we got to see what we needed to work on,” Walker said. Walker said the coaching staff has installed the basic packages on offense, defense and special teams. Offensively, the Cougars will run out of the Multiple I formation while they will stick to a regular 4-3 defense. Walker said the players who have come out for the team gave him and the coaching staff great effort all summer long. “Building a competitive football team is a process, and the guys have given me all that they have every single day. I’m impressed with the whole group,” he said. “What is interesting about this team is we have a lot of good young guys. If the season started in the summer, we would probably have five or six sophomores starting.” Walker will have to work his magic to improve Newnan’s dismal 3-7 record from last year and keep the Cougars competitive in Class AAAAAAA. The Cougars got off to a decent start in 2016, posting a 2-2 record after a big 48-14 home win over Washington in mid-September. Newnan faltered after that victory, going 1-5 in its last six games, which included a stinging 28-0 loss to region and county rival East Coweta to end the season. The 2016 Cougars missed the

state playoffs. Newnan lost plenty of seniors from last season’s squad and only returns seven starters this year (four on offense and three on defense). Key returnees for the Cougars to help right the ship in 2017 will be 6-foot-3 senior wide receiver P.J. Harris, a Georgia Tech commit who averaged nine yards per reception last season. Harris will also be joined offensively by junior wide receiver Woody Waters and senior running back Mautavier Parks, who rushed for 500 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. Walker said he’s very happy with the summer from senior linebacker Brandon Moore and said Moore should be key for the Cougars in the middle of their defense. Walker also said he looks forward to getting strong play from sophomore defensive lineman Eric Geter and senior linebacker Will Gates. A key newcomer for the Cougars will be a player coach Walker knows pretty well — his son Bryant, a senior quarterback. Bryant Walker had a very good junior season, passing for 1,783 yards with 17 touchdowns, and he led Sandy Creek to an 8-4 overall record and a state-playoff win. He made First Team All-Region 5-AAAA, and he was named the 2016 Fayette County Offensive Player of the Year.

Coach Walker said another newcomer to watch will be freshman tailback Bryson Moss. “Bryson is going to turn some heads this season, I believe. I like what I’ve seen from him so far,” Walker said. “If he keeps this up, the sky’s the limit for him.” The Cougars hope to start strong in 2017, but it won’t be easy as they face two top AAAAA schools right off the bat. Newnan plays a strong Carrollton team in the West Georgia Kickoff Classic Thursday at the University of West Georgia to begin the regular season, then hits the road to face a region-title winning Starr’s Mill Panthers team on Aug. 25. Newnan faces 2016 playoff team Etowah on the road and hosts playoff team West Forsyth at Drake Stadium two weeks later, but if they survive those two, the Cougars could set themselves up for a strong finish. Newnan plays three of its five region games at Drake, starting with Wheeler on Oct. 6. Newnan only lost by two points (19-17) at Wheeler last season. Newnan will see where it stands during its last three region games, all against 2016 playoff teams — home for defending region champion Westlake (Oct. 20), at Pebblebrook (Oct. 27) and home for the annual grudge match against county rival East Coweta (Nov. 3).

2017 NEWNAN COUGARS Roster 1

Ricky Boozer

SS

Jr.

2

Clifford Bridges

CB

Jr.

2

Bryant Walker

QB

Sr.

6-0 6-2

175 182

31

Kellen Lynch

K, P

Jr.

32 33

San Juan Warner

MLB, OLB

Jr.

6-0

Brandon Moore

MLB, DE

Sr.

3

Rad Wyrick

KP

Jr.

6-2

170

34

Eric Geter

4

Mautavier Parks

RB

Sr.

5-8

170

35

Ashton Harris

5

Kyle McDonald

WR

Jr.

36

Jon Arnold

6

Malik Hussie

OLB

Jr.

36

Josh Royston

7

P.J. Harris

WR

Sr.

190

37

Romir Fowler

MLB

Sr.

5-11

38

Reid Brass

TE

Sr.

5-11

180

38

Vyshahn Wright

RB, FB

Sr.

5-8

180

39

Jacorey Harris

WR

Sr.

6-3

170

40

WR, CB

Jr.

5-8

150

OLB

Sr.

8

Emmanuel Williams

9

Jackson Choat

10

Elijah Griggs

11

Desmond Blacksher

12

Woody Waters

13

Dominique Addie

6-3

62

Jesse Awuah

So.

205

63

A.J. Gould

So.

6-0

225

64

Alex Perry

G, C

Sr.

6-0

DE

So.

6-0

270

65

Jamison Phillips

G, T

Sr.

5-9

RB, FB

Sr.

6-0

170

66

Steven Smith

C, T

Sr.

6-4

235

RB

Jr.

67

Demetrius Gates

Jr.

69

Maliek Burston

OLB

Jr.

71

Jaren Whitehurst

T, G

Fr.

FS

Sr.

5-11

165

So.

Fr.

72

Jonathon Goins

OLB, MLB

Jr.

73

Astin Stewert

G, T

Jr.

6-0

240

DE

Sr.

74

Will Anderson

G

Jr.

6-0

246

Wesley Spivey

Jr.

75

Kevin Rodriqez

41

Javier Mott

So.

76

Garrison Morgan

OL

Sr.

42

Elijah Williams

77

Brandon Marrero

NG

Jr. 6-1

225

5-9

140

205

RB

Jr.

5-8

So.

So.

14

Tristian Escoe

Jr.

43

Justin Adcock

78

Micheal Lowery

T, G

Sr.

15

Logan Hudson

QB

Jr.

44

Thomas Kelleher

LB

Jr.

6-2

210

80

Zach Quick

WR

So.

16

Tyrese Smith

WR

Jr.

45

Austin Payan

FB

So.

5-9

205

81

Justin Geter

WR

Sr.

17

Kyler James

WR

Jr.

46

T.J. Hill

So.

82

Zach Griffin

17

Tyriq Hussie

RB

Jr.

47

Kenyatta Ward

So.

83

Joseph Hart

SS

18

Justin Bell

WR

So.

48

Malik Barber

So.

84

Jalen Horton

WR

19

James Mason

MLB, OLB

49

E. J. Harris

85

Will Harper

20

Josh Russell

50

Carter Counts

G, C

Fr.

86

Tucker Barnett

TE

Jr.

21

Bryson Moss

MLB

Sr.

87

Dorien Henderson

WR

Jr.

21

A.J. Alford

23

Rayquan Ransby

24 24 25

Kendall Malcolm

26

Javontae Rosser

27

Marcus Jackson

RB

CB

So.

5-9

154

Sr.

6-1

205

RB

Sr.

5-11

RB

Fr.

5-8

175

52

Jordan Woods

WR, CB

Sr.

6-1

170

53

Levi Stone

C

So.

5-5

220

88

Dominik Rados

TE

Sr.

6-1

So.

54

Carson Knight

C

Jr.

5-11

195

89

Collin Wade

TE

Sr.

6-3

Eric McCants

So.

55

Patrick Henson

DL

Sr.

91

Tyler Vallery

DE

Steven Carter

Fr.

56

Ryan Hall

NG

Sr.

6-0

235

93

Dean Goad

Jr.

94

Issac Barrett

DE

Jr.

Sr.

95

Michael Wood

DT

Jr.

OLB

So. Jr. So.

Jr. So.

Jr.

5-8

150

57

Cameron Hand

So.

5-7

162

58

Josh Britt

So.

5-7

175

58

William Weston

So.

96

Darius Gates

Jr.

TG

28

Jay Newell

CB

Jr.

59

Jacob Harmon

So.

97

Malik Simmons

So.

29

Markell Bridges

FS

Sr.

60

Adam Rush

Fr.

98

Savian Cook

So.

30

Taylor Higgins

QB, WR

Sr.

61

Max Broach

So.

6-1

160

250


Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 5B

Region 5-AAAAAA will be tough, again after rushing for 1,025 yards and eight touchdowns. Linebacker Xavier Robinson is back after finishing with 58 tackles and Alexander Cougars Head Coach: Matthew Combs — finishing with an interception. Career Record 42-35 (Eight seasons) Douglas County Tigers Last season: 10-2 Head Coach: Johnny White — Career Key Players: QB Mason Woods, Sr; RB Michiah Randolph, Sr; CB Isaiah Record 25-16 (Fifth Seasons) Last Season: 6-4 Todd, Sr; CB Aaron Casey, Jr; OL SpenKey Players: QB Marquise Collins, Jr; cer Miles, Sr. What to expect: The Alexander Cou- RB Uriah West, Sr; LB Braelen Oliver, Jr; gars are coming off one of the best sea- CB Ja’bre Price, Jr. What to expect: Quarterback Marsons in school history after entering the playoffs as the second seed out of Region quise Collins gained valuable playing 5-AAAAAA. This year, the squad has experience last season by appearing in to replace running back Dietrich Har- six games and passing for 478 yards and rington, who rushed for 1,415 yards and throwing two touchdowns. Running back Uriah West brings back valuable experiscored 14 touchdowns. ence after rushing for 913 yards on 94 carries. Braelen Oliver returns to the defenCreekside Seminoles Head Coach: Maurice Dixon — Career sive side of the football after finishing last year with 73 tackles. Record 0-0 (First Season) Last Season: 5-5 Langston Hughes Panthers Key Players: RB Rico Frye, Sr; CB Head Coach: Willie Cannon — Career Malik Fleming, Sr; Gino Appleberry, Sr; Record 49-39 (Nine Seasons) LB Xavier Robinson, Sr. Last season: 8-4 What to expect: First-year head coach Key players: QB Jaquez Milam, Jr; Maurice Dixon takes over a program trying to get back to the playoffs after miss- RB Tony Jones, Sr; WR /CB Christian ing out on the postseason last year. One Royalston, Sr; FS Treron Collins, Jr; CB of Dixon’s first orders of business will be Aaron Finch, Sr. What to expect: For a school that’s finding a replacement for quarterback Khalil McClain who signed with Tulane only been around since 2009, there is University after passing for 1,720 yards already plenty of tradition, including five and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for trips to the playoffs. A year ago, Langston 1,272 yards and 18 touchdowns. Running Hughes finished 8-4. It was the Panthers’ back Rico Frye is back for his senior year fifth straight trip to the playoffs. Chris-

BY DOUG GORMAN

dgorman@newnan.com

tian Royalston, who played on both sides of the ball last year, returns after rushing for 576 yards and seven touchdowns. Cornerback Charles Thomas is back for his junior year after finishing with 132 tackles, including 71 solo tackles.

struggled in its first six seasons of playing football. The Jaguars’ only trip to the playoffs came in 2014 when it posted a 6-5 record. Last year, its only victory came in the final game of the season when it beat Tri-Cities 42-21. Heading into the 2017 season, running back Michael Russell is Mays Raiders back to pace the offense, and Sayyid WadHead Coach: Niketa Battle — Career dell and Devonte Sellers are back to lead Record 11-2 (Second Season) the defense. Last season: 11-2 Key Players: LB Antonio Grier, Sr; OL South Paulding Spartans Nick Hunter, Sr; RB Armis Stokes, Sr; CB Head Coach: Ed Koestner — Career Demetri Ceaser, Sr. Record 67-71 (14 years) What to expect: The Mays Raiders Last Season: 1-9 come into the season on a playoff roll after Key players: WR Hunter Gabe, Sr; earning a trip 11 out of the last 12 years. RB/CB Jordan Smith, Sr; LB Raji Brown, Last season, the Raiders kept up their Sr; OG Dale Williams, Sr. string of playoff trips after winning the What to expect: After three straight Region 5-AAAAA title and going three seasons of making the playoffs, South rounds into the playoffs. Replacing quar- Paulding suffered back-to-back 2-8 terback Bardenie Phillips, who passed for records. It enters the 2017 campaign try2,087 yards and 26 touchdowns, will be ing to return to the glory days. Nick Hunter, who brings limited experience to the position. Defensively, the RaidTri-Cities Bulldogs ers’ secondary should be in good shape as Head Coach: Kenneth Miller — Career Demetri Ceaser and Armis Stokes bring Record 43-51 (Ten seasons) back experience. Last season: 0-10 Key Players: QB Nolan Arrington, Sr; New Manchester Jaguars WR Donald Howard, Sr; OL Christopher Head Coach: Myron Terry—Career Smith, Jr; WR Isaiah Howard, Sr. Record 1-9 (one season) What to expect: After losing all Last season: 1-9 10 games last year, the Bulldogs have Key Players: W R/ FS DeQuavi- nowhere to go but up. The Bulldogs have ous Belle, Sr; WR Destin White, Sr; RB struggled in recent years and have not Vasquez Wheeler, Sr; LB Tahj Smith, Sr. made the playoffs since 2011 when they What to know: New Manchester has went 10-3.

Region 5-AAAAAA Football Schedules 2017 Alexander Schedule Aug. 25 at Allatoona Sept. 1 Carver Sept. 8* at South Paulding Sept. 22* New Manchester Sept. 29 Northgate Oct. 6* at Tri-Cities Oct 13* Langston Hughes Oct. 20* at Creekside Oct. 27* Mays Nov. 3* Douglas County 2016 Results (10-2) W Allatoona 21-13 W Carver 31-26 W South Paulding 69-7 W New Manchester 28-20 W Northgate 21-14 W Tri-Cities 43-13 W Langston Hughes 23-19 W Creekside 51-35 L Mays 31-28 W Douglas County 49-42 State playoffs: W Alpharetta 20-13 L Coffee 42-34 2017 Creekside Schedule Sept. 1 Southwest DeKalb Sept. 8* at New Manchester Sept. 15* Northgate Sept 22* at Tri-Cities Sept. 29* Langston Hughes Oct. 13* Mays Oct. 20 Alexander Oct. 27* at Douglas County Nov. 3* at South Paulding 2016 Results (5-5) W Northland Florida 9-7 W Southwest DeKalb 47-14 W New Manchester 35-0 L Northgate 61-48 W Tri-Cities 28-3 L Hughes 35-34 L Mays 19-14 L Alexander 51-35 L Douglas 28-14 W South Paulding 42-21 2017 Douglas County Schedule

Aug. 25 Lithia Springs Sept. 1 Carver Sept. 8* Northgate Sept. 15 South Paulding Sept. 22* Langston Hughes Sept. 29* New Manchester Oct. 6* at Mays Oct. 13* Tri-Cities Oct. 27* Creekside Nov. 3* Alexander 2016 Results (6-4) W Lithia Springs 47-0 L Northgate 14-13 W South Paulding 52-7 L Hughes 41-21 W New Manchester 37-0 L Mays 55-0 W Tri-Cities 41-0 W Creekside 28-14 L Alexander 49-42 2017 Langston Hughes Aug. 25 at Westlake Sept. 8* Mays Sept. 15* at Tri-Cities Sept. 22* Douglas County Sept. 29* at Creekside Oct. 6* South Paulding Oct. 13* at Alexander Oct. 20* New Manchester Oct. 27* Northgate 2016 Results (8-4) W Mundy’s Mill 44-6 W Westlake 10-9 L Mays 47-28 W Tri-Cities 50-0 W Douglas County 41-21 W Creekside 35-34 W South Paulding 55-7 L Alexander 23-19 W New Manchester 14-0 L Northgate 37-35 State playoffs: W Johns Creek 34-10 L Northside-Warner Robins 38-10 2017 Mays Schedule Aug. 26 Stockbridge Sept. 1 Peachtree Ridge

Sept. 8* at Langston Hughes Sept. 15* New Manchester Sept. 29* Tri-Cities Oct. 6* Douglas County Oct. 13 at Creekside Oct. 20* South Paulding Oct. 27* at Alexander Nov. 3* Northgate 2016 Results (11-2) L Stockbridge 35-34 W Peachtree Ridge 36-31 W Langston Hughes 47-28 W New Manchester 51-0 W Tri-Cities 44-7 W Douglas County 55-0 W Creekside 19-14 W South Paulding 48-19 W Alexander 31-28 W Northgate 42-27 State playoffs: W Cambridge 42-14 L Tucker 28-21

Sept. 8* Alexander Sept. 15* at Douglas County Sept. 22* at Northgate Oct. 6* at Langston Hughes Oct. 13* New Manchester Oct. 20* at Mays Oct. 27* Tri-Cities Nov. 3* Creekside 2016 Results (2-8) L North Paulding 37-0 L Hiram 28-9 L Alexander 69-7 L Douglas County 52-7 L Northgate 35-7 L Hughes 55-7 W New Manchester 40-28 L Mays 48-19 W Tri-Cities 42-15 L Creekside 42-21

2017 Tri-Cities Schedule Aug. 26 at Carver 2017 New Manchester Sept. 2 at Aug. 25 at Paulding County Woodland-Stockbridge Sept. 1 Heard County Sept. 15* Langston Hughes Sept. 8* Creekside Sept. 22* Creekside Sept. 15* Mays Sept. 29* at Mays Sept. 22* Alexander Oct. 6* Alexander Sept. 29* at Douglas County Oct. 13* at Douglas County Oct. 6* Northgate Oct. 20* Northgate Oct. 13* South Paulding Oct. 27* at South Paulding Oct. 20* Langston Hughes County Nov. 3* Tri-Cities Nov. 3* at New Manchester 2016 Results (1-9) L Paulding County 24-21 2016 Results (0-10) L Heard County 38-28 L Carver 36-7 L Creekside 35-0 L Woodland 47-9 L Mays 51-0 L Hughes 50-0 L Alexander 28-20 L Creekside 28-3 L Douglas County 37-0 L Mays 44-7 L Northgate 54-6 L Alexander 43-13 L South Paulding 40-28 L Douglas County 41-0 L Langston Hughes 14-0 L Northgate 50-0 W Tri-Cities 42-21 L South Paulding 42-15 L New Manchester 42-21 2017 South Paulding Schedule Aug. 27 North Paulding *Region 5-AAAAAA Sept. 1 Hiram games

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6B — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

First-year coach Dalrymple ready to put his own spin on Northgate program BY DOUG GORMAN

dgorman@newnan.com

When veteran Northgate football coach Tommy Walburn announced he was retiring, the school put out the help-wanted sign to find his replacement. But when all was said and done, the job search ended within the halls of Northgate when assistant coach Kesley Dalrymple was offered the job. Now, the new coach is ready to hit the ground running. “I appreciate everyone thinking enough of me to give me the chance,” he said. “I know it’s a job a lot of people would love to have, but I was just fortunate enough to be chosen.” He takes over from his mentor, Walburn, who spent 18 years as a head coach, including seven at Northgate. During the Walburn era, Northgate enjoyed plenty of success and made the playoffs four times, including in 2015 when the Vikings advanced to the Class AAAAA semifinals with a 12-2 record. Dalrymple plans to put his own spin on the program, but he won’t change too much in the Vikings’ playbook, especially keeping the Wing-T on offense.

The new coach has the benefit of three-year starting quarterback Kyle McLaren returning to the lineup, and his experience will be vital to the Vikings’ playoff hopes. The Wing-T is something that has worked since Walburn came aboard, producing several 1,000yard rushers along the way, including Ton Evans and Kyle Cater, who both graduated last year. However, one of Dalrymple’s first jobs will be finding replacements for Evans, who will play football at Army, and Cater, who signed with Bluefield State College. “We are having to replace a lot of touchdowns,” Dalrymple said. “When you have guys like Ton and Kyle back there, you really get spoiled.” Looking to step up to replace Evans and Cater are Trandon Torres-Niles, Nick Carter, and Tanner Hughes. Jay McKenzie and Levi Robinson are also expected to see time in the backfield. Robinson could also shift over and play at one of the wide receiver spots. “We feel like we are going to be very good on offense,” Dal-

2017 Northgate Vikings Schedule

rymple said. “It’s just a matter of fitting all the pieces together. Hopefully, by the time we get to region we will have everything fitting together and we will be ready to roll.” D a l r y mple t h i n k s s t icking with the Wing-T gives the Vikings the best chance to win. “We have had a lot of success with it here,” he said. “Our kids understand it. They like it. We have never been blessed with really huge offensive lineman, and we just feel like it fits our personnel the best.” Up front on the offensive line, several veterans return to help open the holes for the new running backs, including senior Tucker Estes and juniors Kevin Feldbauer and Will Sachs. Senior offensive linemen Ryan Quinn and Bryan Bordeaux are also expected to garner playing time. The Vikings will be inexperienced at the wide receiver spots. Senior Cody Totten, and junior Gerald Harris will see playing time. A lthough seniors Connor Fortner and Jack Eskew are set to primarily play on the defensive side of the ball, they can also shift over to offense and play wide

receiver. At the tight end spot, the Vikings are going to have to replace Dalton Elliott, who signed to play college football at Robert Morris. Senior Rober t Given ha s played mainly at the defensive end spot, but this year he is expected to play some at tight end on the offensive side of the ball. Senior Devonte Johnson and junior Nichal Johnson are also candidates to play tight end. “Each one of those guys gives us something a little different as far as a skill set,” Dalrymple said. Junior Ma son Sm ith a nd Nichal Johnson return to the defensive tackle positions. Senior Kevin Atkins also returns to the tackle spot. “We are trying to establish some depth there, so we are going to have to have some younger guys step up,” Dalrymple said. Senior linebackers Eskew and Josh Martin return with experience at the position. “Last year Josh was on our special teams, and we kept watching film, and we noticed he was making every tackle, and the last four games we started playing him at linebacker,” Dalrymple said. “That’s why I tell these guys ‘if

you want to get on the field on offense or defense, work hard on special teams because film tells the truth.’” The Vikings are still trying to fill some holes at defensive back to replace Cameron Ramsey, Jahi Anderson and Terrence Carter. However, Fortner brings back experience to the defensive side of the ball. “He is the leader on our defense and started all 12 games last year,” Dalrymple said. Torres-Niles and Levi Robinson also saw time in the defensive backfield. On special teams, McLaren will handle the punting duties again for the Vikings with Sachs handling the long-snapping duties. The Vikings went into preseason practice with three candidates auditioning for the placekicking duties, including junior Echalar Harim, junior Toby Potter and sophomore Logan Kade. “We are letting them compete before settling in one one guy,” Dalrymple said. Torres-Niles is back as the kick returner for the Vikings. Robinson will also return kickoffs and

NORTHGATE • 7B

2017 NORTHGATE VIKINGS Roster 1

Jay McKenzie

RB

Jr.

25

John Bilton

DB

So.

57

2

Josh Martin

RB

Sr.

26

Omar Bringas

OLB

Sr.

58 Mason Smith

Courtney Johnson

OL

Sr.

DL

Jr.

3

Trandon Torres-Niles

DB

Sr.

27

Connor Fortner

DB

Sr.

60 Ethan Panter

OL

So.

4

Jeremiah Prayor

OLB

Jr.

28

Dillon Wade

WR

So.

61 Ryan Quinn

OL

Sr.

5

David Flowers

DB

Jr.

29

Micah Robinson

RB

Jr.

62 Andrew Strickland

OL

Jr.

6

Koby Lawrence-Duncan

DB

Sr.

30

Evan Eskew

DL

So.

64 Kelly Allen

OL

So.

Sept. 1 Starr’s Mill

7

Cody Totten

WR

Sr.

31

Kelvin Williams

DB

So.

68 Tucker Estes

OL

Sr.

Sept. 8 * Douglas County

8

Jaiden Stegall

DB

Jr.

32

Cam Freeman

LB

So.

70 Hunter Stanton

DE

So.

9

Chandler Cao

DB

Jr.

33

Luke Fugate

OLB

So.

72

Nick Kemph

OL

Jr.

10

Stephen Hess

WR

Jr.

35

Hunter Lunsford

LB

So.

77

Jah’Rel Stephenson DL

So.

11

Lawrence Jenkins

RB

Sr.

36

Quinn Amey

LB

So.

78 MacAuthur Colton

DL

So.

12

Emanuel Nolan

LB

So.

41

Jefferson Page

DL

Jr.

80 Zach Hicks

WR

So.

13

Kaden Newman

DB

So.

42

Nichal Johnson

DL

Jr.

81 Lamarcus Tatum

WR

So.

14

Max Morlan

DL

Jr.

43

Josh Dolan

LB

Sr.

84 Cody Orr

WR

So.

Aug. 18 at Veterans

Sept. 15 * at Creekside Sept. 22 * South Paulding Sept. 29 * at Alexander Oct. 6 * at New Manchester

16

Kyle McLaren

QB

Sr.

45

Miron Lay

DL

Jr.

85 Tyler Cranston

WR

So.

Oct. 20 * at Tri-Cities

17

Jack Eskew

LB

Sr.

46

Nick Aiken

DE

Jr.

86 Christian Searcy

DE

So.

18

Isaac Corbitt

QB

So.

47

Devontae Johnson

DE

Sr.

88 Gerald Harris

WR

Jr.

19

Elliott Vickery

WR

So.

49

Kevin Atkins

DL

Sr.

91 Kortavious Hardy

DL

Sr.

20

Nick Carter

RB

Sr.

50

Bryan Bordeaux

OL

Jr.

92 Robert Given

DE

Sr.

21

Ty Patterson

OLB

Jr.

51

Ethan Hall

LB

So.

96 Harim Echalar

K

Jr.

22

Jake Barberio

FS

So.

52

Kevin Feldbauer

OL

Jr.

97 Toby Potter

K

So.

23

Tanner Hughes

RB

So.

54

Connor Marshall

LB

So.

98 Kade Loggins

K

So.

24

Billy Kilgore

LB

Sr.

55

Will Sachs

OL

Jr.

99 Kyle Kinnison

DE

So.

Oct. 27 * Langston Hughes Nov. 3 * Mays *Region 5-AAAAAA games


Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 7B

Five new coaches in Coweta From page 1B coaches is their enthusiasm has the chance to energize each school’s fan base. “What I like about this situation is the excitement the new coaching regimes will bring to their schools. When the people see these new coaches going after wins and titles, they get excited,” said Walker, who came from Sandy Creek. “This is pretty unique, to be honest. I am sure this hasn’t happened before in any Georgia county. But I do believe the new coaches here will be good for each of their communities.” Alba, who came to Heritage from Troup County, said this coaching situation is unusual to say the least. He feels that because of these coaching changes, it will be a memorable year for Coweta high school football. “I’ve never seen or heard of anything like this before. Normally, maybe two of the five schools would be

looking for a new head football coach while the other coaches are staying at their schools,” Alba said. “It’s not like the coaches here weren’t successful at their schools. It’s just an odd set of circumstances have contributed to there being five new coaches at the start of the 2017 season.” Northgate’s Dalrymple is the only new head football coach in the county who didn’t come f rom another school. Dalrymple was a valued member of Walburn’s coaching staff and was promoted to head coach. “I think some of it is just timing with coach Walburn and coach Pardue retiring that created some really good openings. It all just sort of fell that way, but it’s exciting,” Dalrymple said. “I think people who have been in this county for a long time are going to be anxious to see how all the new guys do.”

Despite being promoted from within and knowing all the players he will have this season, Dalrymple believes he is truly new at the job. “As far as the three public schools go, I am really the only new guy, because coach Walker and coach Sma ll have been head coaches for so long,” he said. And speaking of longterm coaches, there is actually one county head football coach who is currently at the helm longer than the five new coaches: Joey Farlow of Central Christian School in Sharpsburg, who’s heading into his second year leading the Crusaders, an 8-man football team. “That’s pretty funny. I’m in my second year at Central and now I’m the grizzled coaching veteran of the county,” Farlow said. “I’ll take that all day and run with it!”

Indians must replace defense From page 2B who transferred to East Coweta for this school year, will also spend some time at wide receiver. Senior Christian Pace can play in any of the skilled positions but will be used mainly as a wide receiver. Nick Cronic, the grands on of lon g t i me E a s t C owet a c o a ch D a n ny Cronic, will serve as the

back-up quarterback. Kickers include senior Peter Walker and backup Dillon Lewis. Dantarius Chunn will do the punting. Keaton Syverson is the long snapper. After playing five nonregion games, the Indians go into the Region 2-A A A A A A A schedule, with the top four teams making the playoffs. The game that all East

Coweta football fans think about is the last one, with county and region rival Newnan on Nov. 3. This year’s big game will be at Newnan High this season. As big as it is for the community, Small won’t allow his team to look that far ahead. “Every game is big, and we are going to take it one game at a time,” he said.

Northgate to face tough teams From page 6B punts. “We are almost the opposite of what we were last year when we were experienced at running back, and inexperienced on the offensive line,” Dalrymple said. “It’s the same thing on defense, last year. We had experience in the defensive back field, but not experienced up front. This year we have experience up front, but not in the

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backfield.” As a member of Region 5-AAAAAA, the Vikings play in one of the toughest regions in the state. Last year, in addition Northgate, all three other playoff teams, A lexander, Mays and Langston Hughes, each won their first-round state playoff games. It could be just as competitive this year.

“Our region, along with Region 1-AAAAA, swept the first round of the playoffs, and I think in our region, we had at least six teams that could have made the playoffs,” Dalrymple said. “You can have a really good football team and not get in.” Nor thgate opens the season Friday at Veterans High School.

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8B — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 1C

By DOUG GORMAN dgorman@newnan.com

David Dean can’t help but be hit with a wave of nostalgia when he thinks about being named the new head football coach at West Georgia. After all, Dean served as an assistant coach at the NCAA Division II school in Carrollton from 1992-99 before moving on to Gulf South Conference rival Valdosta State, first as an assistant, than as a championship head coach. The football landscape at West Georgia looks a whole lot different than in Dean’s first tenure in Carrollton. Back in those days, West Georgia played its home contests at Carrollton High School’s Grisham Stadium and even went by a different nickname—the Braves. In the 18 years since Dean last collected a paycheck from West Georgia, there have been many changes that attracted the coach back to Carrollton. West Georgia now plays in a state-of-the-art, Division II stadium located just a few miles from campus, and the school’s sports teams are now knowns as the WolvesWest Georgia has also gained university status, something new since Dean was last employed by the school. “The town is different, the layout of the school is different and the facilities are different,” Dean said. “But it’s different in a good way. When I first came back on campus, it felt like this was where I belonged.” Dean’s coaching resume speaks for itself. After first serving as the offensive coordinator at Valdosta, Dean spent 2007-2015 as the Blazers’ head coach. In that time, he led the Blazers to NCAA Division II National Titles in 2007 and 2012. He spent last season as the offensive coordinator at Division I Georgia Southern. Now, he can’t wait to start writing the next chapter in his coaching life. “I am looking forward to finally starting the season,” Dean said. “It seems like it’s been a long offseason.” The Dean era officially begins on Thursday, Aug. 31

when the Wolves open the season at home against Fort Valley State. The game will be shown on ESPN3. West Georgia comes into the 2017 season ranked 24th in one preseason Division II poll. This isn’t the first time Dean’s name has been mentioned whenever the head coaching job came up at West Georgia. This time, however, the timing was perfect to bring Dean back to the West Georgia campus. He replaces Will Hall, who left after three successful years at the helm of the Wolves to become the offensive coordinator at Division I Louisiana-Lafayette. In his time at West Georgia, Hall led the Wolves to two trips to the playoffs and a 2015 Gulf South Conference title. When Hall resigned in January, Dean was the logical choice to be the next man in charge of the football team at West Georgia. West Georgia’s recent success wasn’t lost on Dean after competing against the Wolves when he was still at Valdosta State. He knew the Wolves were on solid footing, not only becoming one of the top teams in the GSC, but also in all of Division II football. “There have been some ups and downs with the program, but even when they were down, you just knew you were going to face guys who knew how to play the game and were coached well in high school,” Dean said. Dean, who played at Georgia Tech, has never left the state of Georgia to pursue other coaching opportunities. “The reason I did that was high school football in the state of Georgia is so good and you are getting guys that have a good base, so when you get them into your program, you don’t have to worry a lot about fundamentals,” he said. “If they already have that good base when it comes to fun-

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2C — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Heritage’s Alba excited by opportunities with Hawks BY DOUG GORMAN

dgorman@newnan.com

When Micah Alba was hired to replace D.J. Clay as The Heritage School’s new head football coach, he admitted he didn’t bring a lot of knowledge of the team’s past or the GISA, the league the Hawks calls home. What he did bring was an impre s sive re su me, wh ich included playing and coaching at BYU, and also serving as an assistant coach at some topflight high schools in Georgia, including Carrollton and most recently Troup County. He also knew that he was replacing a top-notch coach in Clay, who led the Hawks to an undefeated regular season last year. Clay, who also coaches the successful girls basketball team, elected to give up the football coaching duties in order to spend more time with his family. Now, Alba is ready to continue the success and build a little tradition of his own.

“We came in right after spring break, and we started lifting,” he said. “The guys have bonded even with other sports going on.” Alba felt welcomed as soon as he stepped on campus and accepted the job. “There were so many people that just made me feel good about the job,” he said. “I am just glad to be here.” The f irst-year head coach does have some work to do as he replaces 12 seniors. However, he isn’t losing any sleep over it because the cupboard isn’t bare. “We have some really good players coming up, but now iwt’s just a matter of getting some guys to step up into leadership roles,” he said. Several players will have to play on both sides of the ball for Heritage, including offensive and defensive linemen. Junior lineman Hayes Johnston has been catalyst for the team. “He has a lot of experience for us, and he has had a really good

summer,” Alba said. Junior Jack Stanley, senior Jack LeMarca, and brothers Ben, who is a senior, and Vinny Carnazzo, who is a sophomore, also bring experience up front. Sophomore A lex Hardnett and junior Thomas Crymes also figure in the mix on both the offensive and defensive lines. Senior Chandler Retsky and junior Patrick Griffies will split time at tight end. Senior Hays Burns and junior Henry Arnall are battling it out for the starting quarterback job. Freshman William Bryant is also gaining experience. All three could see playing time. Senior A nthony Williams, who has mainly played basketball and baseball for the Hawks, is expected to see time at running back after being talked into coming out for the football team. Senior Hunt Thomas has battled some injuries during the preseason, but when healthy, will be one of the main weapons in the Hawks’ backfield.

Junior Wright Arnall can play any position, including running back. “He can catch the ball, and he can run the ball,” Alba said. “So we can use him anywhere on the field.” The Heritage wide receivers are young but have earned playing time with a solid showing in preseason, including sophomore Brandon Scruggs. Scruggs played well for the Hawks’ baseball team last year. “He’s grown, he’s matured, and he has had a really good camp,” Alba said. Sophomore Bra nch Bur ns and f reshman A ndrew R ich should figure in the mix at wide receiver, too. Junior Andrew Vazquez has good speed and can play in several different positions, but will also play wide receiver. Anthony Williams and Henry Arnall have impressed the firstyear coach with their preseason workouts from the outside linebacker spot. Inside linebackers Hershall

Smith and Chandler Retsky are expected to play a big role for the Hawks this season. The Hawks’ secondary also brings back some depth with Scruggs and Burns ready to go at the safety spots. Griffies is the jack of all trades in the secondary with his ability to play both sa fety a nd cornerback. Retsky will start off the season as the punter. Senior Zach Robinson, who played on the Heritage soccer team, will handle the place-kicking duties and could eventually take over as the punter, too. Wright Arnall will handle the long-snapping duties. A lthough A lba knows the home game with Trinity set for Oct. 20 is a huge rivalry, he ad m it s he doesn’t k now too much about the rest of the league. “I guess it’s sort of a blessing and a curse that I am not really familiar with these teams, but I am just going to take it one game at a time.”

2017 Heritage Hawks Schedule Aug. 18 at Flint River Aug. 25 Terrell Academy Sept. 1 at Southland Sept. 15 * at Loganville Christian Sept. 22 * at Holy Spirit Sept. 29 * at Dominion Christian Oct. 13 * Bethlehem Christian Oct. 20 * Trinity *GISA Region 1-AAA games

2017 HERITAGE HAWKS Roster 3

Branch Burns

10 WR, DB 5-10 133

4

27 Sim Rhodes

9

Peter Nell

5

Andrew Rich

11 WR, DB 5-9 142

28 Hershall Smith

10 WR, LB 5-10 153

9 RB, WR, DB 5-6 126

30 Robert Johnston 11

6

Hays Burns

12

QB, S

6-2 155

7

Chandler Geerlings 10 WR, DB 10 William Bryant 9 QB, LB 6-1 153 11 Henry Arnall 11 QB, LB 6-2 166 12 Patrick Griffies 11 WR, DB 5-11 155 13 Andrew Vazquez 11 WR, DB 6-0 168

WR, LB 5-10 138 OL, DL

6-0 162

32 Wright Arnall

11 RB, LB

5-9 166 5-8 245

34 Alex Hardnett

10 OL, DL

35 Cole Ayers

12 OL, DL 5-11 179

50 Nick Obata

12 OL, DL 5-11 212

54 Cabe Corbitt

10 OL, DL

55 Thomas Crymes 11

OL, DL

6-1 158 6-4 180

14 Grant Evans 15 Charlie Minor

10

WR, S

5-8 130

64 Alex Xue

11

OL, DL 5-10 191

11

WR, S

5-8 130

66 David Browning

9

OL, DL

16 Brandon Scruggs 17 Jack Hall

10 WR, DB 6-0 163

70 Hayes Johnston

11

OL, DL 5-10 232

10 OL, LB 5-10 186

72 Vinny Carnazzo

10 OL, DL

20 Anthony Williams 21 Hunt Thomas 22 Chandler Retsky

12 WR, LB 6-0 185

75 Jack Stanley

11

OL, DL 5-10 245

12 RB, LB

79 Ben Carnazzo

11

OL, DL 5-11 327

12

H, LB

88 Jack LaMarca

12 OL, DL

23 Zach Robinson

12

K

5-8 162

5-3 152 6-1 212

5-7 174


Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 3C

2017 Composite Football Schedule Aug. 17 Carrollton vs. Newnan (University Stadium-West Georgia) Aug. 18 East Coweta at Lovejoy (Twelve Oaks Stadium) Northgate at Veterans Heritage at Flint River Trinity at Bulloch Victory Baptist at Central Christian Aug. 25 Newnan at Starr’s Mill Terrell Academy at Heritage Flint River at Trinity Rock Springs at Central Sept. 1 Jackson-Atlanta at East Coweta Starr’s Mill at Northgate

Southland at Heritage Trinity at Windsor Academy Sept. 8 LaGrange at East Coweta Newnan at Etowah Douglas County at Northgate Southland at Heritage Westwood at Trinity Central at Solid Rock Sept. 15 East Coweta at North Cobb Washington at Newnan Northgate at Creekside Heritage at Loganville Christian Trinity at Bethlehem Holy Ground Baptist at Central Sept. 22 East Coweta at Arabia Mountain

West Forsyth at Newnan South Paulding at Northgate Heritage at Holy Spirit Loganville Christian at Trinity Central at Praise Academy Sept. 29 Northgate at Alexander Heritage at Dominion Central at Lafayette Christian Oct. 6 Westlake at East Coweta Wheeler at Newnan Northgate at New Manchester Holy Spirit at Trinity Twiggs Academy at Central Oct. 13 East Coweta at Wheeler Newnan at Campbell Bethlehem at Heritage Dominion at Trinity

Ballard Christian at Central Oct. 20 Pebblebrook at East Coweta Westlake at Newnan Northgate at Tri-Cities Trinity at Heritage Central at Hearts Academy Oct. 27 Campbell at East Coweta Newnan at Pebblebrook Hughes at Northgate New Creation at Central First round of GISA playoffs

Nov. 3 East Coweta at Newnan Mays at Northgate Second round of GISA playoffs First round of GICAA playoffs

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4C — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Dallas ready to lead Lions to new heights BY JEFF ARMSTRONG

jarmstrong@newnan.com

If the 2017 Trinity Christian Lions football team plays with half the enthusiasm as their new head coach Kenny Dallas, this could be a special season for them. High school football is a big deal to the long-time coach, and he always looks forward to this time of the year. He couldn’t contain his excitement about coaching prep football again — even getting jubilant as he talked about the first week of summer football practice. “It’s my favorite week of the year,” he said. “I am always excited to begin football practice.” Dallas replaces Dan Matthews, who was the Lions’ head coach for two seasons. Dallas has a sparkling coaching resume, coming to Trinity after a three-year stint as the defensive coordinator at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in McDonough. Dallas’ stout defenses helped ELCA win the past two GHSA Class A Private School state titles. Prior to working at ELCA, Dallas was the head coach at Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, where he compiled an 88-41 record from 2001-2011 and led the War Eagles to 10 state-playoff appearances and two state championship games. He left Landmark to work as a school administrator in Tennessee from 2012-2014, but admitted that the coaching bug was always nagging at him. “I truly missed coaching high school football when I was in Tennessee. When the opportunity arose at ELCA, I jumped on it and came back to Georgia. ELCA knew that I would take a head coaching position if one opened up,” Dallas said. “When I got the chance to come to Trinity Christian, I took it, and here I am.” Dallas was pleased that 59 players came out for Lions’ summer practice. He said the first two things he stressed to the guys at practice were preparation and brotherhood. “If you prepare, which means to work hard, and you love your teammates deeply like brothers, then I told the guys that success will come,” he said. “You will always strive to fight for your family, right? That’s the message I’m trying to get across to the guys.” Dallas said the players have listened well to him and his staff, and they seem to be grasping all the concepts

on offense and defense. Offensively, Trinity will run the Spread Wildcat, which entails spreading the field with multiple formations at an extremely fast tempo. “We want to run the football. We believe in running the football and limiting turnovers, but we also believe in getting the ball in the hands of our playmakers with a little space to work,” he said. On defense, the Lions will run a 3-5-3 system with multiple looks, and they will employ a zone defense when it comes to pass coverage. “We believe the best defenses are extremely sound in the fundamentals of separating from the blockers and tackling the ball carrier,” he said. “We also believe championship defenses relentlessly pursue the football. We desire to be extremely physical, fast and intelligent defense.” Key returnees for the Lions include senior linebacker Sam Cotton, the team’s leading tackler in 2016, junior wide receiver/defensive back Chase Metcalf, sophomore defensive back Sharmari Reed, sophomore defensive end Bart Truskolaski, and senior tailback Luke Vermilya, who missed his entire junior season due to injury. Key newcomers to the team include senior quarterback/running back Zach Seymour, whom Dallas said is a run-pass threat and has outstanding football skills, and his brother, junior defensive end and offensive lineman Alex Seymour. Both players transferred to Trinity from McIntosh High in Peachtree City, and Alex has been getting college looks from Jacksonville University and Davidson College. One newcomer Dallas is quite familiar with is senior linebacker/strong safety/fullback Caleb Dallas, his son. Jacksonville University and Berry College have shown interest in Caleb. Coach Dallas said he knows Trinity struggled last season, so he’s not as concerned with wins and losses and who’s on the schedule in 2017. “I pattern my coaching style after legendary coaches Tom Landry and John Wooden. I never say the name of our opponents, similar to what those coaches would do,” he said. “I want us to focus on each other and our work hard; I don’t want our guys thinking about the next teams we face all the time.” Dallas does believe things are going in the right direc-

tion for his youthful Lions. “As a coach, all you can do is maximize the efforts your players give you on a daily basis,” he said. “The guys have been great, and they’re giving the staff exactly what we need. I feel very good about the process. We’re a young team that can get better as the days go by.” The Lions will go about the business of improving on a 3-8 record in 2016 — a year in which they started 0-5 before going 3-2 against GISA Region 1-AAA opponents late in the regular season. The plan will be to win a few of their tough early-season games, with two of them (Flint River, Aug. 25; Westwood, Sept. 8) coming at home. The Lions finish the regular season with a four-game stretch where they will not leave Coweta County. Starting on Sept. 22, Trinity will play three straight home games followed by the regular-season finale at county and region rival Heritage.

2017 Trinity Lions Schedule Aug. 18 at Bulloch Academy Aug. 25 Flint River Sept. 1 at Windsor Academy Sept. 8 Westwood Sept. 15 * at Bethlehem Christian Sept. 22 * Loganville Christian Oct. 6 * Holy Spirit Oct. 13 * Dominion Christian Oct. 20 * at Heritage *GISA Region 1-AAA games

2017 TRINITY LIONS Roster 2

Stephen Spurgeon

FS, WR

Jr.

2

Sharmari Reed

WR, CB, FS

So.

4

Bruin Hayes

6

Ed Berry

RB, DT

6

Tyler Roberts

6

Levi Robinson

7 8

6-0

155

28

Ryan Conner

OLB, DE

So.

5-8

148

OLB, C, DE

Jr.

6-1

205

DE

Sr.

OLB

Jr.

6-0

6-0

165

33

Stephen Powell

5-11

180

34

Alex Seymour

So.

5-11

177

35

Jacob Blair

WR, CB

Jr.

5-5

140

35

Austin Ingram

FS, RB

So.

5-10

RB, WR

Sr.

38

Ethan Scruggs

FS, WR

Jr.

5-8

Devin Gelband

QB

So.

5-11

150

42

Nate Randolph

OLB, MLB

Sr.

Shep Hancock

QB, OLB

So.

6-3

228

44

Cameron Hellgeth

OLB

Jr.

6-1

215

5-10

170

46

Sheffield Morse

Sr.

5-9

193

46

Adam Granade

SS

Hunter Adams

T, DT

Jr.

T, C

So.

5-10

230

5-9

185

65

Eric Hudgins

65

Jesse Cox

Sr.

68

Luke Powell

135

70

Boyd Lundy

C, DT

Jr.

5-6

190

140

71

Levi Mowrey

RB, MLB

Sr.

5-5

180

71

Raul Cantu

74

Buck Bodrey

75

Marc Robbins

G, DT

Sr.

5-11

205

76

Thomas Jones

NG, T

So.

5-8

195 270

So.

So. C, DT

Sr.

8

Kyle Mcguire

RB, QB WR

Jr.

9

Jake Estes

QB, MLB

Sr.

10

Luke Vermilya

RB, DE

Sr.

5-10

180

47

Jackson Duke

RB, MLB

Jr.

5-7

180

77

Nate Stanley

T, G, DT

Jr.

12

Chase Metcalf

WR, CB

Jr.

6-0

155

50

Bart Truskolaski

DE, RB

So.

5-11

159

78

Tanner Diget

T, DT

So.

6-5

14

Jake Lyle

TE

Jr.

6-4

190

51

Mason Flury

G, MLB

So.

5-6

208

80

Gabriel Page

K

So.

6-4

17

Caleb Railey

CB, FS, RB

Jr.

5-7

145

52

Josh Henry

80

Jordan Mitchell

DE, TE

So.

6-2

210

19

Cody Jones price

FS, WR

So.

54

Trey Lucas

MLB, TE

So.

99

Ethan Aldridge

P, K

Jr.

5-11

147

23

Eli Rivers

DE, WR

Fr.

5-11

55

Eric Wilkinson

So.

23

Daniel Bodiford

WR, SS

So.

5-4

55

Hogan Ford

So.

5-9

165

Grant Hurston

6-3

230

24

Sam Cotton

MLB, TE

Sr.

6-2

56

Trey Willoughby

Sr.

6-0

180

Ike Vermilyea

Jr.

25

John Geter

57

Heinz Gardner

Jordan Wilson

Jr.

So.

147 200

MLB, NG

60

So.

Sr.

C, DE

Sr.

6-1

175

David Pound

Jr.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 5C

UWG FOOTBALL

LAGRANGE COLLEGE

Steve Pardue takes over at LaGrange College Former East Coweta High head football coach heads back to the city where he had great success

Wolves prepare for the 2017 football season BY STAFF REPORTS CA R ROL LT O N — With less than three weeks to go until opening day, UWG head coach David Dean and his squad took to Ra-Lin Field in University Stadium Saturday morning for the first scrimmage of the fall practice season. “We saw a lot of bright spots out there today, but it has also been a long nine days, so we also saw some places where we need to tighten things up,” Dean said. “But in all, a saw a lot of things today that will help us grow as a team and give us a chance to be successful.” Senior r unning back Travis Custis had the first big play of the day for the offense, as he broke off a big gainer early in the scrimmage. It was one of two plays of 40 or more yards for the big back from Atlanta on the morning. Later in the scrimmage, Tyler Queen connected with freshman Laperion Perry for a big pass play down the right side of the field. Queen also hit on several big plays with K.J. Parmer, as well as hitting freshman Jaden Thomas for the first score of the day, a 12-yard fade to the corner. On the defensive side of the ball, corners Jakyron Young and Tyler Jack were

very stingy, allowing very little on the outside. Safety Ramon Patton had one of the biggest hits of the day on a pass from Willie Candler to Shannon Smith over the middle, keeping Smith from a big gain. On the special teams front, John Scifers connected easily on two field goals from 32 yards out on the morning. The Wolves will have Sunday off, and will then practice through the week before another scrimmage in the Stadium next Saturday morning. The season begins on Thursday, August 31, as the Wolves play host to For t Valley State at Universeity Stadium. **** The Gulf South Conference released the 2017 GSC Game of the Week schedule and University Stadium will be the site for two games this fall to be featured exclusively on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app. ESPN3 will ser ve as the exclusive carrier of the league’s package for the fourth straight season. This year’s slate will feature nine Saturday games and one Thursday night contest. New UWG head coach D av i d D e a n a n d t h e Wolves, who enter the season ranked 24th by Lindy’s Magazine, will make their 2017 ESPN3 debut on Oct.

BY STAFF REPORTS

7 when the Valdosta State Blazers visit Carrollton for Dean’s first game against his former school. The Wolves and Blazers will kick off on that Saturday at 2 p.m. on Ra-Lin Field. West Georgia will play their first night game at home on T V since the 2 013 sea son when the Wolves welcome another in-state rival to University Stadium. UWG will host Shorter on Thursday, Oct. 26 in a 7 p.m. kickoff. Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism will serve as the title sponsor of the package, which will include in-game features and online p r o m o t i o n a l c o nt e s t s throughout the season. ESPN3 will ser ve as the exclusive carrier of the league’s package for the fourth straight season. This year’s slate will feature nine Saturday games and one Thursday night contest. The Wolves host Fort Valley State in the season opener on Thursday night, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. at University Stadium. Don Russell will continue to be the play-by-play voice of the league, and he will once again be joined by Rick Rhodes as the color commentator. Gulf Coast Mobile L.L.C. will produce the package for the sixth year in a row.

2017 West Georgia Wolves schedule Aug. 31 Fort Valley Sept. 9 Miles College Sept. 16 * at Delta State Sept. 23 Albany State Sept. 30 * N. Alabama Oct. 7 * Valdosta State

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m. 2 p.m. 2 p.m.

Oct. 14 * at W. Alabama 5 p.m. Oct. 21 * at Mississippi College 3 p.m. Oct. 26 * at Shorter University 7 p.m. Nov. 4 * at Florida Tech 1 p.m. Nov. 11 * West Florida 2 p.m. * Gulf South Conference Games

Former East Coweta football coach Steve Pardue didn’t stay retired very long. Just weeks after stepping down as the head coach at East Coweta, Pardue returned to the college game after being named head coach at NCAA Division III LaGrange College. Pardue is no stranger to the city of LaGrange or LaGrange College. He was an assistant coach and head coach for 19 years at LaGrange High School, where he compiled a 161- 4 5 head-coaching record in 16 seasons, winning three GHSA Cla ss A A A state championships in 20 01, 20 03 and 2004. A s an Pardue assistant coach, he helped guide his school to a 1991 GHSA Class AAAA title and a No. 1 national ranking. Pardue left LaGrange High School after the 2010 season to join the coaching staff at the University of Kentucky. He was the running back coach and part of a staff that included Randy Sanders, now the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida State, and Mike Summers, who is the co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Louisville. For the past three seasons, Pardue has been the head coach at East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg. He guided the Indians to three straight 8-3 records, making the state playoffs each season. “Steve brings a tremendous amount of experience and an impressive win record to his new position in Panther Athletics,” said LaGrange College President

Dan McAlexander. “We look forward to what he can accomplish as he helps challenge our student-athletes to greater achievement on the playing field and in the classroom.” In some ways, Pardue says the new post feels like coming home. “LaGrange College is a great institution, and I have direct connections to the school with a daughter who graduated from the Nursing Department and my wife who received her master’s degree there,” he said. “In talking with President McAlexander and Athletic Director Jennifer Claybrook, I was impressed with the academic side of Division III and how it is embraced at LaGrange. “I plan to use my connections in the Georgia high school football coaching ranks and heavy involvement with the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association to promote LaGrange College football and the other sports on campus.” Pardue has served as the state football chairman, vice president and on the board of directors for GACA. He was the Atlanta Falcons High School Football Coach of the Year in 2015 and was named the Georgia Class AAA Coach of the Decade in 2010. He received the Touchdown Club of Atlanta Wright Bazemore Award as the 2003 All-Class Coach of the Year. In addition, he has been named a state coach of the year by various organizations nine times. “We are thrilled and excited to have someone of Steve’s reputation to serve as our head coach at LaGrange College,” Claybrook said. “Steve’s ties to the community and experience with high school football coaches across Georgia and the Southeast will be invaluable in growing LaGrange College football.” He takes over for Matt Mumme, who was named the offensive coordinator at the University of Nevada in December. P a r due m a ke s h i s debut w it h LaGrange at home Sept. 2 against Birmingham Southern. He takes over a team that went 3-7 last year.

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Dean decides to come home to UWG From page 1C damentals, you just home in on what you want them to do in your program.” Over the years, Dean has developed a solid relationship with high school coaches in Georgia, which will help when it comes to recruiting players to Carrollton. “We are going to hammer the state of Georgia very hard,” he said. “We know the guys we bring in from Georgia are going to be very well-coached. We want to have program players. We don’t want a guy who is just going to stay here for one year and then move on. We want to recruit guys who are academically stable and who are going to grow up in this program.” Dean was named West Georgia’s head coach in late January, less than a week before National Signing Day, but that didn’t cause too many distractions. He kept all of Hall’s assistants, and most the players stuck with their verbal commitments to the Wolves and ended up signing to play football at West Georgia. Dean called spring practice a very quick learning process for both the coaching staff and players. “As coaches, we all share the same philosophy,” he said. “We all want to

win. My philosophy is we need to be coaches, but we also need to be teachers. I think all of these coaches are great teachers. They care about these players.” Coaching has been a perfect way for Dean to make a living, and anybody who knows him isn’t surprised this was his career path. “My dad was a high school coach, and my brother, who played at Alabama, went into coaching. It seems like every picture that was taken of me when I was little I always had some sort of ball in my hand. The person who means the most to me was my father, so I wanted to do the things that he did.” When it comes to finding football players, Dean said speed and quickness are the first things he looks for. “I like to recruit speed,” he said. “Obviously, you want big guys, but sometimes at this level you don’t always have an opportunity to get the big guys, but you can always recruit speed. You either have speed or you’re chasing it, and I don’t want to chase it.” There are also a couple of other selling points off the field that Dean considers when recruiting a player. “I like to go after high-character kids,” he said.

“When I talk to a high school coach, I want to know about a player’s leadership ability and their character because you can build your program around those guys.” The Gulf South Conference is competitive every year, and Dean doesn’t expect anything to change this time around. “The Southeast produces great football players and that’s what this recruiting basis is in the Gulf South Conference,” he said. “In the Gulf South Conference, you are always going to get those great players, and I think this league, from top to bottom, is always going to be very good. You have to fight every week.” One of the games Dean probably has circled on his calendar is Oct. 7, when his former team, Valdosta State, comes to town for a Gulf South Conference showdown. Dean is only two seasons removed from his coaching days at Valdosta State, so there will no doubt be some emotion involved with his first game against the Blazers. “It’s going to be bittersweet since I sat in the homes of a lot of those Valdosta guys when I was recruiting them, but we want to win that ball game.”

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6C — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Experienced Crusaders look to bounce back By JEFF ARMSTRONG jarmstrong@newnan.com The Central Christian Crusaders football team qualified for the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association (GICAA) 8-man state playoffs in 2016, but second-year Central head coach Joey Farlow wasn’t exactly jumping for joy. That’s because the Crusaders only went 4-7 last year, winning just enough region games to sneak into the state playoffs as the last seed. They lost in the first round of the playoffs. “I’m the type of guy who doesn’t like to back into any playoff berths. I like having a winning record, being victorious in enough games to get in outright,” he said. “That being said, I do have to give the guys credit for working hard enough to make the playoffs in the first place. They didn’t give up at all, and I’m proud of them for that.” Farlow said the Crusaders were a young and inexperienced team last year and that was the reason for the losing record. “We only had one senior last season, and it showed in our play,” he said. “We made so many youthful mistakes last year. We should be better this year.” The reason Farlow believes his Crusaders will be better in 2017 is the fact they return nine seniors and they have 23 players on the roster — the most players Central has ever had on a roster. “Players who transfer here are surprised at how many minutes they have to play in 8-man football — they play both ways, so they’re are always on the field,” he said. “It’s great we have

that many guys on the roster this year. Now the players may have a chance to get some rest in games.” The players also will be treated this year to 500 seats in the stadium, a brand-new scoreboard and play clocks in each end zone. Farlow said these improvements will be a source of pride for the players. “First, we got lights for our stadium last year and the basketball team got a new floor. This year, football got the stadium seats, the scoreboard and the play clocks,” he said. “Now the kids see that we are actually building a football program, not just a team.” Farlow also believes the return of former Central head football coach Paul Frantz to the team as defensive coordinator will help the Crusaders achieve their ultimate goal of getting back to the state 8-man title game. “Coach Frantz is a really good football coach, and he just adds experience and knowledge to the staff, which will help the team this year,” said Farlow. Farlow said he is also happy with the rest of the Central coaching staff, which includes offensive coordinator Ryan Duncan, co-offensive coordinator Austin Stover, defensive line coach Jason Settle and offensive line coach Gerald Devalle. Key returnees for the Crusaders in their quest to get back to the GICAA DII and GICAA 8-man state championship games in 2017 are senior center/defensive lineman A.J. Whiteside, senior fullback/tight end/linebacker Marcellus Giles, junior tailback/safety Evan Casaneda and senior cornerback/tailback Mike Bell Jr. “A.J. moves pretty good for a big fella, and he’s also athletic enough to play on our basketball team. I’m also

expecting big things from Mike this year,” Farlow said. Other key players for Central include senior tight end/fullback/ linebacker Avery Staples, junior tight end/defensive end Zach Obi, senior defensive back/linebacker Tucker Settle, senior guard Liam Clayton, senior wide receiver/tight end Caleb Ruck, senior defensive lineman Alex Nugent, junior tailback Chris Nugent and sophomore cornerback/tailback Shaquan Parson. “Shaquan is an extremely good athlete who’s very speedy,” said Farlow. “He’s one of our really good, younger players.” In 8-man football, the quarterback is a key position on the field, especially if he is a good athlete. The Crusaders will be led at the position by senior Riley Byers, a player Farlow said is a dual threat: he can throw the ball down field, and he has good speed. Farlow said he has big expectations for his team in 2017, and said despite the bad record last year, he saw his guys grow as a team and make the playoffs. “Our team motto is ‘Hustle, Hit, Never Quit’ and ‘Quam,’ which is a Hebrew word which means ‘rise up,’” Farlow said. “It’s going to be crazy to hear 23 guys start chanting ‘Quam’ during a game. I can’t wait for the season to start.” Central’s first two games will be at home against Victory Baptist Academy (Aug. 18) and Rock Springs Academy (Aug. 25) before their bye week. The Crusaders will play six of their 10 total games at home, hopefully springing them to a winning record this year.

2017 Central Christian Crusaders Schedule Aug. 18 Victory Baptist Academy Aug. 25 Rock Springs Academy Sept. 8 * at Solid Rock Academy Sept. 15 * Holy Ground Baptist Sept. 22 at Praise Academy Sept. 29 * at Lafayette Christian Oct. 6 * Twiggs Academy Oct. 13 * Ballard Christian Oct. 20 * at Hearts Academy Oct. 27 New Creation Academy *GICAA Div. II South games

2017 Central Christian CRUSADERS Roster

Construction of Central Christian’s new 500-seat stadium bleachers.

1 3 5 10 12 15 17 20 21 22 25 33 36 44 47 50 57 64 66 72

Zach Obi Marcellus Giles Caleb Ruck Tucker Settle Chris Nugent Evan Castaneda Mike Bell, Jr. Alexander Nugent Ryley Byers Liam Clayton Cody Earle Adrin Hill Shaquan Parson A.J. Whiteside Quincy Grigsby Gavin Martin Mikah Bridges Aaron Fuller Quinton Huffins Josh Harmon

TE, DE RB, ILB QB, SS OL, DL TB, DB FS, TB CB, TB RB, DB QB, S G, ILB ATH TB, S RB, DB C, DT ATH ATH OL, DL OL, DL ATH OL

Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Fr. So. So. Sr. Sr. So. So. So. Fr. 8th

6-2 5-10 5-9 6-0 5-7 5-9 5-10 5-7 5-10 5-10 5-8 5-10 5-8 6-1 5-10 5-9 6-0 6-3 6-2 5-8

240 215 190 190 130 165 170 175 210 150 170 280 175 158 190 290 215 200


Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 7C

GEORGIA

Georgia’s Smart hopes signing class boosts talent level

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Coach Kirby Smart describes his 8-5 debut season as Georgia’s coach as “pretty average.” That record won’t consistently satisfy Bulldogs fans. Then again, the 2016 finish might have been as good as Georgia’s talent would allow. Smart believes the talent he inherited wasn’t good enough to deliver the championship fans want. “I pretty much knew what was here and I knew the expectation level was here, and I also knew the expectation didn’t necessarily meet the quality of players that were here,” Smart said Monday before the first practice for the 2017 season. “I think that’s indicative of what the NFL thought of our roster last year.” Georgia had only one player, wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, selected in the NFL draft from Smart’s first team. Smart knew those expectations weren’t going down, so the talent level had to move up. It was time to recruit better players. Georgia’s recruiting class this year was rated No. 3 in the nation in 247 Sports final composite rankings. The recruiting class and the decisions by tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to return for their senior seasons were among the reasons Georgia was picked to win the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division by SEC media. More expectations that Georgia will be better in Smart’s second season. “That’s what we’re working toward,” said senior tight end Jeb Blazevich. “I sure hope we are. We’re trying to go in that direction.” Smart said the Bulldogs must improve in every area. “For every statistic, we have a goal,” he said. “We didn’t reach many of those. Now, do you change your standard? Do you change your goals so you can make them? Or do you say, oh well, we’re not going to be very good in this area, we’ll lower it. No, the standard is what it is, and we have to try to get to that point.” There are reasons to expect improvement: — The team’s top three rushers return, including Chubb and Michel, who combined for almost 2,000 yards rushing in 2016. Chubb and Michel returned for

their senior seasons instead of entering the NFL draft, as had been expected. Chubb trails only Herschel Walker on the school’s career rushing list. One year ago, Chubb was returning from major knee surgery and Michel was recovering from a broken forearm. Now, each is healthy to provide a solid base for the offense. — The team’s top five tacklers return, including junior linebacker Roquan Smith. Smart was so impressed with Smith’s leadership, even in spring practice when Smith was held out of contact due to a shoulder injury, that he brought the junior to SEC media days this summer. That honor usually is reserved for seniors. — Qua r terback Jacob Ea son is expected to improve as a passer and a leader in the huddle in his second season. Eason started the last 12 games as a freshman last season. He had mixed results in the spring game . Freshman Jacob Fromm will push Eason. Brice Ramsey announced plans to transfer before changing his mind after spring practice, and his return helps depth at quarterback. — Even though the offensive line lost three starters, there is better depth, following a recruiting emphasis at the position. Smart said a top priority of preseason camp will be special teams. He confirmed signing wide receiver and return specialist Ahkil Crumpton from Los Angeles (Calif.) Valley College as a late addition to the team. Crumpton may replace McKenzie, who was last season’s top return threat before he was a fifthround draft pick by Denver. “We combed the country looking for an elite returner,” Smart said. “... We think he upgrades our roster.” NOTES: Smart said two 2017 signees, OLB Robert Beal of Lawrenceville, Georgia and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt of Decatur, Georgia, are not yet cleared to join the team. Smart said efforts by the two to meet NCAA qualifying standards are an “ongoing process.” ... Former Georgia and Cincinnati Bengals LB Odell Thurman is a new intern on the strength staff.

SEC will roll out young QBs HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley vividly remembers the hit that welcomed him to the Southeastern Conference. He was throwing a screen pass last season when Tennessee’s 6-foot-3, 260pound Derek Barnett burst through the line and slammed him to the ground. “That didn’t feel too good,” Bentley said with a grin at the Southeastern Conference media days. But Bentley proved to be a quick learner as a freshman, winning four of his seven starts. Now he’s part of a group of young SEC quarterbacks that could represent the league’s next generation. Though the SEC always has multiple first-round NFL draft picks, there’s been a drought at the quarterback position.

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The last SEC quarterback taken in the first round was Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel in 2014 — and his brief stint in the NFL was disappointing. The one recent success from the SEC is Dak Prescott, but he was a major surprise for the Dallas Cowboys after being drafted in the fourth round out of Mississippi State. It remains to be seen if anyone from the current group — which includes Bentley, Alabama’s Jalen Hurts, Georgia’s Jacob Eason and Mississippi’s Shea Patterson and Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald — can turn into the next Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford or Eli Manning. But the early returns are encouraging, especially as it relates to the upcoming season.

GEORGIA TECH

Georgia Tech, returning starters aim to build on last season Wins over Georgia, Kentucky give Yellow Jackets momentum for 2017 AT L A N TA (A P) — Georgia Tech is back on track. The Yel low Ja cket s rebounded emphatically from the worst season of coach Paul Johnson’s tenure in Atlanta, winning nine games a year ago to reestablish a bit of swagger. Johnson sees similarities to his 2014 team, which won the Orange Bowl and finished in the Top 10. “We’ve got a new quarterback, a couple of new guys, but the majority of them have played,” Johnson said. “We would love to have the same result we had in ‘14. That would be great.” Closing out last season with an upset of rival Georgia and a bowl victory over Kentucky provided plenty of momentum heading into 2017, which will mark Johnson’s 10th year at Georgia Tech. “In this profession,” he said with a smile, “that’s a long time.” Johnson, in fact, has been in his current job longer than any other coach in the Atlantic Coast Conference. But he was on a shaky ground after stumbling to a 3-9 mark in 2015, a miserable season that he blamed largely on a rash of injuries and not any fundamental defects in the program. Still, he needed to show he could turn things around, especially with Todd Stansbury coming in as the new athletic director. He did, guiding the Yellow Jackets to six wins in their final seven games, including an impressive upset at Virginia Tech. Now, the most pressing issue is settling on a quarterback to replace three-year starter Justin Thomas. His backup, Matthew Jordan, is the leading candidate to land the job running the triple-option offense, though he’s got plenty of challengers. So many that no one seems too concerned about filling Thomas’ shoes. “I’m confident in all those guys,” cornerback Lance Austin said. “All of them bring something to table. When they reveal who’s going to be the starter, I’m pretty sure

we’re going to be good with whoever ends up at that position.” It also helps to have B-back Dedrick Mills, who is coming off a stellar freshman season capped by a 31-carry, 169-yard performance that earned MVP honors in the TaxSlayer Bowl. Here are some other things to keep an eye on for the Yellow Jackets this season: **** SE A SON OPENER: G e or g i a Te ch f ac e s a huge test right out of the blocks, taking on Tennessee in a prime-time, Labor Day contest at new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. It will be only the second college football game played in the $1.6 billion facility, coming two nights after the first Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game between Alabama and Florida Stadium. After closing last season with a pair of victories over Southeastern Conference teams, the Yellow Jackets are eager to give the ACC another reason to brag against its powerhouse neighbor. OTHER KEY GAMES: Sept. 23 vs. Pittsburgh, Oct. 12 at Miami, Oct. 28 at Clemson, Nov. 25 vs. Georgia. ALL EYES ON THE QUARTERBACK: Jordan earned huge props for leading the 20-10 victory at Virginia Tech in his first college start, filling in for the injured Thomas. A foot injury cost Jordan the final two weeks of spring practice, giving the other

contenders a chance to show what they could do. TaQuon Marshall played A-back last season and could go back to that position if he’s not going to get significant time at quarterback. A pair of redshirt freshmen is also in the mix. Jay Jones might be the best runner of the bunch, while Lucas Johnson appears to have the strongest arm. JUST FOR K ICK S: The Yellow Jackets will have to break in a new kicker after Harrison Butker handled the job so ably the last four years. With Butker now trying to win a job in the NFL (he was a seventh-round pick of the Carolina Panthers), freshman Brenton King is the replacement. Another freshman, Presley Harvin, will try to take over for punter Ryan Rodwell, a three-year starter. It may take a few games into the season, or even longer, to fully settle these positions. PREDICTION: Georgia Tech has a shot at reaching the ACC championship ga me for the fou r t h t i me i n Joh nson’s decade-long tenure, largely because it plays in the much weaker Coastal Division. While title contenders Clemson, Florida State and Louisville battle it out in the Atlantic Division, the Yellow Jackets will have to get past teams such as Miami, Virginia Tech, Pitt and North Carolina. Don’t count out Johnson, who never seems to have as much talent as the other guys but knows how to get the most out of his players.

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8C — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 1D

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? College pipeline extends from Coweta County BY DOUG GORMAN

Carolina.

(Editor’s Note: The list of college football players from Coweta County is based on updated rosters from the individual college football team websites at the time of publication.)

Dawson Ellis, East Coweta— M e r c e r (O L , 6 - 2 , 2 6 0 , R-Soph.): Looking to to contribute for the first time in college. Earned Newnan Times-Herald All-County honors three times as a member of the Indians.

dgorman@newnan.com

JK Britt, Newnan High — North Carolina (DB, 6-0, 195, Jr.): Appeared in all 13 games, mainly on special teams, but had seven tackles, including five solos.

There’s a huge college football pipeline from Coweta County that extends in all directions. In recent years, local players have signed with big-time NCA A Division I, II and III programs, as well as NAIA and junior college teams. Here is a look at some of the current local players who are now playing college football:

Jerem i a h G em mel, E a st Coweta — North Carolina (LB, 6-1, 210, Fr.): Started all four seasons at linebacker for the Indians. Was named The Newnan Times-Herald Defensive Player of the Year and was also a First Team All-State selection.

Benton Washington, Northgate — Air Force Academy (RB, 5-11, 205, Sr.): The former Northgate running back is beginning his final season with Air Force Academy. Last year, he rushed for 321 yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries. Chancellor Johnson, Newnan High — Albany State (QB, 6-6, 245, Soph.): Signed at Albany State to play both baseball and football for the Golden Rams after a stellar career in both sports. Johnson is still looking for his first college action after not playing in a game last season on the gridiron. Ton Evans, Nor thgate — A r my (RB, 5 -8, 175, Fr.): Rushed for over 1,000 yards as part of Northgate’s WingT offense last year. Will begin his career with Army after also being recruited by schools such as Georgia Southern. Tray Matthews, Newnan High —Auburn (DB, 6-1, 209, Sr.): Coming off a great season last year for the Tigers after finishing with a team-leading 76 tackles while starting every game and leading the team to an 8-5 record and a trip to the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma. Despite the loss in the bowl game, Matthews had three tackles against the Sooners. Harrison Geerlings, Heritage — Birmingham Southern (WR, 6-0, 185, Fr.): Was one of

Dalton Elliott, Northgate — Robert Morris (LB, 6-4, 240, Fr.): Elliott was named to The New nan Times-Herald A llCounty First Team his senior prep year. Elliott also was a twosport athlete, excelling on the wrestling mat where he was a region and county champion his senior year.

Jeremiah Gemmel (33) the Hawks’ leading pass catchers Jamie Skalski, Northgate — last year. Clemson (LB 6-0, 235, Soph.): The former Northgate Viking Hamp Smith, Heritage — Bir- was part of something special mingham Southern (LB, 5-11, during the 2016 season, as Clem180, Fr.): Played on both sides of son beat Alabama in the National the ball for Heritage during their Championship game. Skalski, undefeated regular season. who was also a standout soccer player at Northgate, spent the Jake Trammell, Heritage — bulk of his freshman season at Birmingham Southern (LB, Clemson on special teams. Skal6-1, 185, Fr.): Had a nose for ski finished with 14 tackles. He the football last year and turned turned in his best game against into one of the Hawks’ leading Boston College where he finished tacklers. with four tackles. He was named the Special Teams Player of the Ryan Blackstone, Heritage Game after that performance. — Birmingham Southern (DE, 6-4, 225, Fr.): Was a force up Jahee Anderson, Northgate front for the Hawks on both sides — Georgia Southern (DB, 5-10, of the ball. Birmingham South- 150, Fr.): About to enter his ern will have to make a decision first season with the Eagles after on how to use him. playing at Northgate for former head coach Tommy Walburn. He Kyle Cater, Northgate — was also a kick returner for the Bluefield College (RB, 5-11, Vikings. 212, Fr.): Was a major force in the Vikings’ backfield where he DeMarcus Godfrey, East teamed up with Ton Evans to Coweta — Georgia Southern create a one-two punch by run- (RB, 5-9, 195, R-Sr.): Played ning in the Wing-T. Rushed for primarily on special teams last over 1,000 yards as a senior. season, but did have 14 carries

for 124 yards against Savannah State for his most productive Tristen Bridges, Newnan game of his college career. High — Shorter (DB, 5-11, 175, Jr.): The former Newnan Cougar Tonarius Portress, Newnan began his college career at LivHigh — Kennesaw State (DL, ingstone College before transfer5-11, 235, Sr.): Was a First-Team ring to the Gulf South ConferBig South selection from his ence School in Rome. Finished defensive end spot. Had 13 tack- with 23 tackles, including three les for a loss. Finished with 56 for a loss. tackles and three sacks. Brandon Facyson, Northgate Ryan Fagerstrom, North- — Virginia Tech (DB, 6-2, 197 gate — Jacksonville State (LB, R-Sr.): Announced his decision 6-1, 215, R-Jr.): Is still looking to return to college for his final for his first action at the college year of eligibility despite being football level. While playing for eligible for the NFL draft. Finthe Vikings, he named to The ished with 48 tackles last seaNewnan Times-Herald team his son, including 14 solos. Facyson junior and senior years. recovered a fumble and forced three others during the 2016 A lex Lakes, Nor thgate— season. Mercer University (RB, 5-11, 222, R-Sr.): The former running Cameron Ramsey, Northback at Northgate has rushed for gate — West Georgia (DB, 6-0, more than 2,000 career yards 175, Fr.): The former Northand is the Bears’ all-time lead- gate standout joins the Wolves ing rusher. Played in nine games as a prefered walk-on. Played on last year and rushed for 449 both sides of the football for the yards. Rushed for a season-best Vikings, but plays in the defen112 yards on 20 carries and two sive secondary for David Dean’s touchdowns against Western Wolves.

Ton Evans (7)

Hamp Smith (2)

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2D — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

SPOTLIGHT

CFB NEWS

College football joins other sports in keeping eye on the clock THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRGINIA TECH

Brandon Facyson (31)

Facyson ready for senior year at Virginia Tech BY DOUG GORMAN

dgorman@newnan.com

Former Northgate football player Brandon Facyson had a tough decision to make earlier this year. The Virginia Tech defensive back could have given up his redshirt senior season and entered the NFL draft, but instead of signing a lucrative rookie contract, the starting defensive back made Hokie fans happy by deciding to returning to the ACC school for one final season. It was an announcement he first made at The Newnan Times-Herald’s office earlier this year. “I have so many great memories of growing up here in Coweta County, this is where I wanted to make the announcement,” he said. Facyson has definite reasons for returning to school. “One of my decisions to come back to Virginia Tech is because I feel like I have room to grow,” he said. “I wanted to improve my draft stock, but also the stock of this team.” The Virginia Tech defensive back was projected to go anywhere from the third or fourth round but decided to return to the ACC school for his final year of eligibility after consulting with his family. Facyson isn’t just a talented starting

cornerback in the Virginia Tech defense. He also takes care of business in the classroom. He has already graduated with a degree in biology and also has plans to go to medical school with hopes of becoming a cardiologist. Last season, Facyson started all 14 games for Virginia Tech and finished with 48 tackles, including seven for a loss. He helped the Hokies to a 10-4 record last year, capped by a 35-24 win against Arkansas in the Belk Bowl where led the Virginia Tech defense. Facyson and Virginia Tech open the 2017 season on Sept. 3 against West Virginia in a game played at Fedex Field in Maryland. He returns to Atlanta for a late-season game at Georgia Tech on Nov. 11. The Newnan Times-Herald All-County selection has had some big games against Georgia Tech. During his freshman season against the Yellow Jackets, he had three tackles, forced a fumble and had an interception. Facyson has come back from some serious injuries during his college career. In 2014, he played in just three games before suffering a broken leg in practice and missing the regular season. However, he quickly recovered and returned to the starting lineup.

2017 Virginia Tech Hokies schedule Sept. 3 W. Virginia

Give us action, and make it fast. The lords of sports know how Americans like their games. To keep fans engaged — in the stands or on TV or mobile devices — the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball have taken steps to shorten games. Now it’s college football’s turn. Last week, the Pac-12 announced a trial in which some nonconference games on its network this season will feature shorter halftimes — from 20 to 15 minutes — and fewer commercials. The MidAmerican Conference also is picking up the pace, and ESPN said it would place greater emphasis on getting in and out of commercials on time and adhering strictly to 20-minute halftimes on games it televises. All this comes after the average game length in the Bowl Subdivision increased to a record 3 hours, 24 minutes in 2016. Professional and college sports and their TV partners are wise to watch the clock, University of Nebraska-Omaha sociologist Dan Hawkins said. “Outside of big cultural events like the latest ‘Game of Thrones’ episode, we seem to have passed a tipping point where most people are satisfied consuming media on demand at their own convenience and in relative isolation,” Hawkins said. “But there is a strong social aspect to watching sport — interaction with fellow fans, the immediate and unpredictable nature of sport, the fear of spoilers from social media or other sources — that still make sporting events best consumed in the moment. Clearly, sports leagues are afraid of losing this advantage if the product becomes boring for enough fans, and they’re now finally reacting to that.” The NBA this month unanimously approved several changes, with the intent of speeding the final minutes of games. In college basketball, the NCAA experimented with a couple of time-saving measures in the NIT. Professional baseball uses a 20-second pitch clock in the minor leagues, and Major League Baseball now allows intentional walks to be signaled without throwing pitches. The NFL , with an average game length of about 3:09 last season, this year is reducing the number of commercial breaks per quarter and is changing the protocol for handling video reviews. Longer college football games can be attributed to an increase in scoring, offenses that favor the pass over the run and the introduction of video review a

7:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 at E. Carolina

3:30 p.m.

Sept. 23 Old Dominion

TBA

TBA

Miami Virginia Tech

932

TBA

Georgia Tech

Sept. 9 Delaware

Sept. 30 Clemson Oct. 7 at Boston College Oct. 21 * N. Carolina

Preseason ACC Football Poll

SEC East Division

Team

Points 1st vts

Team

Points 1st vts

1,065 103

Georgia

1,596

138

40

Florida

1,526

96

708

9

Tennessee

998

3

Pittsburgh

673

7

So. Carolina

897

5

TBA

North Carolina

606

4

Kentucky

869

0

Duke

473

4

Vanderbilt

554

0

219

0

Missouri

338

0

TBA

Virginia

Nov. 4 * at Miami

TBA

ACC Atlantic Division

TBA

Team

TBA

Nov. 18 * Pittsburgh Nov. 24 * at Virginia

Preseason SEC Football Poll

ACC Coastal Division

Oct. 28 * Duke

Nov. 11 * at Georgia Tech

decade ago. Last year, average points-per-team hit 30 points for the first time. The game clock stops for point-after touchdown kicks and 2-point tries, and a TV commercial often comes before the ensuing kickoff. Per-team pass attempts reached 30 for the first time in 1999 and have been under that mark only one season since. Incomplete passes stop the clock. Four of the five teams with the longest games were in the Big 12, where huge offensive numbers are common. Texas Tech averaged an FBS-high 54.4 pass attempts, and the Red Raiders scored and allowed more than 43 points a game. No surprise, they played the longest games in the country at an average of 3:48. MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said his goal is to shorten his league’s games from last year’s average of 3:25 to 3:20. There is a directive for the second-half kickoff to happen right after the halftime clock strikes zero, and officials are being instructed to set the ball quicker after each play. Some stadiums will experiment with TV timeout clocks so fans will know how much time remains until the ball is in play after a media break. Nick Dawson, ESPN’s vice president of programming and acquisitions, said game length probably is more of a concern to conference and school administrators than to TV people because the schools are worried about keeping stadiums full. Reducing the number of ads run through a game is unlikely because of the giant rights fees the networks pay for the games, but Dawson said there are ways to tighten telecasts. “Over the years you tend to get into sort of a rhythm of a commercial break being 2 ½ minutes, but you might ask for a little extra time on the back end to do a certain content piece or graphic or something like that,” he said. “In the moment it doesn’t seem like much. You start to add that up 10, 11, 12 times a game at 30 seconds a pop, it starts to materialize into a real amount of time.” Though networks reported unprecedented college football viewership in 2016, Dawson said he’s willing to work with conference officials to address pace of play. “What I don’t want to do is look the other way based on the fact our viewership doesn’t seem to be affected,” he said, “and then wake up five years from now and we have a real problem on our hands and it’s too late to correct it.”

TBA

* ACC Coastal Division Games

SEC West Division

Points

1st vts

Florida State

1,108

121

Clemson

1,007

Louisville

Team

Points 1st vts

Alabama

1,683

225

37

Auburn

1,329

13

843

9

LSU

1,262

4

NC State

658

0

Arkansas

796

0

Wake Forest

415

0

Texas A&M

722

0

Syracuse

362

0

Mississippi St.

633

0

Mississippi

379

0


Wednesday, August 16, 2017  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 3D

Tigers trying to live up to expectations in 2017 AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The Auburn Tigers have stockpiled highly rated recruiting classes and built what coach Gus Malzahn deems his deepest, most experienced team. Now, the Tigers are hoping for a corresponding rise in on-the-field fortunes after three unimpressive seasons. That will almost certainly require an improved passing game behind quarterback Jarrett Stidham and/or Sean White, a healthy Kamryn Pettway in the backfield and a defense that remains strong after losing two of the team’s top players. Malzahn feels he has “a very hungry team” that reminds him of the 2013 group that made a surprising run to the Southeastern Conference title and the national championship game. “They’ve got something to prove,” Malzahn said. “If you look back to 2013, I feel the same way about our team. We’re in a good spot. We’ve got to seize the moment. We’ve got a chance.” He has collected five straight Top 10 recruiting classes, under the 2 47Sp or t s c omp o sit e rankings. But the Tigers have lost 13 Southeastern Conference games in the last three seasons, going 23-16 and failing to beat top rivals Georgia or Alabama during that span. That makes this a pivotal year for Malzahn & Co. Cultivating a consistent, productive passing game is a big priority for Malzahn and new of fen sive coord inator Chip Lindsey. Auburn

h a s r e m a i ne d u n s ettled at quarterback since Nick Marshall left after the 2014 season, partly because of injuries to White, and finished 49th n ation a l ly i n scor i n g offense and 112th in passing last season. Enter Stidham. The onetime Baylor starter shined in the spring game when White was recovering from a broken right forearm sustained in the Sugar Bowl. The two most proven offensive weapons are both in the backfield with Ker r yon Johnson a nd Pettway, a first-team AllSEC performer. Johnson believes they’ll continue to pile up the carries under Lindsey, an offensive analyst for that 2013 Auburn team. “He still knows we have one of the best backfields in the country and he’s not going to be afraid to use it,” Johnson said. The defense was better than it had been in years last season. But linemen Montravius Adams and Carl Lawson have moved on to the NFL . Two of Malzahn’s top recruits, defensive linemen Derrick Brown and Byron Cowart, are hoping for breakout seasons. *** Here’s some of what to know going into Auburn’s season:

for 150-plus yards in four consecutive games. Johnson has 2,078 all-purpose yards in two seasons. DEFENSIVE ENCORE: Auburn had one of its best defensive seasons in years during Kevin Steele’s first year as coordinator. The Tigers ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense. Leading tackler Tray Matthews returns at safety while defensive end Marlon Davidson, cornerback Carlton Davis and linebacker Tre’ Williams are among the top returnees. RECEIVERS: Auburn’s young receiving corps is high on promise and low on production. The Tigers are banking on a group of sophomores that includes Nate CraigMyers, Kyle Davis, Darius Slayton and Eli Stove to produce at least one breakout performer. Stove’s 224 yards tops the returning receivers. KEY GAMES: At Clemson, Sep. 9; Georgia, Nov. 11; Alabama, Nov. 25 PREDICTION: The Tigers are a popular pick to finish second in the SEC West behind Alabama. Challenging the threet i m e de f e n d i n g S E C champions would require a big leap on of fense behind Lindsey, who takes over play-calling duties long handled by Malzahn. It could happen if Stidham lives up to his billing.

BACKFIELD MATES: The 6-foot, 235-pound Pettway led the SEC with a 124.8-yard rushing average per game, while starting only six times and missing three games. SEASON OPENER: He became the first Auburn opens Sept. 2 Auburn player since Bo against Georgia Southern Jackson in 1985 to run at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

2017 Auburn Tigers Schedule Sept. 2 Ga. Southern

7:30 p.m.

Sept. 9 at Clemson Sept. 16 Mercer

3:30 p.m.

4:00 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Missouri

TBA

Sept. 30 * Mississippi St.

TBA

Oct. 7 * Ole Miss

TBA

Oct. 14 * at LSU

TBA

Oct. 21 * at Arkansas

TBA

Nov. 4 * at Texas A&M

TBA

Nov. 11 Georgia

TBA

Nov. 18 La.-Monroe TBA Nov. 25 * Alabama

TBA

* SEC West Division Games

2017 Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule Sept. 2 Florida State

8:00 p.m.

Sept. 9 Fresno State

3:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 Colorado State

7:00 p.m.

Sept. 23 at Vanderbilt

TBA

Sept. 30 * Ole Miss

TBA

Oct. 7 * at Texas A&M Oct. 14 * Arkansas Oct. 21 Tennessee

TBA

TBA

TBA

Nov. 4 * LSU

TBA

Nov. 11 * at Mississippi St.

TBA

Nov. 18 Mercer TBA Nov. 25 * at Auburn

TBA

* SEC West Division Games

COMPLETE

Alabama not sweating HIGH SCHOOL massive talent exodus TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A trophy shelf’s worth of hardware accompanied several of A labama’s biggest defensive stars to the NFL , but linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton and the Crimson Tide don’t seem too concerned. “We’re Bama,” Hamilton said. “We just reload. Everybody is going to embrace the challenge.” Still, it’s no small task to replace national defensive player of the year Jonatha n A llen, Butkus Award winner Reuben Foster or their fellow first-round NFL draft pick Marlon Humphrey. Not to mention the four other defenders who joined them in the draft. Nobody’s predicting a major drop-off from a group that led the nation i n r u sh i n g a nd s c oring defense, but there are questions to be answered. The offense appears fully loaded with playma kers even after losing tight end O.J. Howa rd a nd wide receiver ArDarius Stewart. With quarterback Jalen Hurts and a backfield overflowing with runners, the Tide remains among the favorites to win a fifth national title of Nick Saban’s decade-plus reign. Alabama has won three straight Southeastern Conference titles and 17 consecutive league games. The offseason has been haunted by a 35-31 loss to Clemson on a last-second touchdown in the championship game. Hurts said that’s all in the rear view mirror but also notes that means they can still see it. Translation: It’s gone but not forgotten.

Saba n doesn’t wa nt his team to “waste a failure” and not find a way to grow from that game. The chance for this team to prove itself comes immediately with an opener against Florida State, another potential national title contender. The defensive talent is hardly depleted despite losing players responsible for 36.5 sacks. Defensive backs Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison join tackle Da’Ron Payne and Hamilton to headline the returning starters. Hamilton is returning from a torn ACL sustained in the SEC championship game. Fitzpatrick moved to safety last season but has also worked at cornerback, giving coaches flexibility if sophomore Trevon Diggs or someone else doesn’t step up to fill Humphrey’s spot. Seniors Rashaan Evans and Da’Shawn Hand are once-prized recruits who appear poised to finally get their chances to play marquee roles. Hand was arrested five days before fall camp on a driving under the influe nc e ch a r g e , t hou g h Saban has said he won’t be suspended because he wasn’t actually driving the vehicle. The offense must also replace Outland Trophywinning left tackle Cam Robinson, but has standout right tackle Jonah Williams to take his place. KEY GAMES: Florida State, Sep. 2, in Atlanta; LSU, Nov. 4; at Auburn, Nov. 25. SEASON OPENER: A labama continues its

FOOTBALL COVERAGE EVERY

recent tradition of opening with big neutral-site games, winning in such matchups the last five years by an average of 25 points. The Seminoles could be the strongest first-game opponent during that stretch. The game is set for the newly completed Mercedes-Benz Stadium. THE OC: New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll replaces Steve Sarkisian, or Lane Kiffin, depending on how you look at it. He spent the past 17 seasons as an NFL assistant with stints running the offenses in Miami and Cleveland. Don’t look for wholesale changes in Alabama’s offense but Saban has praised Daboll for his work with Hurts’ passing among other things. RU N DA BOL L? It became a popular mantra on social media playing on the new OC’s name for Tide fans who want to see more running from talented backs like Damien H a r r i s (1, 0 3 7 y a rd s) and Bo Scarbrough (812 yards, 11 touchdowns). They’re joined by Josh Jacobs (567 yards) and freshman Najee Harris, one of the most heralded recruits of the Saban era and a January enrollee. PREDICTION: Alabama figures to contend for a fourth straight playoff berth whatever happens in the Florida State game. A fter that, the Tide is likely to be heavily favored over the next four games. Road trips to SEC West foes Texas A&M and Auburn await later.

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4D — The Newnan Times-Herald  |  Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Schedule Sept. 4 Tennessee

8:00 p.m.

Sept. 9 Jacksonville St.

12:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 at Central Florida

7:30 p.m.

Sept. 23 * Pittsburgh

TBA

Sept. 30 * N. Carolina

TBA

Oct. 12 * at Miami

Oct. 21 Wake Forest

8:00 p.m. TBA

Oct. 28 at Clemson

TBA

Nov. 4 * at Virginia

TBA

Nov. 11 * Virginia Tech

TBA

Nov. 18 * at Duke

TBA

Nov. 25 Georgia TBA * ACC Coastal Division Games

2017 Georgia Bulldogs Schedule Sept. 2 Appalachian St.

6:15 p.m.

Sept. 9 at Notre Dame

7:30 p.m.

Sept. 16 Samford

7:30 p.m.

Sept. 23 Mississippi St.

TBA

Sept. 30 * at Tennessee

TBA

Oct. 7 * at Vanderbilt Oct. 14 * Missouri Oct. 28 * vs. Florida

TBA

TBA

Nov. 4 * So. Carolina Nov. 11 at Auburn

3:30 p.m. TBA

TBA

Nov. 18 * Kentucky

TBA

Nov. 25 at Georgia Tech

TBA

* SEC East Division Games

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