Page 1


AUGUST 27, 2010 1B

TIME FOR COWETA’S TEAMS TO START 2010 SCHEDULES All kickoffs at 7:30 p.m. unless noted



PREVIEW ON PAGE 5B Tonight at Chapel Hill Sept. 3 Pebblebrook Sept. 18 at Troup County Sept. 24 Luella* Oct. 1 at Newton County* Oct. 8 Langston Hughes Oct. 15 at Westlake* Oct. 22 Stephenson* Oct. 29 at M.L. King* Nov. 5 Newnan* * Region 2-AAAAA Game ^Hallford Stadium (former DeKalb Memorial)



REGION 3B-AAAA Northgate Vikings PREVIEW ON PAGE 7B Tonight Alexander Sept. 3 at Jones County Sept. 10 Ola Sept. 17 Fayette Co.* Sept. 24 at McIntosh* Oct. 8 Upson-Lee* (Homecoming) Oct. 15 at Harris County* Oct. 22 Starr’s Mill* Oct. 29 at Whitewater* Nov. 5 Region playoff * Region 3B-AAAA Game

ALSO INSIDE Region previews of 2-AAAAA, 3B-AAAA and GISA 2-AA as well as a look at local players in college football programs this fall


HERITAGE SCHOOL HAWKS PREVIEW ON PAGE 8B Tonight Dawson Street Sept. 3 at Holy Spirit Sept. 11 at Mt. Vernon, 4 p.m. Sept. 17 Central Fellowship Sept. 24 at Valwood* Oct. 1 Flint River* Oct. 15 at Harvester Christian*, 7 p.m. Oct. 22 Southwest Georgia* Oct. 29 at Brookwood* Nov. 5 Arlington Christian* * GISA Region 2-AA Game


PREVIEW ON PAGE 6B Tonight LaGrange Sept. 10 Peachtree Ridge Sept. 17 at Woodstock Sept. 24 Newton County* Oct. 1 at Langston Hughes* Oct. 8 Westlake* Oct. 15 at Luella* Oct. 22 at M.L. King*^ Oct. 29 Stephenson* Nov. 5 at East Coweta* * Region 2-AAAAA Game ^ At Hallford Stadium (Formerly DeKalb Memorial)




New challenges ahead for county teams this season into Region 2-AAAAA and must Region 2-AAAAA by the prebutt heads with state powers season poll taken among region Stephenson and M.L. King, old coaches and members of the Region 4-5A rival Westlake and media. New challenges. what appears to be an up and That could perhaps best Clint Wade steps into his coming program at Newton. describe the upcoming local third season at East Coweta high school football season. The Cougars enter the 2010 where his two previous teams Newnan and East Coweta campaign with a 28-game regu- have posted a combined 14-8 move into a new and what lar season winning streak, the record with back-to-back trips promises to be a much more longest in Newnan history and to the playoffs. challenging region (from 4tied with EC for tops in all-time The Indians have put together AAAAA to 2-AAAAA) while county play. a remarkable run since Danny Northgate and Heritage begin In addition, Newnan has won Cronic took over the program the year under new head coach- a county-record 19 straight in 1990. es with the inevitable jolt of games at home. In the last 20 years, EC has enthusiasm as well as a new set But the new season brings its made the playoffs 18 times, 13 of questions that always seem to inevitable new challenges and times in a row for the best-ever accompany a change in leaderquestions. county run of postseason play ship. Newnan returns almost its and has not suffered a single “We’ll have a hard time dupli- entire offense from last year’s losing season. cating what we’ve been able to scoring machine, but must That record might not be do over the last two or three replace seven starters lost from years,” says Newnan head coach the Cougar defense which for jeopardy this year, but Wade Mike McDonald who begins his the last two years has ranked at knows it will be a challenge. second year directing the pro“We’ve got a lot of good, or near the top in stinginess in gram. young players who are working Georgia. The Cougars’ 37-4 record over extremely hard,” he said. “But Ironically, the situation is the last three seasons, 2007-08 most of them have not been almost the exact opposite from under Robert Herring under tested and the only way to test what Newnan faced last year whom McDonald served as when it returned almost its them is by playing. We’ll see defensive coordinator before entire defense intact, but had to what happens.” taking the head job last year, is The Indians hope to rise the best three-year mark ever in replace all 11 offensive starters from 2008. above the sixth place finish preNewnan’s long football history. It won’t be easy for Newnan dicted in the preseason region Newnan has also won its last from the get-go. poll. four region championships, all The Cougars face what is in 4-AAAA, and put together Tommy Walburn takes over at most likely its toughest ever the first-ever back-to-back Northgate replacing Bill Luckie non-region slate in LaGrange, undefeated regular seasons in who is now an assistant at Peachtree Ridge and NHS annals. Sandy Creek. Woodstock, a trio of playoff Those four straight region Walburn comes from Crisp teams that won 28 games crowns also mark a milestone County where he coached for for the Cougars. Before register- between them last year. three years. Peachtree Ridge is ranked No. ing successive region champiPrior to that he directed the onships in 2006-07, Newnan 4 in several pre-season polls Troup program to its best fivehad never won two region titles while Newnan comes in at No. year run ever, taking the Tigers in a row. 5. But this year the Cougars, Newnan was picked to finish along with East Coweta, move second behind Stephenson in See CHALLENGE, page 2B


PREVIEW ON PAGE 9B Tonight at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian,5 p.m. Sept. 3 Dawson Street Sept. 10 Holy Spirit Prep Sept. 17 at Windsor Academy Sept. 24 Brookwood Academy* Oct. 8 at Southwest Ga. Academy* Oct. 15 Flint River Academy* Oct. 22 Valwood Christian* Oct. 29 at Harvester Christian* Nov. 5 at The Heritage School* * GISA Region 2-AA Game

ICSGA 8-MAN TRINITY CHRISTIAN LIONS PREVIEW ON PAGE 11B Aug. 20 Youth Chri, W 20-0 Tonight at Twiggs Academy Sept. 3 at Heritage Christian Sept. 10 Colonial Hills Sept. 17 Grace Baptist Sept. 24 Ballard (Ala.) Chr. Oct. 1 at Faith Academy Oct. 9 at Praise Academy Oct. 15 at LaFayette Chr. Oct. 22 Crosspointe Chr. HERITAGE CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS PREVIEW ON PAGE 11B Aug. 20 Faith Academy L 20-6 Tonight at LaFayette Christian Sept. 3 Trinity Christian Sept 10 Hope Christian School Sept. 17 Praise Christian Sept. 24 at Grace Baptist Oct. 1 at Colonial Hills Oct. 8 at Twiggs Academy Oct. 15 Crosspointe Chr. Oct. 22 at Ballard Christian

2B — The Times-Herald — Friday, August 27, 2010



PRESBYTERIAN: Ed Loughlin (R-Fr., K, Heritage School) – Loughlin, a 5-6, 180-pound kicker, walked on to the Blue Hose as a kicker last year and was redshirted.

Another fall provides another impressive list of former high school football players continuing respective careers at college football programs throughout the country. Here’s a partial list of Coweta County athletes that will be appearing on teams this fall. The Times-Herald will be posting updates and profiling players periodically during the season. If you know someone who had inadvertently been left off this list, please e-mail us at

MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ACADEMY – Anthony Defelice (So., DL, Northgate) – Defelice, a 6-0, 220pound defensive lineman, enters his sophomore season at the academy after playing in six games last season. MIDWESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY ( J r., DL, East Coweta) – The bulldozing former Indians running back has found a new way to terrorize opponents after becoming a defensive lineman, while entering his first year as a junior-college transfer to the Division II school in Wichita Falls, Texas. McGill, at 6-2, 262-pounds, spent the past two years leading Eastern Arizona (Junior) College on both sides of the ball. After rushing for 303 yards as a freshman, he was moved to defensive line as a sophomore and finished with 30 tackles and 10 sacks. The Mustangs enter the season ranked No. 19 in the AFCA Division II poll.

A R M Y: Zach Peterson (SR., C, Northgate) – Entering his final season at Army, Peterson has over the past two seasons turned into the Black Knights most respected offensive lineman heading into his second full season as Army’s starting center. Peterson, at 6-1, 270pounds, was named to Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Second Team Peterson following his junior season, and has been named to the publication’s Preseason All-Independent First Team. The former Viking All-County standout equally centers a veteran offensive line with four upperclassmen, and made an immediate impression on second-year Army coach Rich Ellerson. “Zach is one of our best football players in my opinion,” Ellerson said. Both of Zach’s parents, Tim and Caren Peterson, also served in the U.S. Army, and his grandfather, Theodore, retired from the Army with a rank of Colonel.

MINNESOTA-CROOKSTON: Braland Geter (So., DL, Newnan) – Geter, a 511, 290-pound defensive lineman, enters his sophomore season at the Division II school after recording 13 tackles , 11 solo, along with a ? sack in 11 games as a freshman. SAVANNAH STATE: Dustin Russell (LB, So. Newnan), Jovante Miller (DB, Fr. East Coweta) – A pair of former high school rivals are now teammates. Russell heads into his sophomore year as a 6-2, 230-pound linebacker. Jovante Miller, also known as J.J., was a member of Savannah State’s 2010 signing class as a 6-0, 170-pound defensive back.

ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF: Cantrell Dix (Fr., CB, Newnan) – Dix was a member of Arkansas-Pine Bluff’s 2010 signing class in February. BELHAVEN: Tyler Willis (R-FR., K, East Coweta): Willis, who was a member of Belhaven’s 2009 signing class, enters his redshirt freshman year as one of three kickers on the roster of the NAIA school out of Jackson, Miss. Belhaven hosts a Shorter College lineup with a few former high school teammates on Oct. 16. BENEDICT COLLEGE: E.J. H o u s t o n (So, RB, Newnan): Houston enters his sophomore season at Benedict. CARSON-NEWMAN: Toby Slagle (Fr., QB, Northgate): Slagle, a 6-1, 180pound freshman, was a member of Carson-Newman’s 2010 signing class in February. FAULKNER: Dylan Vires (Fr., Arlington Christian) — Vires was part of Faulkner’s 2010 signing class in February. FORT VALLEY STATE: Gerald Boston ( J r., OL, Newnan): Boston enters his junior season as an offensive lineman at Fort Valley State. FURMAN: Ryan Storms (R-Fr., C-G, East Coweta): Storms, at 6-2, 267pounds, was awarded a redshirt in 2009 after playing on scout teams as a freshman. He entered the preseason battling for playing time at both center and guard. GARDNER WEBB: Ryan Gates (Jr., K, East Coweta) and Joe Fraser (Fr., LB, East Coweta) – Gates, a 5-8 placekicker continued to emerge as one of the most accurate kickers in the Big South Conference during his second full season as a starter. The former Indian AllCounty standout hit 11 of 13 field-goal

From top to bottom clockwise: Former Newnan receiver Alan Bonner (Jacksonville State), East Coweta kicker Ryan Gates (Gardner Webb) and Newnan cornerback Jamal Ransby (Georgia State) attempts for the Bulldogs, including 3 of 4 from beyond 40 yards. He was also a perfect 38-for-38 on extra points to finish with 77 points, two more than during his freshman year in 2008. More recently, Gates nailed four field goals in last Saturday’s preseason scrimmage, making kicks from 48, 44, 32 and 23 yards. Fraser,, at 6-0, 215-pounds is in his freshman year as a linebacker. GEORGIA STATE: Jamal Ransby (Fr., CB, Newnan) – Ransby, a 5-8, 165pound freshman cornerback, will get a chance to step right in during the Panthers inaugural football season. The program, led by former Alabama and Georgia Tech head coach Bill Curry, will play its first-ever game In the Georgia Dome next Thursday against Shorter. GEORGIA TECH: Ray Beno (R-Fr.. G, Newnan) and Robert Hogan (R-So, LB, Newnan Christian) – In just his second year following a redshirt in 2009, Beno, a top-recruited offensive lineman is already pushing incumbents for a starting job in Yellow Jacket head coach Paul Johnson’s triple-option attack. Beno can play center or guard and is challenging teammate Omoregie Uzzi for playing time, and the All-State performer with the Cougars could start at the guard opposite Uzzi in a battle with teammates Nick McRae and Zach Krish. Hogan is in his second full year in the Georgia Tech program as a walk-on out of Newnan Christian’s former 8-man football program . The 6-0, 217-pound linebacker was named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll during the 2009-10 school year.

HIGHLAND JUNIOR COLLEGE (KS) Tay Willis (Fr., RB, East Coweta), Jeric Woodall (Fr., WR, East Coweta): Willis, who was an All-State running back as a senior after rushing for 1,900-plus yards last year, and Woodall, signed with the school last spring and will be entering freshmen seasons. JACKSONVILLE STATE: Alan Bonner (So., W R , N e w n a n ) a n d T h o m a s Darrah (Jr., QB, Newnan) – The Gamecocks saw Bonner’s immediate potential as a freshman, as the former All-State wide receiver was named to the Ohio Valley Conference’s AllNewcomer Team in 2009. In his first season of college football, Bonner led the OVC in punt returns and was ranked ninth nationally with a 13.89 yard average. He also finished the season with 300 yards on 14 catches and four touchdowns. The freshman was also named OVC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a punt 64 yards for a touchdown at Alabama A&M. Bonner also had seven catches and over 100-yards receiving in Jacksonville State’s spring game. Darrah, meanwhile, arrives as a junior transfer from Alabama, with hopes of eventually challenging for a starting job. Marquis Ivory, a backup to last year’s starter and former LSU player Ryan Perriloux, begins the year as the Gamecocks starting quarterback heading into its Sept. 4 opener at Ole Miss. Darrah has been recovering from shoulder surgery done before arriving at his new school in the spring. He has

2010 Season begins tonight

been limited so far during preseason camp, but head coach Jack Crowe remains confident that Darrah will stay in the mix when he gets back to full strength. “Thomas is a talent. He can help this football team win. That’s what I said when we accepted him and I don’t change that, but he’s got to be well to do that,” Crowe told the Anniston (Ala.) Star “I think he’s got accept where he’s at. This is going slower than what we had hoped, but I am not excluding the fact Thomas could be a factor this season for this football team. When he’s well, he’s going to be in the mix.” LaGRANGE COLLEGE: Josh Striplin (Sr., K / P, Newnan) and Dillon Youngblood (Fr., OL, Newnan) – Stripling enters his third and final season as the Panthers sure-footed kicker and punter following two impressive years. Coming off a 2008 season where he was named conference Special Teams Player of the Year, the 6-0, 171-pound specialist started in all 10 games in 2009, making 9 of 12 field goal attempts and averaging 37.2 yards per punt. Stripling also made 22-of-30 extra points and had the game-winning 24yard field goal as time expired against Birmingham-Southern. He also had a long punt of 54 yards and had 49 kickoffs for an average of 57.6 yards per kick with six touchbacks.

STONEHILL (Mass.) COLLEGE – Devin Johnson (Jr., Northgate) and Dorian Johnson (Jr., Northgate) – The twin brothers enter their junior seasons with the Skyhawks. Both are listed as 510, 180-pound cornerbacks. TROY: Kyle Wilborn (So., OL, Heritage School) – Two years out of high school football at The Heritage School as just a redshirt-college freshman, Wilborn, a 6-4, 311-pound offensive tackle, found himself starting on Troy’s offensive line against the likes of Florida during an arduous schedule in early September, before the Trojans went unbeaten in the Sun Belt Conference, winning eight of their last nine regular season games.

VALDOSTA STATE: Chris Teagle (Fr., DL, Newnan) – Teagle was a member of the Division II Blazers’ 2010 signing class in February. WINGATE: Andrew Garner (Sr., OL, Northgate) — Heading into his third year as a starter, Garner, at 6-0, 255pounds, will again anchor of the Bulldog offensive line as Wingate’s starting center. Garner helped the Bulldogs finish second in the SAC in scoring offense (33.6 points per game) and passing offense (241.1 yards per game) in 2009. Wingate averaged 395.3 total offense yards per game last year. WEST ALABAMA: Josh Buchanan (R-Fr., OL, Newnan) – Buchanan played in 11 games as a freshman for the Tigers, mostly on special teams, and recorded four tackles, three of which came in last year’s Gulf South Conference game against Arkansas Tech. WEST GEORGIA: Brandon Behenna (Sr., QB, East Coweta) , A d a m Strakose (Fr., LB, Newnan) and Zach Fore (Fr., LB, East Coweta) – Behenna, who arrived last season as a transfer from Tusculum, contributed in two Wolves programs last year, coming on as a starting quarterback late in the fall and then playing baseball for UWG in the spring. Behenna was called on after West Georgia quarterback Sean Gray suffered a season-ending injury midway through the season.He completed 63-of-130 passes for 691 yards and three scores for the 2009 season, including a seasonhigh 203 yard-effort against Delta State. Strakose and Fore, who led high school rivals as hard-hitting defenders, are both freshmen linebackers this fall after being a pair of head coach David Dickey’s 2010 signing class.


start the season in

LENOIR-RHYNE: Jake Copeland (RFr., QB, Northgate) – Copeland, a 6-1, 205-pound quarterback, enters his redshirt-freshman season with the Bears.


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to the state semifinals in 2001. Walburn has installed the wing-T offense and the widetackle six defense and his players have responded well. The Vikings’ 10-7 win over Troup in the preseason scrimmage gave the Northgate faithful good reason to be optimistic. The Vikings’ defense, which has over the years been the team’s strong suit, showed a new aggressiveness in the scrimmage under Bubba Jeter, who took over as defensive coordinator after serving two separate terms as head coach at Troup. Danny Cronic moves into the top job at Heritage after a couple of years of “retirement.” Cronic was the ultra-successful coach at East Coweta for 18 seasons before stepping down after the 2007 campaign and where his teams never had a losing season, making the playoffs 16 times. Cronic has a long resume of head coaching experience including stints at Cherokee, LaGrange and Forsyth Central as well as serving as offensive coordinator at what was then West Georgia College. His overall head coaching record in 29 years in top jobs is 218-108-1. His 1983 LaGrange team played for the state championship and his 2002 East Coweta squad made it to the state semifinals. His Indian teams won three region titles and posted backto-back undefeated seasons in 2000-01, the only two in EC history.

SHORTER: Austin Ingram (DB, Fr., East Coweta); Spencer Smith (DB, So., East Coweta), Keandreas Wynn (Fr., FB, Newnan) – The Hawks’ program continues to be a haven for former Coweta high school talent, with Charleston Southern transfer Spencer Smith joining former teammate Austin Ingram and Newnan High’s Keandreas Wynn on the Shorter roster. Ingram and Wynn were both part of Shorter’s 2010 signing class last February.

The 2009 season, which included regular season losses to SEC teams Florida and Arkansas, ended with a trip to the GMAC Bowl against Central Michigan. Wilborn started 12 of the team’s 13 games at right tackle, missing the other against Arkansas State due to injury. He played a season-high 83 snaps in a loss to Arkansas, finishing with eight of his 44 knockdown blocks in the game. He was recruited by assistant Neal Brown at the same time Troy was interested in former Northgate standout James Searcy. While stopping in Newnan, Brown decided to make a visit to little ole Heritage to pay a visit to Wilborn, who had created his own highlight video to gain college interest. “The school didn’t even show up on my GPS system in my car We were driving around in circles for a while,” Brown told the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle last October in a story about Wilborn. “We took a little bit of a flier and it paid off. We said if we’re going to miss, let’s miss on a 6-4, 290-pound kid. Thankfully for us, he could play.” Searcy was with the team during spring practice as a sophomore defensive tackle, but is not listed on Troy’s current roster.




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Compiled by Chris Goltermann


EAST COWETA INDIANS HEAD COACH: Clint Wade (Third season, 14-8) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 2: Defense 7 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Multiple-I (Coordinator: Tom Gochenour) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 8-Man Front 2009 RECORD: 7-4, lost to Lowndes 52-14 in first round of Class AAAAA state playoffs RECENT HISTORY: 2008 - 7-4; 2007 – 10-2; 2006 – 6-5; 2005 – 6-5 PRESEASON POLL: (6th out of eight) OUTLOOK: See team preview

NEWNAN COUGARS HEAD COACH: Mike McDonald (2nd season, 13-1; Overall 32-16, five seasons) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 8, Defense 4 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Multiple Spread (Coordinator: Kenny Morris) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 3-5 (Cocoordinators: Jeff Bryant, LaVarrett Pearson) 2009 RECORD: 13-1 (lost to Northside Warner-Robins in Class AAAAA semifinals) RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 13-1; 2007 – 11-2; 2006 – 7-4; 2005 – 4-7. PRESEASON POLL: (2nd out of eight) OUTLOOK: See team preview


1. Newnan — Battle tested after playoff experience 2. Stephenson - Lots of Talent, Depth; Defense needs rebuilt 3. Newton - Have to adjust to recent loss of coach 4. M.L. King - New coach, Loss of RB Brown bring Questions

LUELLA LIONS HEAD COACH: Nic Vasilchek (First Year, 0-0 Overall) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 4, Defense 4 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Multi-Pro (Rebel Green coordinator) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 3-3-5 (Jamond Sims coordinator) 2009 RECORD: 4-6 RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 7-4; 2007 – 5-5; 2006 - 4-6; 2005 – 2-8. PRESEASON POLL: (7th out of eight) Returning Seniors: TE/DL Marcus Dallas (6-3, 215), LB J.T. Howard (5-10, 190), OL A.J. Colstock; OL Tafarie Hodge; CB Alvin Hill (5-10, 175) KEY RETURNERS: LB Chase Scott, K Grant Palmer, PR Reese McDaniel, RB Gabriel Smith NEWCOMERS: CB Oliver Davis; QB Cameron Hughes; QB Jake Bartrum, RB Jarrell Sutton STRENGTHS: Offensive line, players familiar with new staff despite coaching change. WEAKNESSES: Overall team depth and inexperience. Questions at quarterback to begin season. KEY LOSSES: WR/S Detrick Bonner (Virginia Tech), QB Kyle Dickey (Tusculum), RB Tommy Gooden, DL Horace Clemons (Coffeyville JUCO), DL T’rell Matthias, OUTLOOK: Promoted former assistant Nic Vasilchek’s biggest challenge may be in changing the attitude of a young program that has only experienced one season above .500 in its seven-year varsity existence. It doesn’t get any easier for the 30-year-old, the region’s youngest head coach. Vasilchek takes over for Paul Burgdorf, who moved on to nearby rival Union Grove. The Lions will start with new faces offensively at quarterback and running back, with almost all of its 2009 offense gone to graduation. Juniors Cameron Hughes, who threw six passes, and Jake Bartrum headed into last Friday’s early opener against Villa Rica vying for the starting job. In the backfield, two-way starter J.T. Howard is among four runners that could share time with Jervell Sutton, Alvin Hill and Gabriel Smith. Only Sutton had a varsity carry, however. “I think our coaches agree that we were lacking a little bit of tough love (last year),” said Vasilchek. “It feels like a fresh start for us. We’re inexperienced and we realize we’re the underdogs. We respect every program , but we’re not going to be scared either.” Tight end Marcus Dallas leads an experienced offensive front with three returning starters, two of whom - A.J. Colstock and Tafarie Hodge – were both All-Region honorable mention performers last year. Orlando Brown came on at the end of 2009 and the coaching staff is counting on him being a full-time starter in 2010. Like most of the skill positions, Luella’s receivers are also dominated by newcomers after losing talented wide receiver Detrick Bonner, who signed with Virginia Tech. The defense will be anchored by four returners including Dallas up front. The linebacking corps is talented with Howard (5-11, 190), junior Chase Scott and Holden Keith. But depth is not at a premium. The secondary is equally young, led by Alvin Hill (5-10, 175), who can play either corner or safety. Brothers Oliver and Aaron Davis both look strong and defensive coordinator Jamond Sims feels like Aaron, a 5-10, 165-pound sophomore, is one of the most talented players on the team. Three out of the four specialists are also back, including Scott at long snapper, Grant Palmer at kicker and punt returner Reece McDaniel. “We feel like we’re making steps forward,” said Vasilchek. “But we realize we’re not where we want to be. We’re at the bottom and we’re going to try and rise up.”

HEAD COACH: Willie Cannon (2-7, 2nd season) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 11, Defense 11 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Proset/Spread DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 4-3 2009 RECORD: 2-7 (played nonregion schedule) RECENT HISTORY: N/A PRESEASON POLL: (8th out of eight) RETURNING SENIORS: WR Raymond Yarbrough, WR Terry Pettis (6-6, 220) KEY RETURNERS: RB D.J. Payne (57), RB Chris Johnson (5-9, 165) , QB Blaize Schaeffer (6-2, 200), WR Jonathan Whitehead (5-9, 155), C Jeffery Park, T Alex Johnson, G Zentavia Delaney, DL Melvin Davis (64, 240). NEWCOMERS: RB Brandon Davis, QB James Boyd (6-1, Fr.), CB Deshawn Pemberton, Fr. STRENGTHS: All starters returning, talented QB, deep WR corps. WEAKNESSES: Lack of seniors on roster, youth and experience abound OUTLOOK: Picked to finish last among eight teams in Region 2AAAAA heading into its first full varsity season, Langston Hughes didn’t exactly get any breaks through GHSA realignment. What the Panthers don’t have in youth and inexperience hopes to pay off through improving talent. Expect the program to use any means necessary to battle in 2-AAAAA, attempting to spread the larger opponents across the field using its depth at quarterback and wide receiver. The Panthers will equally try to stay in games by running the ball and the clock and hoping ball possession with the likes of Payne, Johnson and Davis, a transfer from Texas, pays off in a couple of region wins. Both quarterbacks, including Schaeffer whose older brother played at Tennessee and Ole Miss, seem talented enough to keep Langston Hughes in games. The Panthers’ ‘rookie’ season, however, consisted of two games against fellow newcomers Grovetown. Johns Creek and Arabia Mountain, along with one against first-year school Drew. The only real GHSA measuring stick came from Class AA Brooks County, a yearly state playoff conHEAD COACH: Michael Carson (First tender, in a 61-12 loss. In a competitive year, Overall: 7-14, two seasons) 2-AAAAA lineup where six of the eight STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 3, schools reached state in 2009, Defense 3 Langston Hughes may be in for a long OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Multiple first year. Spread (Kenton Evans coordinator


[previously at Towers]) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 3-3-5 (Greg Wansley coordinator [previously at Chamblee]) 2009 RECORD: 10-2 (lost to Newnan in second round of Class AAAAA playoffs) RECENT HISTORY: 2008 —8-3; 2007 — 12-1; 2006 — 10-2; 2005 — 9-3. PRESEASON POLL: (4th out of eight) RETURNING SENIORS: WR Demarco Robinson, RT Dontre Stephens (6-2, 320), S Steven Matthews (6-0, 180), RB/S Kevin Byard, Nick Wright (5-11, 175), P Brandon Sharp KEY RETURNERS: LT Joshua Outlaw (6-5, 260), LB Patrick Callaway (5-10, 195, 1st Team All-Region), CB Al Carson (5-8, Jr.), CB Ahmad Mohammad (6-0, 185). NEWCOMERS: QB Jonquil Dawson (5-10, 185, Jr.), RG Tyrone Bankston (62, 300), STRENGTHS: Tradition. Since beginning its short history in Class AAA, M.L. King has risen to the top of AAAAA contenders as one of DeKalb’s best programs. There are 30 returning players with starting experience. Quarterback and deep receiving corps provide potential. WEAKNESSES: Defensive line depleted. A new coach means new systems and methods to learn after bringing in two new coordinators. The team entered fall practice without a kicker. None of the running backs have much experience. Overall size may be lacking compared to region foes Newton and Stephenson. KEY LOSSES: RB Mack Brown (Florida), QB Cameron Myers, OL Bryce Bell (Savannah State), OL Nic Hall (Concordia), DL Fred Allen (Morehead St.), DE Josh McClure, LB Rockmon Swain, ILB Dustin Lane, CB Cory Phillips (Gardner Webb), CB Aldrickious Shumake (Eastern Kentucky) OUTLOOK: A new coach and new faces dominate the program following four straight trips to the Class AAAAA state playoffs. The Lions, which used talented All-State runner Mack Brown to carry much of the load in 2009, may be looking toward the air. Coach Carson, since arriving from nearby Avondale High, has installed a spread offense centered around his former Blue Devil quarterback, Dawson, who also transferred. As a sophomore, Dawson threw for 1,800 yards. “Our expectation is to win. But it’s going to be a different team than in the past,” said Carson. “The biggest challenge is that we don’t have a Mack Brown this year. This will be the first year in a long time where we’ll be inexperienced.” Several other transfers, including right guard Tyrone Bankson, from Towers, cushions the blow of losing 20-plus seniors a year ago. Kevin Byard, who played primarily on defense last year, will also be counted on in the offensive backfield following the loss of Brown, who signed with Florida. Byard had M.L. King’s only touchdown in a 21-6 scrimmage loss to Tucker, which came on an 85-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. Two of the offensive line positions are also up for grabs, including at center. Senior Dontre Stephens and sophomore Joshua Outlaw (6-5, 260) man the tackles and 300-pound transfer Tyrone Bankston arrives from Towers to play left guard. Defensive coordinator Greg Wansley, who arrives from Chamblee, promises “a lot of zone blitzing” this year in a 3-5 set. He feels Callaway, who carries a 3.7 GPA has the potential to be “a big-time leader.” Byard is a key returner in the secondary at safety and will be joined by corners Al Carson and Ahmad Mohammad.


HEAD COACH: Cortez Allen (1st year, 0-0) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 8, Defense 7 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: MultiplePro (Camille Grant coordinator) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 50 (Cortez Allen coordinator) 2009 RECORD: 6-5 (lost in first round of state playoffs to eventual state champion Camden County, 4319) RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 3-7; 2007 – 1-9; 2006 – 3-7; 2005 – 4-6 PRESEASON POLL (3rd out of eight) RETURNING SENIORS: QB Tyree

5. Westlake - Lions need depth to emerge if to contend 6. East Coweta - Indians need to overcome size issues 7. Luella - Not much depth, lots of inexperience 8. Langston Hughes - Tough situation for 1st Year Program

Williams, WR Devon Mann, RB Akeem Hunt, TE Cadarius Terrell, CB Bill Hicks, C Clay Johnson, RT Robert Roquemore, LT Josh Williams, RB/LB D.J. Hill (1st Team All Region), K Esteban Guitterez, LB Cornelius Hudson, S Chris Dickerson (2nd Team All Region) KEY RETURNERS: WR Deshaun McKenzie, Jr., FB Sammy Merchant, ILB Antonio Williams Jr. (1st team All Region); CB Chris Dixon NEWCOMERS: NG Treyvon Richardson (6-5, 330, So.) STRENGTHS: Proven QB, Defensive line is extremely large and deep, Impressive LBs, 31 seniors. Sound special teams with returning kicker. WEAKNESSES: Plenty of turmoil off the field with recent removal of former coach Nick Collins. Program has not reached second round of state playoffs just once in its 60 years of existence. KEY LOSSES: OL/DL Derrick Clark, S/WR Bart Lindsey, OL/DL Justice Ejike (Georgia Southern), DE Torriane Hunte, DE Jamal Hunte, CB Ryan Ford OUTLOOK A total of 31 seniors and 15 starters are back, giving the Rams quite the feel of a sleeper during this year’s preseason coaches meeting. Last year, Newton lost games to Stephenson and M.L. King by less than 10 points, including an overtime loss to the Jaguars, the eventual region champion. Before being removed as head coach last week following an off-field incident with a booster club president, Nick Collins said he felt “the strength of our team now is going to be experience. The guys kind of having an understanding of what it’s like to play under the lights on Friday nights and what it’s all about. The key is to get better.” While sound on paper, a bigger key now might be how well Newton adjusts to new head coach and former defensive coordinator Cortez Allen following Collins’ recent removal stemming from a post- practice argument between two athletes and a parent, who was also a booster club president, that began in the Newton fieldhouse. “I have no ill feeling toward anyone there (at Newton),” said Collins. “They’ve always been very supportive. The program is in good hands. Coach Allen will do a great job. He’s very thorough and he’s ready to be a head coach. But I am disappointed I didn’t get to see what we started here through.” Allen has previously coached at Mundy’s Mill and M.L. King and was an All-State linebacker at SW DeKalb during its glory years in the mid 1990s with quarterback Quincy Carter. On the field, the Rams return the majority of its offensive starters including senior quarterback Tyree Williams, who enters his second year behind center. “We were surprised at the way he handled the pressure,” said Collins. “He’s one of our leaders in the weightroom.” The team is also high on receivers Deshawn McKenzie, a junior, and senior Devon Mann. The starting running back is Akeem Hunt, who ran on Newton’s state champion 400-meter relay team and was selected as Region 2-AAAAA All-Purpose Player of the Year in 2009. “The kids know the expectation level has risen,” said Newton offensive coordinator Camille Grant. Fullback Sammy Merchant was a Second-Team All Region player a year ago and is one of the strongest athletes on the team. The offensive front is equally sizable, with three returners along with senior tight-end Darrius Terrell back. Three more upperclassmen dominate the offensive line. Clay Johnson is at center and Robert Rockmore and Josh Williams are experienced tackles. Senior D.J. Hill joins Hunt as a complementary back and linebacker as a two-way contributor, who led Newton in interceptions. Also back to center the defense is middle linebacker Antonio Williams, who led Newton in tackles as a sophomore. The Rams secondary will be led by a pair of four-year starters including Bill Hicks. “Defensively, we bring back a good group of kids,” said Allen, who is losing key players up front in Derrick Clark and Justice Ejike. “Those guys were hard workers and key leaders for us. But we’re at a point where we might not have to even have a senior up front.” Newton will dress eight defensive linemen including sophomore Trevon Richardson, a 6-5, 330pound nose guard who started as a

freshman. “Depth is something we’re glad to have up front,” said Allen. “It’s something we haven’t had in the past”

STEPHENSON JAGUARS HEAD COACH: Ron Gartrell (117-47, 14th season; Overall 151-92, 23 seasons) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 7, Defense 2 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: MultipleWing DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 4-3 (Donald Sellers coordinator) 2009 RECORD: 11-1 (Region 2-AAAAA champions, lost in second round of state playoffs to Colquitt County, 22-21) RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 9-2, 2007 – 8-3, 2006 – 10-3, 2005 – 12-2. PRESEASON POLL (1st out of eight) RETURNING SENIORS: QB Jordan Tolfer, WR Ceyron Willingham (Middle Tennessee State), LB Regis Ball (5-11, 205, Memphis) DE Preston Smith, FB Jonathan Abrams, Jeremy Sheppard, G Jarrod Parks (205 pounds), CB Donald Sellers, CB David Stephenson (UConn), CB Jared Boyd, C Tyrik Cook, RB Willie Davis, LB Jordan Mincy, FS Jared Boyd (Duke), K Colin Anderson. KEY RETURNERS: RB Michael Davis, Jr., TE Xavier Barnes (6-3, 225). NEWCOMERS: LB Jordan Mincy, CB Kadetrix Marcus (6-2, 195) STRENGTHS: Proven quarterback, Overall size with surplus of 24 offensive and defensive linemen. Big targets at tight end. Secondary is solid. WEAKNESSES: Loss of 31 seniors, 29 of which signed college scholarships forces team to reload on defense. Little depth at wide receiver and at defensive tackle. KEY LOSSES: DL Michael Thornton (Georgia), DL Darrell White, DE Miles Asmon (Ft. Valley State), DE Malcolm Strong (Marshall), OLB Tyrone Cornelius (Miami), OLB Jabari Johnson (Kentucky), ILB Franchot West (Georgia Southern), S Kenneth Ladner (Vanderbilt), CB Chris Sharp (Middle Tennesee State), RB Raymond Sanders (Kentucky), TE Ronnie Shield (Kentucky), WR Nate Benford (Troy), OL Kevin Billups (Johnson C. Smith), Martin Abebowale (Presbyterian), James Farmer (Tusculum), Jacob Johnson (Tusculum), Gary McIndoe (LaGrange), Joshua Polk (Presbyterian). OUTLOOK: A perennial power, Stephenson returns a host of talented seniors, many of whom have already committed to Division I schools. But the big question mark might be how well the Jaguars recover from the loss of 29 players who signed last February. Stephenson lost three key players alone to Kentucky in a top running back (Sanders), receiver (Shields) and linebacker (Jabari Johnson). Two more defenders went to Georgia (Thornton) and Miami (Cornelius). In all, nine defensive starters are gone. “This is by far the toughest (region) from top to bottom,” said Gartrell. “We lost some great, great players. We do have talent, we do have size and we do have some experience. We want to work on the process and not what the goal is right now.” Despite the losses, All-Region 2AAAAA First Team quarterback Jordan Tolfer, a senior, returns after throwing just one interception through his first 10 games last year. Fullback Jonathan Abrams may be “the best fullback we’ve ever had,” and is back after missing six games a year ago. The Jaguars will replace Sanders, an All-Region performer, with six backs capable of gaining carries led by junior Michael Davis. “We feel like he can be one of the best to ever play here by the time he’s done,” said Gartrell. At receiver, Ceyron Willingham went under the radar in 2009, but had a strong enough offseason to give a verbal commitment to Middle Tennessee. The offensive line may be the centerpiece of the unit, including center Tyrik Cook (6-3, 290), who has committed to Central Florida. Jarrod Parks is a threeyear starter at guard and Jafar Mann (6-4, 275) will play both ways as one of the team’s better linemen. Stephenson replenishes the tightend position with a pair of talented players including tight end Xavier Baxter (6-3, 225). Preston Smith, at 6-5, 275, will also play at the position while also rotating at defensive end. “Defensively is where we depleted ourselves,” said Gartrell. “We’re going to play a lot of guys on defense and

you’ll see us run 18 to 20 guys. That’s a year-in, year-out thing for us. So we’ll have some kids this year with experience.” Linebacker Regis Ball, a three-year starter, has already committed to Memphis, but the team will have to replace three Division I signees. Jordan Mincy is a transfer who went through spring practice with the Jaguars “and we expect big things from him.” Jeremy Shepherd, a 4.0 GPA student, has an offer from Harvard and though “undersized,” has the potential to fill in. The secondary might be able to make up for the losses, with four outstanding talents in Davis Stephenson (UConn)and transfer Donald Sellers at the corners and Duke commitment Jared Boyd at free safety. The other newcomer at safety is Kadetrix Marcus, another highly touted recruit who transferred from Hillgrove, and he “will make us pretty good down the middle of the field.” Colin Anderson, committed to Alabama-Birmingham, will be the team’s kicker.

WESTLAKE LIONS HEAD COACH: Greg Minnis (3rd season, 13-8 overall) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 8, Defense 7 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Spread DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 4-3 2009 RECORD: (lost in first round of state playoffs to Colquitt County, 10-0) RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 6-4, 2007 – 5-5; 2006 – 6-6; 2005 – 9-3 PRESEASON POLL: (5th out of eight) RETURNING SENIORS: SS Ronnie Harris (6 Int in 2009), QB Quenton Rucker (6-2, 200), LB/TE Chris Tavarez (6-0, 190), DE Amir Mustufaa (6-2, 220) WR Matthew Thomas-Quick, LB Tyrell Peters (6-2, 195), SS Tahir Blount (5-10, 172), DE/DT Devaughn Morrow (5-10, 240), FB/DL Marcellus Colton (5-10, 225). KEY RETURNERS:WR Carnell Boyd (511, 170, So.), WR Jahi Gilkey (5-9, 142, So.), RB Charles Purnell (5-9 160 Jr.), DT Adarian Dunmyer (6-0, 256), DT/DE Quinteze Williams (6-5, 242 Jr.) STRENGTHS: Deep group of defensive linemen, established quarterback. All-State talent in strong safety Ronnie Harris. WEAKNESSES: Overall team depth could suffer after solid 2009 season. Team lost two big offensive linemen in Nathan Isles and Tony Jacob. KEY LOSSES: LB Michael Taylor (Florida), CB Darius Robinson (Clemson), OL Nathan Isles (Buffalo), OL Tony Jacob (Central Florida) OUTLOOK: A year after finishing second in Region 4-AAAAA behind Newnan, the Lions find themselves as underdogs in many ways. Westlake won’t be able to sneak up on opponents like they did early in 2009 before quickly establishing itself as a state playoff contender. They’re one of two 2-AAAAA teams that lost close playoff games to Colquitt County in the postseason, which eventually reached the state semifinals. The defense may be able to keep the Lions in games with depth on the front line and key returners in the secondary. Preseason All-State selection Amir Mustafa is back at defensive end after recording 51 tackles, including 19 for losses to go with 9 ? sacks. Returning tackle Adarian Dunmyer, a junior, added six sacks in the middle, while Devaughn Morrow, a senior, had 8 1/2. Senior strong safety Ronnie Harris leads the defensive backfield after posting a team-high six interceptions and 51 tackles, while named to last year’s First Team All-Region 4-AAAAA unit. Senior Tahir Blount also returns at safety for Westlake. Senior linebacker Chris Tavarez is also First-Team All-Region 4-AAAAA returner who had 125 tackles and recorded 8 ? sacks last season and with senior Tyrell Peters should both ease some of the loss of last year’s top linebacking prospect Michael Taylor, who signed with Florida. Offensively, senior quarterback Quinton Rucker shared time behind center to begin the season before taking over much of the passing duties midway through the season. At 6-2, 200-pounds, Rucker is equally a strong runner with the ability to scramble out of the pocket. Sophomore Carnell Boyd leads a group of wide receivers after catching five touchdowns as a freshman.

4B — The Times-Herald — Friday, August 27, 2010




Compiled by Chris Goltermann

Familiar faces in new subregion City school, the football coach is the same as the one two years ago as Glenn Griffin remains on the sideline for the Despite a change in number, Northgate green and black. Like most programs, the Chiefs will be and Fayette schools McIntosh, Starr’s in a rebuilding phase having lost 26 senMill, Fayette County and Whitewater find themselves in familiar surroundings iors from the 2009 team. If Griffin is looking for more continuin Region 3B-AAAA. ity from the Chiefs he will have to rely This year, the five schools will be on three-year starters Cam Porter (quarjoined by Harris County and Upson-Lee who spent the last two seasons in Region terback) and Matt Fergus (tight end) if the first winning season since 1993 (non1-AAAA. region schedule) is to be achieved. Subregion A will include Alcovy, “We will be very inexperienced with Dutchtown, Griffin, Jones County, Ola, only six starters back,” according to Union Grove, Woodland and Griffin. There have been some bright Stockbridge. spots among our newcomers in Joe Like Northgate, in its first year under Trevena and Robert Trotter who are twohead coach Tommy Walburn, other subway players that should help lead us.” region schools are making transitions McIntosh opens tonight at Pike between coaches. County. For the first time since its inception The Fayette County Tigers had a somebody else besides Mike Earwood roller coaster season last year as they will call the shots for the Starr's Mill Panthers when they open the season at started 3-2 but lost the final five games on the schedule under head coach home against Coosa. Earwood (90-48 at Starr’s Mill) is now Tommy Webb who will begin his ninth the head coach at Our Lady of Mercy and year in Fayetteville. The Tigers will open the regular seahas been replaced by Chad Phillips, a son against Woodland-Henry. member of Earwood’s staff since 1997. For the first time since 2005 when they “We have six new starters on defense played a non-region schedule, the and a revamped offensive line,” accordWhitewater Wildcats failed to make the ing to Phillips. “Adam Holley (quarterback), Zach Laskey (fullback) and Jeffrey state playoffs. The Wildcats finished McCreary’s Greene who is committing to Georgia sixth season with a 5-5 record that Tech return at skill positions on offense included a five-game losing streak in the to lead our team.” middle of the season. The McIntosh Chiefs finished 4-6 in McCreary will have a number of 2009 and in a rarity for the Peachtree



HEAD COACH: Tommy Webb (8th season, 21-42; Overall 47-67, 12 seasons) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 3, Defense 6. OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Spread (Coordinator: Bart Phillips) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 3-4 (Coordinator: Butch Prosser) 2009 RECORD: 3-7 RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 1-9; 2007 – 11-1; 2006 – 2-8; 2005 – 2-8 RETURNING SENIORS: WR/CB Eric Lauderdale (6-2, 185), LT Christopher Curtis (6-4, 290), TB Jonathan Seldon (5-9, 190), WR/OLB Ian Clarke (6-4, 195, Sr.), WR Ben Carley (5-8, 165), TE Lanier Dixson (6-0, 190), OL Andrew Smith (61, 205), OL Shamir de la Rosa (6-2, 220), S/WR Trey Washington (6-2, 185), LB Derrick Cannon (6-3, 225), LB Shawn Ediomioya (5-11, 190) KEY RETURNERS: QB Justin Murray (6-2, 220, Jr.), RB/CB Tago Smith (5-9, 175, Jr), Dionte Richards (5-10, 170), TE Jonathan Shirey (6-3, 185, Jr.), OL Akil Hawkins (6-2, 225, Jr.), OL Keith Brock (6-3, 275, Jr.), CB Trevus Edwards, Jr., NG Jason Hood (6-0, 260, Jr.), DL Trayveon Kellogg, Jr. NEWCOMERS: WR Maurice Williams (6-5, 185, Sr.), RB Silas Madden, Sr.; TE Torrey Davis (5-9, 200, So.), OL Willis Howard (6-2, 235, So.) Strengths: Returning quarterback, talented receivers with speed, Cornerbacks. WEAKNESSES: Questions on both lines, Kicking game. KEY LOSSES: RB Armani Cato, OUTLOOK: Finishing near the bottom of Region 5B-AAAA last year, Fayette County will need to rely on its offense to keep the Tigers in games as the team adjusts to a new 3-4 defense. Besides returning quarterback Justin Murray and tailback Tago Smith, the skill positions are led by athletic senior receivers Eric Lauderdale and newcomer Maurice Williams, both big targets at 6-2 and 6-5, respectively. The group should allow Fayette the opportunity to spread the field against opponents with its speed. Both sides of the line, though, need new faces to step into starting roles. Outside of left tackle Kristopher Curtis, a Division I college talent, and nose guard Jason Hood, most positions remain open heading into tonight’s game at home against Woodland of Henry. Smith will also start on defense at cornerback and the secondary should be solid with fellow junior Travis Edwards. Williams, who is transitioning from the basketball court, and receiver Trey Washington hold down the safety positions. Derek Cannon centers the linebacking unit, and the Tigers are hoping another of its basketball standouts, Ian Clarke, can step in. Special teams also has question marks highlighted by an opening at kicker.

backer. Felix Shirley leads the secondary unit. While there are only four starters back on offense, they include senior leaders Detavius (Tay) Buggs at quarterback and 270-pound Carlton Williams on the line. “As Tay Buggs and Carlton Williams go, our offense goes,” said Parks. “Our biggest challenge will be to improve our line play.”

McINTOSH CHIEFS HEAD COACH: Glenn Griffin (3rd sea-

returning players that should help the Wildcats try to get into the 2010 playoff chase including quarterback John Mark Rhodes, tailback Josh Clemons and wide receiver Bryan Covington on offense while Joey Lewis, McClain Head and Jordan Watson are among the returnees on defense. Whitewater will open the season against defending Class AAAA champion Sandy Creek at home. As a member of Region 1-AAAA, the Upson-Lee Knights finished last year with their second consecutive 3-7 record under head coach Tommy Watson having won two of their last three games after snapping a five-game losing streak. The Thomaston school has one winning season in the past four years. The Knights will open their regular season at Woodward Academy. The Harris County Tigers finished last year with a 5-6 record after losing a first round playoff game to the Griffin Bears. Head coach Tommy Parks will enter his seventh year in Hamilton having lost seven offensive starters but returning several players on defense. To make up for the offensive deficiencies, the Tigers will look to returning quarterback Detavis Buggs, wide receiver Matthew Harris and offensive lineman Carlton Williams. The Tigers will also shift some players around including senior Lamichael Fanning who transferred from Auburn (AL) High School and will move from defensive tackle to tight end.


HEAD COACH: Amos McCreary (7th season, 43-19; Overall: 17 seasons, 11757) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 6, Defense 6 OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Hybrid Wing-T (Coordinator: Wesley Hardni) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 3-5 (Coordinator: Richard Penland) 2009 RECORD: 5-5 RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 7-4; 2007 – 9-3; 2006 – 7-4; 2005 – 9-0 important, senior quarterback Adam Campbell. Matt Fergus provides a comRETURNING SENIORS: RB Josh Holley also returns, giving the forting target at tight end and the Clemons (5-11, 210), RB/CB Brandon Panthers an immediate deep threat on addition of transfer Robert Trotter Collins (5-8, 170), QB Renaldo Jenkins any given snap. from Landmark Christian may give (5-10, 174), WR/CB Brian Covington (6-1, The bigger challenge, however, may 181), OL/NG David Richardson (6-0, 217), McIntosh the game breaker it needs to be mental. put fear into opposing defenses. TE/DT Matt Serpico (6-4, 220), DT/TE “Adversity gets the best of us a lot McClain Head (6-4, 240), FB Joel Van Starting senior linemen Michael of the time,” admitted Phillips. “We Daugherty at guard and Asch (5-10, 190), G Colin Glore (5-8, need to learn to gut it out and become 180), G David Richardson (6-0, 215), T Easton Stronach at tackle expect to protect Porter from the left side. more resilient to adversity.” Tanner Baker (6-3, 290), NG Austin Defensively, two returning linemen – Starr’s Mill has four legitimate Rowand (5-8, 190). Jonathan Hust and Alex Ishmael – are Division I prospects including Greene. KEY RETURNERS: QB/LB John Mark the only starters back, leaving holes Offensive lineman Alex Barr, at 6-8, Rhodes, Jr.; FB/LB Trey Wafford (5-11, H E A D C O A C H : to fill among both the linebacking and Chad Phillips (1st sea- 290-pounds will need to be a corner185, Jr.), C Colton Scurry (6-3, 240, Jr.), secondary corps. Trotter could step in son, 0-0) stone up front with the Panthers losT Jordan Watson (6-4, 290 Jr.), FS among the defensive backs, while STARTERS Returning: Offense 6, ing several key starters to graduation. Brandon Boldon (5-10, 175). Fergus and junior Matt Salisbury will Defense 5 On special teams, Ryan Nowicki is STRENGTHS: One-two punch of RBs be among those looking to fill the OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Multiple as much an asset at both kicker and Clemons and Collins best in subregion; holes among linebackers. (Coordinator: Brian Holley punter, and is also working as a Size and depth at all major postions Griffin said improvement is still DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 3-3-5 receiver. WEAKNESSES: Could have number needed in the team’s strength and (Coordinator: Dennis Bogumill) The defensive line is a definite of two-way starters, so conditioning speed, admitting that overall depth is 2009 RECORD: 6-5 strength with returner Jack Thomas join- will be key. Defense needs to make an issue heading into the season. RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 3-7; 2007 – ing fellow seniors Alec Brown and transition from 4-3 to 3-5 scheme Special teams should be solid with 5-5; 2006 – 9-4; 2005 – 10-3. Stephen Dorsey up front. Junior Mike after giving up big plays in 2009. junior Dan Lenze handling both the RETURNING SENIORS: WR Jeffery Muska will get a chance to start at middle KEY LOSSES: OL/DL Andrew Dean kicking and punting duties for the Greene (6-5, 200), : OT Alec Barr (6-8, linebacker with seniors Gunnar Carson (Jacksonville State), WR/S Jeff Ashley Chiefs. 290), QB Adam Holley (6-0, 170), FB and Elijah Goodrich on the outsides. (Wofford) Zach Laskey (6-3, 210), DL Jack OUTLOOK: Some programs would Thomas (6-3, 235), DL Alec Brown (6-1, call a 5-5 season encouraging. At 310), K/WR Ryan Nowicki, LB Elijah Whitewater, though, the glass seemed Goodrich (5-11, 190), LB Gunnar Carson half-empty. The 2009 campaign was (6-0, 192), OL Cameron Stone (5-11, 305) the first in the short history of the program that the Wildcats did not post KEY RETURNERS: OL Matt Mosgrove a season above .500, though the team (6-0, 250). went through its share of injuries, NEWCOMERS: LB Mike Musca (5-9, including one to quarterback Renaldo 221). Jenkins early last year. STRENGTHS: Experience from 30 All those woes may be put to rest, seniors. Established leader at quarternot only in Jenkins’ return, but a host back, deep threat at WR. Outstanding HEAD COACH: Tommy Watson (3rd HEAD COACH: Tommy Walburn (1st of key contributors. In the end, kicker. season, 6-14 overall) season, 0-0; Overall 62-40, 10 seasons) Whitewater may be ready to run away WEAKNESSES: Senior Alec Barr STARTERS RETURNING: N/A STARTERS Returning: Offense 4, with the subregion title. The team also needs to step up as leader on O-line; OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Split back has more size than usual up front on Defense 3 Team needs dose of confidence to get veer offense to open holes for the duo, and OFFENSIVE FORMATION: Wing-T back winning tradition. DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 4-3 it showed during a dominating per(Coordinator: Kelsey Dalrymple) KEY LOSSES: DB/RB Trenton 2 0 0 9 R E C O R D : 3-7 formance in its scrimmage win DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 8-man front Edwards (Air Force), DE Ofumbu RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 3-7; 2007 – against East Coweta. (Coordinator: Bubba Jeter) Kamalu, WR Justin Smith Depth and conditioning may be the 6-4; 2006 – 4-6; 2005 – 9-3. OUTLOOK: Longtime head coach 2009 RECORD: 3-7 only two concerns. Longtime head R E T U R N I N G S E N I O R S : DL Alvin Mike Earwood moved on to Our Lady RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 6-5; 2007 – coach Amos McCreary, who has led Caldwell (6-2, 250), RB Melvin of Mercy, but not for any reason that 1-9; 2006 – 5-5; 2005 – 5-5. the Wildcats in all seven years of exisFerguson, QB Tay Matthews, OL Jordan involved this year’s roster. Earwood RETURNING SENIORS: LB/RB Isaiah tence, would like to use as many of his McKissick (6-1, 230), K Luke Paul (5-10, was the victim of a decision by the Riddle, P/QB Brad Swinney, T Cody top players on both sides of the ball Fayette County School System to elim- 150), WR Guy Robinson (5-10, 160), WR Weaver (6-3, 235), TE Andrew as possible. To take advantage of inate part-time teachers from its Martigo Fowler, RB Myron Walker. Whitewater’s overall team speed, the Schexnader, T Adam Rabern (6-0, 260), budget. STRENGTHS: Third season in the program has gone from a 4-3 formaC Ryan Rabern (6-0, 230), LB Gordy Earwood’s loss was former assisveer offense should promote stability. tion to a 3-5 front with Clemons and Duncan (5-10, 180), WR/CB Scotty tant Chad Phillips’ gain. The Panthers WEAKNESSES: New starters at quarCollins expected to get some reps Gaston (6-1, 190), offensive coordinator was promoted, terback and running back; Team learn- at linebacker and cornerback, respecKEY RETURNERS: FB/DB Alex Lakes, leading to a smooth transition among ing new defensive scheme. Need tively. Junior Brandon Bolden will Jr., DL Sean Spencer (6-4, 240, So.), RB 30 seniors that experienced growing someone to step into leadership role start at free safety. pains in 2009. Payton Usher (5-5, 150, Jr.), QB Brett The team should be able to capitalMisutka (5-7, 165, Jr.) NEWCOMERS: DL De’Andre Johnson ize on last year’s struggles with six starters back on offense and another (6-2, 305, So.), RB Tony Williams, Jr., K Will Lutz, Jr., TE/DL Mitch Bemister, OL five on defense. Offensively, Greene may be the best Jake Slagle (6-0, 205, Jr.), OG Brian set of hands to come out of Fayette Fleenor (5-9, 195, Sr.) KEY LOSSES: CB Malcolm Poindexter, County since Calvin Johnson’s days at Sandy Creek. And like the current FB Cody Gatewood, DE Alex Fitchett, Detroit Lions receiver, Greene has QB Toby Slagle, K Casey Vaughan. committed to Georgia Tech. Just as OUTLOOK: See team preview


son, 6-14 overall) STARTERS RETURNING: Offense 4, Defense 2. OFFENSIVE FORMATION: I-formation (Coordinator: Brad Campbell) DEFENSIVE FORMATION: 3-3 (Coordinator: Lee Belknap) 2009 RECORD: 4-6 RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 2-8; 2007 – 2-8; 2006 – 0-10; 2005 – 3-7 RETURNING SENIORS: QB Cam Porter (6-2, 170), TE Matt Fergus (6-1, 200), G Michael Daugherty (6-0, 225), OT Easton Stronach (6-2, 235), DT/OL Jonathan Hust (5-10, 240), DE Alex Ishmael (6-2, 210); RB Chris Cable, RB/CB Jabarri Granston, RB Ricky Rojas, WR Phillip Ojukwu, LB/TE Ben Williams, KEY RETURNERS: CB Matt Cichanski, Jr., DB Tyler Price, Jr., OL Alex Ostendorf, K/P Dan Lenze. NEWCOMERS: WR Robert Trotter (511, 170, Sr.), CB Tim Bryant, So., STRENGTHS: A total of 27 seniors are in their third year in Griffin’s system, giving needed stability to the program. Offense has a chance to improve on last year’s scoring average of 20.2 points per game. WEAKNESSES: Brand new secondary HEAD COACH: Tommy Parks (7th for team that gave up 40 points four season, 29-34 overall) times in 2009. Have to shake off slugSTARTERS RETURNING: Offense 4, gish end to 2009 season, losing four Defense 9 of last five games. 2009 Record: 5-6 KEY LOSSES: LB Andrew Graham. RECENT HISTORY: 2008 – 6-5; 2007 – O UTLOOK: This may be the biggest 7-4; 2006 – 4-6; 2005 -2-8 season in recent history for a Chiefs RETURNING SENIORS: QB Detavis (Tay) Buggs (6-1, 175), TE/DE LaMichael program that hasn’t had much to celebrate this decade. Offensively the Fanning (6-7, 250), LB Corrigan Miller pieces are starting to come together, (6-0, 180), OL Carlton Williams (6-0, led by Porter at quarterback. The third 270) KEY RETURNERS: DE Jordan Jenkins, year under head coach Glenn Griffin is as much a reason for increasing staJr.; DE Jay Ellison, LB Jallaine bility, with Porter in his second season Coverson, DB Felix Shirley, FB Zac under the tutelage of assistant Brad Rovig. STRENGTHS: Quarterback well established, Overall defensive speed WEAKNESSES: A ton of first-year starters on offense, especially on offensive line. 25 Greenville Street KEY LOSSES: FB Seah Jeppeson; (Downtown Newnan) WR/DB Ben Klar, C Cody Milner, OL 3111 Hwy. 34 East Trevor Barrett (Thomas Crossroads Branch) OUTLOOK: The Tigers are coming off Post Office Box 1909 a state playoff season in Class AAAA, Newnan, GA 30264 but needed a pair of losses elsewhere to clinch a berth. The program will have to rely on its two senior leaders on offense, as well as nine starters back defensively to return to the postseason. “We feel our team speed on • Gary L. Wright, AAI • Otis F. Jones, III, AAI defense is our strength,” said head coach Tommy Parks. • W. Kirby Arnall, CLU • Jarrod L. Wright, CIC The unit has depth on the ends led by 6-7, 250-pound senior LaMichael • Rick O. Mercer, AAI Fanning. Junior Jordan Jenkins and Jay Ellison are also key returners up front, while senior Corigan Miller and (770) 253-0033 • FAX (770) 254-0037 Jallaine Coverson are back at line-


held last year by LB Logan Winkles. KEY LOSSES: LB Logan Winkles (N.C. State), RB Donterrius Harris, QB Derek Boughcum OUTLOOK: The Knights head into the 2010 as a relative unknown after losing starters at all of the skill positions in addition to team leader Logan Winkles. Tay Matthews steps into his first year as a starting quarterback to lead the veer option. Last year, the Knights won two of their last three games after struggling through a six-game losing streak. Upson-Lee is familiar to two of this year’s subregion rivals, losing games to Whitewater (31-15) and Harris County (21-20) in 2009. The school will play both Northgate and Starr’s Mill for the first time in each team’s history this fall.



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Friday, August 27, 2010 — The Times-Herald — 5B







ast season, the Indians finished head coach Clint Wade’s second year with a 7-4 record after they were eliminated in the first round of the AAAAA playoffs by the Lowndes Vikings in Valdosta. The game not only brought an end to the season for the Indians, but a number of significant players saw their high school careers come to an end but no one more significant than tailback Tay Willis who was the bulk of the Indians’ offense with 1,915 yards and 27 touchdowns last season. “Tay was a great athlete,” Wade said. “He will be very tough to replace.” Others who saw their high school careers end after the loss to the Vikings were quarterback Austin Ingram, fullback/long snapper Cody Davis, linebacker Zach Fore, free safety J.J. Miller and defensive tackle Steven Vaughn. Ingram had over 1,000 yards in total offense last year while Davis had almost 300 yards rushing while blocking Willis while Fore, Miller and Vaughn accounted for 170 tackles for the Indians defense. “We hope that we have good leadership from our seniors because we are a young team,” according to Wade. “The beginning of the season will be a little trial and error because a lot of our kids don’t have varsity experience.” However, the big question that is on the minds of the Indian faithful is who will try to take the place of Willis. There are several candidates including senior Justin Jones, junior Josh Penn and sophomore Demarcus Godfrey but it is probable that all will see time during the early portion of the schedule. While Wade and offensive coordinator Tom Gochenour try to determine who will emerge from the tailback contest, the person who will try to create holes for the winner will be junior Carl Dann who will be taking the place of Davis. “Carl is a reliable back and we feel that he is a good blocker,” Wade said of his new fullback. “Cody was big for us because he sprung some holes for Tay and was able to get some big yards.” The Indians also have junior Deryas Jones to also get some playing time after spending most of last year on the injured list. When the Indians put the ball in the air, expect senior Zack Hutcheson to be the number one quarterback. Zach has done a good job this summer,” Wade said. “He has thrown a lot of good balls lately and had a good camp.” Should Hutcheson struggle this year or become injured, the call behind center will likely go to junior transfer Garrett Schrepfer (6-4, 215) who comes to the Indians from Starr’s Mill. As for who will catch passes from Hutcheson or Schrepfer, senior Eddie Morris who is

Photo by Bob Fraley

Indians to fight youth, size in tough region schedule


HEAD COACH: Clint Wade (Third season, 14-8) STAFF: Tom Gochenour (offensive coordinator), Ron Beaucham (offensive line), J.R. Revere (quarterbacks), Todd Beldon (running backs, special teams), Darron Edwards (defensive backs), Roc Coleman (linebackers), Todd Kelley (defensive ends), Trace Overton (defensive tackles), Andy Washington (Receivers), Lloyd Knott (Head trainer). STRENGTHS: Defensive line, secondary returning leaders on defense. WEAKNESSES: Overall size lacking. Offense needs to be rebuilt almost from scratch. KEY LOSSES: RB Tay Willis, QB Austin Ingram, FB Cody Davis, LB Zach Fore, LB Jeremy Lewis, S J.J. Miller, CB Alajuwon Walton, C Corey Hamlett OUTLOOK: East Coweta last year went as far as All-State runner Tay Willis could carry the Indians, which was to a 13th consecutive playoff season for the program. That streak, however, is in definite jeopardy in 2010, however, unless a veteran defense can carry the team while a depleted offense can reload. There are 21 seniors to build on, however. “I really don’t know what to expect this year,” said Wade. “We’ve got a lot of good kids out there, but I just don’t know how they’ll react when the lights come on. There’s a lot of question marks, but we’ve got a lot of kids with no set position, so there’s competition. And that sometimes makes you better. So we hope we have that working in our favor.” It’s a tough year to be entering Region 2-AAAAA, which unlike East Coweta’s previous division alignment, has a majority of teams that are used to being playoff contenders. In addition to inexperience, the Indians will have a tough time sizing up to new opponents like Stephenson, Newton County

playing football after spending the last two years on the Indians basketball team is getting a chance. Other candidates will come from Jamarcus Young and Jarin Fowler who spent time at wide receiver when he wasn’t playing in the Indians’ defense. The tight end position is expected to go to junior Cole Trollinger who had some receptions last year with senior Andre Hunt in reserve. Currently Nick Girard (6-2, 280), who was a member of the 2009 All-County team, will be at one tackle while Tyler Pollard will be at one of the guard spots and D.J. Mosley (61, 270) will be at center. The other two spots remain up for grabs with juniors Mitchell McTier, Sang Ko, and Jackson Harrison among the contenders as well as senior Denzel Simmons. On the defensive side of the ball, there aren’t as many question for a group that gave up an average of 21 points a game and returns six of those players this season.

See INDIANS, page 10B

and M.L. King. “The thing is just our size. We’re so small. And we have to execute and we have to do things so much better to compete,” said Wade. “And there’s still no guarantee that we’re going to win.” Wade feels like the fourth quarter will be as much a key toward success. In all three of East Coweta’s region losses last year, the Indians entered the fourth quarter either ahead or within a touchdown, falling by four and six points respectively to Creekside and Westlake before running out of gas against Newnan. “Hopefully we can have a chance in the fourth quarter. That’s where we’re having problems, depth-wise,” said Wade. “We just don’t have enough people to reinforce it. The Newnan game they gave everything they could give and they just didn’t have enough.”

DEFENSE DEFENSIVE LINE The Indians’ defensive line, with four returning starters, should be one of the region’s better units with Willie Holloway and Carlton Martin among the team’s top four tacklers in 2009. Houston Mills and Denzel Simmons also got plenty of time and Tyler Pollard, who has impressed the offensive front, could also fill in. LINEBACKERS Angel Santiago is the lone returner, but was also a huge contributor to last year’s success as well as this year’s Ironman Award winner. Senior Damarcus Rosser and junior Mario Clarke step in to try and hold down the two position openings. Juniors Mitchell McTier (5-9, 200) and Terrence Bennett (6-1, 170), a converted safety, will also have a chance to compete. SECONDARY The Fowler brothers, Jared and Jarin, were big factors in keeping

the Indians in games last season, while also among team leaders in tackles. Jarin returns to the defensive backfield, where he was a top corner in 2009, while Jared moves from last year’s linebacking spot to help at safety. The rest of the secondary will consist mostly of new faces including juniors David Singleton, Michael Collins and T.J. Ingram, along with senior Judd Hunter.

OFFENSE QUARTERBACK While having to replace last year’s starter, Austin Ingram, senior Zack Hutcheson saw time in passing situations last year and enters the spring as the frontrunner to take over at quarterback for the Indians. He’ll be challenged, however, by both Starr’s Mill transfer Garrett Schrepfer. Hutcheson may have the more accurate arm, but Schrepfer, at 64, “adds another dimension to us, because he can run the ball,” said Wade. Schrepfor also threw for the Indians only score in their preseason scrimmage. “They’re going to have to complement one another,” said Wade. Junior Allen Maraman may challenge both as well should East Coweta start slow. RUNNING BACKS While Tay is gone, another Willis remains in the Indians backfield in younger brother Michael Willis, a sophomore. Tay monopolized East Coweta’s offensive statistics in 2009, rushing for 1,900-plus yards and 28 touchdowns, numbers that will be hard to duplicate. A run-bycommittee approach will also have junior Josh Penn and sophomore Damarcus Godfrey hoping to earn carries. Meanwhile, junior Carl Dann tries to fill the important role at fullback last filled by Cody Davis, whose lead blocking was a huge key to Tay Willis’ success. OFFENSIVE LINE/TIGHT ENDS Coordinator Tom Gochenour and

line coach Ron Beaucham face the same task as in 2009, when they successfully helped rebuilt the entire offensive front into a successful run attack. Only senior Nick Girard returns from that group and he’ll be counted on this season for his leadership. The coaching staff has been pleased with the progress of right guard Tyler Pollard, a 5-11, 220-pound senior, who “has been a pleasant surprise,” according to Gochenour. Dwayne Mosely and Mitchell McTier are battling for the center position. Elsewhere remains a logjam for the other guard and tackle positions. Vying for jobs are juniors Rashard Stegall and Sang Ko at the tackles and Jordan Rivers, Rashaud Smith and Jackson Harrison among the guards. “We’re going to be more multiple,” said Gochenour. “Last year with the talent that we had, we were able to be a run-oriented offense. We’ll have to do a lot more this year.” An opening at tight end should fall to 6-3 junior Cole Trollinger, who enters his second varsity season, and should give Indian quarterbacks a sizable target.

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Lajuwon Johnson David Singleton Demarcus Godfrey Michael Willis Jamarcus Young Carl Dann Jay Warner Laphil Jenkins Deryas Jones Rodriquez Barner Wyatt Potter Allen Maraman Jarin Fowler Garrett Schrepfer Zack Hutcheson Khalil Wilkerson Michael Collins Justin Smith Judson Hunter Cody Houser Damian Fagins Demarcus Rosser Jared Fowler Josh Penn Willie Holloway Qwaitraz Fenner Terrance Bennett Larry Madaris Justin Gardner Angel Santiago Spencer Smith Jacquis Miller Travis Taylor Tommy McCoy Darren Warren Quandarious Mitchell Andrecco King D.J. Slaton Jemarcus Godfrey Edwin Rivera Cole Trolinger Brian Robinson Mario Clarke T. J. Ingram Patrick Ware D. J. Mosely Seth Stricklin Nathaniel Jetter Anfernee Burks Michael Dayton Tyler Pollard Terrence Farmer Rashaud Smith Chris Moore Mitchell McTier Jordan Rivers Houston Mills Alex Johnson Rashard Stegall Ryan Diederich Erik Bolton Luke Clayton Zack Harness Clifton Strong Billy Ray Brown Wally Hawkins Tyus Russell Matt Cheatham Ryan Whelan Jesse Brockway Bruce Webb Denzel Simmons Sam Lemay Nick Girard Sang Ko Deion Sanders Jackson Harrison Tommy Schnabel Anthony Greenlee Eddie Morris Andre Hunt Carlton Martin Marcellus Parrott William Cain Kyle Lookloy

11 11 10 10 11 11 10 12 11 12 10 11 12 11 12 10 11 12 12 10 12 12 12 11 11 11 11 10 11 12 10 11 11 10 11 10 12 10 10 10 11 10 11 11 10 11 10 10 10 10 12 11 11 10 11 11 12 11 11 10 11 10 10 10 11 10 10 10 11 10 12 12 12 12 11 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 11 11 11


WIDE RECEIVERS Outside of Z-back flanker Jamarcus Young, a junior, this year’s group of wideouts remains primarily unproven, though there could be several hidden talents. They include senior newcomers Rodriquez Barner and Eddie Morris, who will try to make the transition from the basketball court in his first varsity football season.

(all games at 7:30 p.m. Tonight at Chapel Hill Sept. 3 Pebblebrook Sept. 18 at Troup County Sept. 24 Luella* Oct. 1 at Newton County* Oct. 8 Langston Hughes* Oct. 15 at Westlake* Oct. 22 Stephenson* Oct. 29 at M.L. King^* Nov. 5 Newnan* * Region 2-AAAAA Game ^Hallford Stadium((former DeKalb Memorial) Christian**

SPECIAL TEAMS Senior Anthony Greenlee has stepped into do all of the punting, placekicking and kickoffs when the season begins. Greenlee will be backed up by sophomore Spencer Smith, while another sophomore Cody Houser will be the primary kicker for the junior varsity team.

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6B — The Times-Herald — Friday, August 27, 2010



Photo by Bob Fraley


THE TOUGH GET TOUGHER By TOMMY CAMP hen Camden County coach Jeff Herron saw Newnan head man Mike McDonald at a coaches’ meeting after last season, he asked the question that, most likely, has occurred to many Cougar fans as well. “What are you going to do for an encore?” Herron asked. Going 13-1 in your first season sets the bar pretty high, no question about it. But McDonald has gone about the business of preparing his football team for the 2010 season with no outward manifestation of any pressure to duplicate what the Cougars did last year. “Last year was special,” he said. “We had a great bunch of kids who bought into what we were doing. We got on a roll and great things happened. “We’re not as talented this year as we were last season, but we’ve got a great bunch of kids this year too. “We’ll work hard and go out and try to win as many games as we can. “We have a chance to have a good football team.” If the old adage of “success breeds success” is true, the Cougars should be on solid ground. Newnan has posted an alltime school best three-year 37-4 record over the last three seasons and brings a 28-game regular season winning streak (tied with East Coweta for the most in county history) and a countyrecord run of 19 wins in a row at home into the upcoming campaign. In addition, the Cougars have rattled off four straight region championships (another county record) and are coming off two successive undefeated regular seasons (matched only by East Coweta in 2000-01). The Newnan story this year begins with offense where the core of last year’s explosive unit returns. Quarterback Lendell Arnold (5-9, 185, Sr.) is the trigger-man. Stepping into the starting role last year only two days before the regular season started after Zach Farmer went down with a sprained ankle, he responded with an All-County and AllRegion year. He passed for over 1,800 yards and ran for 500-plus more. He either ran or passed for at least one touchdown in 13 of Newnan’s 14 games last season. “He’s the one who makes us go,” said offensive coordinator Kenny Morris. Chris Robinson (5-8, 190, Sr.) returns at running his back slot after rushing for over 1,200 yards last year and scoring 18 touchdowns and earning allstar honors. “Chris is an explosive back,” McDonald said. “He has great vision, great cutting ability and is an extremely tough competitor.” Newnan’s spread option offense utilizes three wide receivers. Shaq Warner (6-3, 170, Sr.), Jalen Bolton (5-10, 160, Jr.) and Cody Derracott (5-5, 145, Jr.) will start at those positions this year. “Shaq did a lot of good things for us last year,” McDonald said. “He’s a possession guy for us. With his height he has the ability to go up and over defenders to make catches.” Bolton has the potential to be Newnan’s “big play” man this year while Derracott will also double as the Cougars’ punt

Newnan expects to have to work even harder to meet with expectations of past two playoff years



Photo by Jeffrey Leo

Newnan assistant Hap Hines shows the scout team offense a play during a recent practice.

“It’ll be a real challenge for us. We have a chance to be pretty good, but like I told the kids, just being good won’t be enough this year. That won’t cut it. We’ve got to strive to be great.” ■ Newnan head football coach Mike McDonald returner. Hakeem Wynn (6-0, 225, Sr.) is back at tight end where he enjoyed an outstanding season in ‘09. His 65-yard touchdown catch from Arnold against Chapel Hill last year was the Cougars’ longest scoring play through the air all season. The success of any offense is predicated on how well its front five operates and the Cougars are solid in that area after losing just two players from last season. Alex Farmer (6-1, 235, Sr.) and Ron Wroble (6-0, 240, Sr.), both returnees from last year, will split time at center. Ontarion Brewer (5-9, 295, Sr.) and Miles Volkmer (5-11, 245, Sr.) will play the guard slots

with Jamal Carlisle (6-1, 310, So.) seeing ample playing time. Spencer Whitehead (6-5, 310, Sr.) and Chris Beno (5-11, 250, Sr.) are the tackles, both starters from last season. Defensively, the Cougars have a lot of holes to fill from last year’s unit that registered five shutouts and held three other opponents to a single touchdown while giving up just 61 points in the regular season, 26 of them to East Coweta in game number 10. But nose guard O.D. Pittman (5-10, 260, Sr.), linebackers Alberry Melson (6-0, 210, Sr.), Trevor Tanner (6-0, 190, Sr.) and Denzel Smith (5-9, 190, Sr.) and cornerback Rod Chaney (5-8, 150, Sr.) give McDonald a good nucleus to work around.

Pittman’s status is unknown heading into Friday’s opener with LaGrange after he injured his right knee in Tuesday’s practice, but he has been a mainstay in the Cougar defensive front since he was a sophomore. Melson, who has also been a factor since he was in the 10th grade, will be the Cougars’ leader on defense, making the calls on the field. Tanner brings outstanding speed to his position, manifested last year when he returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown against Pebblebrook, the only touchdown the defense registered in ‘09. Smith was a major factor in last year’s success and Chaney started five games early in the season and saw much action all year long. Joining Pittman up front will be J.R. Cameron (6-0, 250, Sr.) and Kenny Warren (6-0, 205, Sr.) with Aundre Morgan (5-11, 230, Jr.) spelling.

See COUGARS, page 10B

No.Name Pos Ht./Wt. Yr. 1 Lendell Arnold QB 5-9, 186 Sr. 2 Darrell Morrow DB 5-8, 145 So. 3 Charcus HollowayWR 5-8,137 Jr. 4 Jalen Bolton WR/DB 5-10, 161 Jr. 5 Cody Darracott WR 5-5, 143 Jr. 6 Antonio Benton WR 5-11, 169 Jr. 7 Alberry Melson LB 6-0, 207 Sr. 8 Tito Avalo WR 5-8, 144 Jr. 9 Nick Smith QB 6-1, 179 Jr. 10 Bryce Benton QB 5-10, 165 So. 11 Chris Hudson WR 6-2, 163 Sr. 12 Frankie Miller WR 6-3, 175 Sr. 13 Jay Hill DB 6-2, 160 Jr. 14 Mondarius Colton WR 6-1, 190 Jr. 15 Sanchez Woods DB 5-9, 145 So. 16 Charlie Johnson DB 5-6, 116 Sr. 17 Patrick McAlpin P-K 6-0, 190 Jr. 18 Jacob Randig TE 5-6, 148 So. 19 Semaj Allen WR 6-1,171 Jr. 20 LaDarian Bridges DB 5-7,145 Jr. 20 Austin Hurler K 5-8,136 Jr. 21 Shaq Warner WR-DB 6-3, 170 - Sr. 23 Rod Chaney DB 5-8, 150 - Sr. 5-8, 173 Jr. 24 Lemond Anderson RB 25 Andrew Anderson TE/LB 5-10,208 Jr. 26 Josh Goodall WR 5-8, 146 Jr. 27 Jamon Langford TE 6-2, 192 Sr. 28 Tray Matthews DB 6-0, 178 So. 29 Deion Poythress DB 5-7, 149 Jr. 30 Otis Gates RB 5-8, 198 Sr. 31 Denzel Cameron LB 5-8, 166 Jr. 32 Trevor Tanner LB 6-0, 188 Sr. 33 Darius Martin LB 5-7, 191 So. 34 Anthony Terrell LB 5-10, 203 Jr. 35 Leon Richardson WR 5-9, 132 Sr. 36 Denzel Smith LB 5-9, 191 Sr. 37 Telly Connally TE 6-1, 168 So. 38 Quiton Dix RB 5-9, 206 So. 39 Nigel Gay DB 5-8, 146 So. 40 Willie Boston LB 6-1, 151 So. 40 Zack Singletary LB 5-7, 181 Sr. 41 Delunta Sinkfield DB 5-9, 160 Sr. 42 Bryant Ball LB 5-10, 178 Jr. 43 Nick Cameron LB 5-9, 184 Jr. 44 Justin Gates RB/LB 5-9, 194 Jr. 45 Christopher Robinson RB 5-8, 190 Sr. 46 Marcus Tenney RB 5-9, 181 Jr. 47 James Primm LB 5-10, 229 Jr. 48 Daryl Wortham LB 5-6, 149 Jr. 49 Maurice White LB 5-8, 225 So. 50 Matt Ireland LB 5-8, 183 Jr. 51 Brock Dorman LB 5-10, 215 Jr. 52 Jimmie Reid OL 5-10, 257 Jr. 53 Miles Volkmer OL 5-11, 245 Sr. 54 O.D. Pittman DL 5-10, 260 Sr. 55 Parker Griner LB 5-8, 175 So. 56 Ron Wroble OL 6-0, 241 Sr. 57 David Raschen OL 6-2, 232 So. 58 Kenny Warren DL 6-0, 204 Sr. 59 Xavier Phillips DL 5-5, 245 So. 60 Heath Lowry OL 5-9, 243 Sr. 61 Jeffrey Hall OL 5-11, 234 So. 62 Spencer Whitehead OL/DL 6-5, 311 Sr. 63 Daniel Vickery OL 6-0, 225 Jr. 64 Mason Brantley OL/DL 6-2, 233 Jr. 65 Jay Russell OL 5-8, 225 So.

66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 1 2 3 7 5 11 12 17 26 37 52 54 84 86

Alex Farmer Shaq Henry Chris Beno Tyre Bridges Joey Robinson Josh Guiton Jamal Carlisle Arlando Barber Ontarion Brewer Paul Hollins Hayden Wallace Durrell Johnson Justin McLendon

OL OL/DL OL OL OL OL OL/DL OL OL OL OL OL DL Randale McGruder DL Chuck Dancy WR Austin Green DL Alex Petch TE Brandon Powell WR Hakeem Wynn TE Reginald Hightower LB Justin Pettigrew WR Rickey Richards WR Diamond Leslie DL Dalton Bunn WR Tyler Weber DL Latravious James DL Nakeitheus Kemp DL Nicholas Wood TE Brandon MeachamDL Aundre Morgan OL/DL Kevin Hamilton DL Troy Owens DL Ricky Kirkland DL J.R. Cameron DL Rodney Tennie DB Drew Morris WR Zack Echols RB Devonte Bloom DB Chaz Ferdinand RB Darius Johnson RB Andrzej Robinson DB Tyler Mulvane K Jamal Huling LB Randale House DB Cameron Walker LB Kenneth Johnson DL Yusef Sconiers WR Traon Moss WR

6-1, 233 Sr. 5-10, 315 Sr. 5-11, 252 Sr. 5-9, 292 Jr. 5-9, 197 So. 5-11, 251 Jr. 6-1, 311 So. 5-9, 406 Jr. 5-9, 295 Sr. 6-1, 272 Sr. 5-9, 237 So. 6-2, 338 Jr. 5-11, 180 Jr. 6-1, 358 Jr. 5-10, 163 Jr. 6-4, 265 Sr. 6-3, 208 Jr. 5-10, 260 Sr. 6-0, 227 Sr. 5-10, 153 So. 5-10, 150 - Jr. 5-7, 119 Jr. 5-11, 220 Jr. 5-9, 141 So. 5-10, 260 Sr. 5-8, 178 Sr. 5-11, 179 So. 6-1, 225 Jr. 5-10, 235 Jr. 5-10, 230 Jr. 5-11, 272 So. 6-2, 222 Jr. 5-8, 187 So. 6-0, 250 Sr. 4-5, 147 So. 5-6, 122 So. 5-3,138 So. 5-6,146 So. 5-8, 176 So. 5-8, 161 So. 5-11, 151 Sr. 5-10, 148 So. 5-9, 166 So. 5-6, 125 So. 5-6, 185 So. 6-0, 260 - Jr. 5-10, 148 Jr. 5-10, 159 So.

NEWNAN 2010 SCHEDULE Tonight LaGrange Sept. 10 Peachtree Ridge Sept. 17 at Woodstock Sept. 24 Newton County* Oct. 1 at Langston Hughes* Oct. 8 Westlake* Oct. 15 at Luella* Oct. 22 at M.L. King*^ Oct. 29 Stephenson* Nov. 5 at East Coweta* * Region 2-AAAAA Game ^ At Hallford Stadium (Formerly DeKalb Memorial)


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Friday, August 27, 2010 — The Times-Herald — 7B



Photo courtesy of Karen Cascone


VIKINGS HOPE CHANGE IS FOR THE BETTER First-year coach settles into new surroundings




t’s been said that the first step toward change is awareness. The second is acceptance. The 2010 football season will be a great test to see just how well the Northgate Vikings accept that change this fall. So far, the Vikings have been ready, willing and able to adapt to first-year head coach Tommy Walburn’s philosophies since he arrived on campus in January. Following the departure of coach Bill Luckie, an influx of new assistants, and a reshuffling of many of last year’s position players, the Vikings may look – Walburn and play – like a much different team when they hit the field tonight at home against Alexander. But it’s still all about the basics. “You want to play with a lot of discipline and have the players play with tremendous effort,” said Walburn. “Those are things that we can control.” Change has been a natural theme for the program. It hasn’t been as much a conscious decision from Walburn to do things oppositely from the past, as it has been simply a natural progression of any new head coach to bring in his own systems and methods and then adapt them to the surroundings. “When you come in somewhere, each place has got different dynamics. The dynamics at Troup were different at Crisp County and the dynamics at Crisp were different than here and so on,” said Walburn. “You’ve got to be intuitive enough to know the landscape you’re working in. Over 10 seasons as a head coach, first at Troup and then at Crisp County, he’s understood that winning is as much about creating the right chemistry not only among his lineup, but his staff. “A couple of weeks ago, we just took a long weekend and went to West Point Lake, got a lodge and spent some time together,” said Walburn. “We not only talked about personnel and how we wanted to practice, but we all got to know each other on an individual level . The coaches are a team just like the players.” If the Vikings hope to succeed in a new Region 3BAAAA alignment that includes many of the same rivals as their previous division, they’ll have to adapt to the football philosophies of Walburn and his staff, some of which differ from those of the previous five seasons under former Vikings coach Bill Luckie. “My philosophy is to find eleven different guys on offense and on defense and not have to play everybody both

Photo by Jeffrey Leo

Northgate has several returning players in new positions this year. First-year head coach Tommy Walburn and his staff have continued to evaluate their roster heading into tonight’s 2010 opener. kids, although we had a couple of coaches back from last year. We figured out after spring practice that we put kids in positions that really weren’t theirs (from last year),” said Walburn. “We tried to look at what kids fit what we needed to run our style of offense and our style of defense. Even after the Troup scrimmage we’ve made some changes from some kids who under the lights, played really well.” The evaluations expect to ■ Northgate first-year head coach Tommy Walburn continue even after tonight’s opener and through the season. But Northgate fans might have ways. This is Quad-A,” said That helps. They know the been pleased with their first Walburn. “Those are philotype of things that I want sophical changes than before. done,” said Walburn “(But) I’ve look at the Vikings through an impressive defensive win over It’s not right, wrong or whatev- had several that remained on Troup in the preseason. er.” the previous staff.” “Defense is usually a step of Making the transition from From that point on, however, the offense at this time of the Crisp was as much a new the task has been centered season,” said Walburn. “So I’m opportunity for the Northgate’s since the spring on evaluating new coach since arriving in talent and trying to put players not as concerned about that. We still had to work on some January. But before he could into positions to fit the needs things, though.” even evaluate his players, of his system. Sometimes that Both sides of the ball are Walburn needed to work on meant moving a linebacker to essentially new groups of finding some ‘executives’ to fullback, a lineman to linestarters, with only a few of last help carry out his plan. backer or a quarterback to “People don’t understand offensive guard. that the head coach, especially “We practiced in the spring See VIKINGS, page 10B at a Class AAAA school, is only and we really didn’t know the as strong as his staff,” said Walburn. “The head coach has to be the CEO, but my philosophy is to hire good people and let them do their job. Even though as a head coach I need to know what’s going on, you need to let those guys coach whatever their expertise is. Defensive coordinator Bubba Jeter and Walburn were colleagues while he was head coach at Troup. Walburn also has brought in offensive coordinator Kesley Dalrymple, who ♦ ERSONAL NJURY worked as an assistant both at AUTO ACCIDENTS, SLIP & FALL, WORKERS’ COMP, Troup and later Crisp before MEDICAL INJURY, DOG BITES, MOTORCYCLES taking over the offense there. It hasn’t been a prerequisite ♦ RIAL TTORNEY either. Offensive line coach Chris Rippy played at the old FEDERAL, SUPERIOR, STATE, MAGISTRATE & CITY COURTS Hogansville High when ♦ Walburn was there as an assisRIMINAL EFENSE ♦ AMILY AW tant. FELONIES, MISDEMEANORS DIVORCE, CONTEMPT, Others, like quarterbacks AND DUI CHILD CUSTODY coach Justin Crews, who had been a graduate assistant under Tommy Tuberville at Auburn, came from word of mouth. And at least three coaches from ATTORNEY at LAW Luckie’s former staff, including Marcellious Johnson and Derek 27 East Broad St. 770.251.1289 Rials, stayed on board. “I’ve been fortunate enough Newnan, GA 30263 770.251.2629 fax that Ive been able to hire several coaches that have been able E-mail: to work with me in the past.

“I try to play as many people as we can without hurting performance because I feel like if kids feel like they’re a part of something on the football team, that the morale of your squad is much better because everybody then says, ‘I’m a part of it,. “They have an investment in it. And anytime you have an investment in something, it means more to you. “

Name Pos Wt. Yr. 1 Alex Lakes FB/DB 190 Jr. 2 Brandon Facyson WB/DB 160 So. 3. Bret Misutka QB 165 Jr. 4. Tony Williams RB 170 Jr. 5. Drew Swinney WR 170 Sr. 6. Brad Swinney QB/P 180 Sr. 7. Austin Hatney WR/DB 150 Jr. 8. Kyle Kovacs LB/FB 185 Jr. 9. Julian Britt OLB/RB 175 Sr. 10. Lance Poole DB/WR 145 Sr. 11 Jake Peterson LB 230 Sr. 12 Scotty Gaston WR/DB 190 Sr. 13 Aaron Stargell WR/DB 150 So. 14 Jonovan Cotton OLB 175 Jr. 15 Gabe Bennett OLB/RB 170 Sr. 16 Devonte Lablanc DB/WR 173 Sr. 17 Rex Evans OLB/WR165 Sr. 18 Josh Harrison QB 210 So. 20 Robbie Carter DB/RB 155 Jr. 21 Courtez Glenn LB/RB 210 Sr. 23 Conner Usher OLB/FB 150 So. 24 Trey Ledford OLB/RB 150 So. 25 Payton Usher RB 150 Jr. 26 D’lonzo Harris DB/RB 160 Jr. 27 Isaiah Riddle RB/DB 220 Sr. 28 Kyle Henderson DB/RB 145 So. 29 Gordy Duncan OLB 175 Sr. 30 Josh Barber LB/FB 200 Sr. 31 Amir Hoti WR/DB 155 So. 32 Cory Hart WR/DB 175 Sr. 33 Kain Elliott DL 170 Jr. 34 Dalton Lane OLB/FB 135 So. 35 Andrew Gibson DL 225 Jr. 36 Anthony Dorsey DB/RB 160 So. 38 David Higgins DL/FB 150 Jr. 145 So. 39 Blake McCammon DL 42 Shaun Byron WR/DB 140 Jr. 43 Cole Carter DB/RB 150 So. 44 Chad Garner OLB 160 Jr. 45 Andrew Schexnayder DL/TE 200 Sr. 46 Sylvester Johnson DB/RB 140 So. 47 Chris Johnson DB/RB 135 So. 48 Matt Kindle DL 177 Jr. 49 Gage Pierson DB/WR 145 Jr. 50 Leon Sapp OL/DL 175 Jr. 51 Jonathan Rice DL 190 Sr. 52 Brian Fleenor OL/LB 195 Sr. 53 Eric Freeland OL 200 Jr. 54 Dillion Pittman OL 185 Jr. 55 Ryan Rabern OL 230 Sr. 56 Jake Slagle OL 205 Jr. 57 Adam Rabern OL 260 Sr. 58 Mike Stower OL 210 So. 59 Justin Carlock OL 150 So.

60 Matthew Luke OLB/OL 170 Jr. 61 Samuel Teal OL 185 Jr. Name Pos Wt. Yr. 62 Frank Demayo OL 185 Sr. 63 Buck Forsyth OL 160 So. 190 Sr. 64 Brandon Handley OL 65 Chase Smith OL 180 So. 66 Shane Dabbs OL 175 Jr. 67 Gage Wozniak OL/DL 175 So. 68 Andrew Welchel OL/DL 185 So. 69 David Pyle OL 230 So. 70 Nic BlankenshipOL/DL 180 So. 71 Cody Weaver OL 235 Sr. 72 Brad Stiles OL 185 Jr. 73 Alex Heavner DL 145 Jr. 74 Dustin Foley OL 175 So. 75 Zach Brewer OL 235 Jr. 76 Sean Spencer DL 235 So. 77 Cullen Margeson OL/DL 170 Jr. 78 Austin Green OL 270 So. 79 Mason Stender OL 220 Sr. 80 Blake McCollumDL/TE 165 So. 81 Andrew Brady DB/WR 150 So. 82 Will Lutz K 145 Jr. 83 James Carter DB/WR 145 So. 85 Mitch Bemister DL/TE 195 Jr. 87 Tevin Gripper DL/TE 175 Jr. 88 Adrian Fisher DL/TE 180 Jr. 90 Jonathan Fleckenstein OL 165 So. 91 Brandon Ganey OL 185 So. 92 De’Andre Johnson DL 290 So. 93 Charlie Kelly OL 160 So. 94 Zach Burrell OL 160 So. 95 Alex Dunson OL 130 So. 96 Kyle Kirby OL 193 Jr. 97 Zack Braun K 120 So.

NORTHGATE VIKINGS 2010 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE (all games at 7:30 p.m. Tonight Alexander Sept. 3 at Jones County Sept. 10 Ola Sept. 17 Fayette Co.* Sept. 24 at McIntosh* Oct. 8 Upson-Lee* (Homecoming) Oct. 15 at Harris County* Oct. 22 Starr’s Mill* Oct. 29 at Whitewater* Nov. 5 Region playoff * Region 3B-AAAA Game

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8B — The Times-Herald — Friday, August 27, 2010




AN I-CRONIC IMPRESSION Back on the scene again, longtime coach called on to get Hawks to soar

Assistants: JP Weaver (Defensive coordinator), John Gray, Chris Hanson, Brian Cochrum, Bud Ramsey, Murray Parks

Heritage School Hawks 2010 Football Schedule



he golf clubs, for now, have gone back into storage. The alarm clock, both on the nightstand and internally, has been set again to ‘football time.’ Some mornings for new Heritage School head coach Danny Cronic this summer, one or the other has gone off as early as 5 a.m., whether it’s intentional or not. “I have not played golf in the past month and I got up at five this morning worrying about how bad we played yesterday,” he said, smiling. Once again, Cronic’s got a job to do, and like it has previous at East Coweta, it primarily concerns getting high school athletes to win football games in the fall. The Heritage School has 17 in four varsity seasons and Cronic had almost that many in his last two years at ECHS before testing out retirement for the past two years. The Hawks have made the playoffs twice. A Croniccoached football team hasn’t had a losing record since 1987, three years before he arrived in Sharpsburg. The obvious surroundings have changed, as well as the colors he’ll wear during the 2010 season even though his philosophies remain as steadfast as they have been since arriving in Coweta County 20 years ago. It’s just a matter of making adjustments based on the scenery in front of him now at the GISA school, rather than the ones off Highway 154. It goes beyond public school vs. private school. The numbers at Heritage are roughly a third of what the varsity was at East Coweta, and unlike ECHS, there are no junior varsity or freshman teams to cultivate young players. If you’re a Hawks freshman player this year, get ready to strap on the helmet and hit the ground running straight from middle school football. “I’m learning how to adjust, but I hate having to adjust my expectations,” said Cronic. “That’s given me a hard time. I’m constantly thinking here, where can I put personnel, because we’re going to have to play a few freshmen that aren’t exactly ready to play. And then when is it too much (for them). Those are the kinds of things you think about.” Also at Heritage, one injury or illness can throw a monkey wrench into one’s plans, and Cronic is already getting his first taste. Four linemen have been out during the preseason and the Hawks expect to go into tonight’s season opener at home against Dawson Creek without them for now. Last week’s weather-canceled scrimmage was equally illtimed, though, for the 20 or so minutes Heritage took the field, the results seemed promising. Nevertheless, “there’s a point where you need to play, and we’re at that point,” said Cronic. “These fellas have had the full meal deal by now.” The Heritage coaching staff, which includes both former Indians players as well as some Cronic coached against, has since spring, tried to prepare the program as much as possible for this first year. There were 10 weeks of mat drills, as well as a few more in the classroom trying to learn new offense and defense schemes.

1 Kyle Shuman CB/WR Fr. 2 David Bready CB/WR Fr. 3 Mack Wilkins CB/WR Fr. 4 Will Duke RB/DB So. 5 John Veal RB/S Sr. 7 Candler Rich RB/CB So. 8 Tyler Henson DE/TE Fr. 10 Brian McKinney WR/DB 11 Donald Breyne WR/CB So. 15 Elliott Smith So. 17 Joe Bonner QB/LB So. 21 Ryan Lynch RB/LB Jr. 23 Kyle Kimsey RB/LB/P Jr. 25 Byron York RB/LB Sr. 32 Dalton Trammell OL/DE Fr. 38 Stuart Bready DT/OG Sr. 44 Seth Stewart OL/DL Fr. 50 Tyler Nix OT/LB 52 Daniel Kaas-Neal OL/DL 54 Ben Dudley LB So. 55 Logan Kimball OL/DE Sr. So. 56 Richard Ebersbach C/DE 71 Grayson Parker OL/DL So. 74 Jake Gess OL/DL 75 Thomas Pettet OL/DL Jr. 77 Braeden Vandersluis OL/DL Fr. 81 Garrett Jones DE/TE So. 87 Jack Cranford DE/TE Head Coach: Danny Cronic

All games 7:30 p.m. unless noted

Photo by Bob Fraley

Danny Cronic, who spent 18 seasons at East Coweta, returns to coaching after a two-year absence to lead The Heritage School into the 2010 season. A Cronic-coached football team hasn’t had a losing record since 1987, three years before he arrived in Sharpsburg.

Tonight Dawson Street Sept. 3 at Holy Spirit Sept. 11 at Mt. Vernon, 4 p.m. Sept. 17 Central Fellowship* Sept. 24 at Valwood* Oct. 1 Flint River* Oct. 15 at Harvester* Christian, 7 p.m. Oct. 22 Southwest Georgia** Oct. 29 at Brookwood* Nov. 5 Arlington Christian* * GISA Region 2-AA Game

THE HERITAGE SCHOOL imagine the possibilities

Photo by Jeffrey Leo

Junior Kyle Kimsey grabs on to the leg of a Griffin Christian ball carrier during last Friday’s shortened scrimmage. Over the summer, Heritage had more than 20 combined workouts in June and July and attended offensive camp. Then there were two trips to south Georgia for a pair of two-day camps to see some live action against a different colored uniform. “We’ve taken them rafting, we had a dedication ceremony the other night, we’ve taken them to see the Falcons play … we’ve done a lot, and all that has been good for the camaraderie,” said Cronic. “The level of enthusiasm is good and they’ve got a great attitude. I would just like to see the level of execution go up.” It will have to, starting tonight, if The Heritage School wishes to continue a string of small successes. Former head coach Larry Harrison led the Hawks to consecutive 6-5 seasons that were nearly identical, winning at least three-straight games midseason and then trading wins and losses the rest of the way in roller-coaster fashion. Stability hopes to be the key, even in the flux of injury and illness. So far, Heritage has been able to stay the course. The offense has been tweaked. Gone is a double-wing west so beloved by Harrison for its trickery. It has been make-orbreak for the Hawks in games, some 50-point outbursts, other two-touchdown nailbiters. In its place is the more familiar single wing that has become the staple of Cronic-coached teams. Sophomore Joe Bonner is back at quarterback following a year’s experience as a starter. But it’s still a learning process. “We’re only playing seven upperclassmen, total,” said

Cronic. “Nobody else is playing that many few seniors. So our level of execution is down because we’re playing a lot of freshmen and sophomores. The biggest thing, as a team, is we need to get stronger. We also need to improve to knowledge of football. That’s my job, and I’m trying to teach them as hard as I can, but sometimes my terminology is different than what theirs has been.” Senior Byron York and sophomore Candler Rich have swapped roles in the preseason, with York now moving to fullback and Rich to wingback. “We think Byron’s a better fit there,” said Cronic. “The fullback plays a pretty big role in this offense.” The skill positions also include senior John Veal, a three-year starter, and junior Kyle Kimsey, who has the ability to run the ball or spread to the sidelines as a deep threat. Junior tackle Thomas Pettit is one of three linemen currently out, but hopes to return to balance the right side early in the season. “Thomas Pettit is out, and everything kind of centers on him,” said Cronic. “Without him, we have to move people around.” Senior Logan Kimbell, the other returning starter on the offensive line, has the ability to shift between his left tackle spot and tight end when needed. Sophomore Garrett Jones, recovering from a back injury, hopes to return to be able to play both tight end and defensive end to allow Kimbell to move to tackle if necessary.

See HAWKS, page 10B

Just as students are encouraged to challenge themselves academically, they are also given the opportunity to reach their highest potential in athletics. In the 14-sport athletic program, any student who wants to participate in competitive sports may do so, and his or her skills are strengthened in the process. The Heritage School offers three competitive football programs, at the Lower School, Middle School, and Varsity levels.

Come see what we’re about VARSITY FOOTBALL 2010 Date




August 27 September 3 September 11* September 17 September 24 October 1 October 8 October 15 October 22 October 29 November 5 November 12

7:30 pm 7:30 pm 4:00 pm 7:30 pm 7:30 pm 7:30 pm

Dawson Street Holy Spirit Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Central Fellowship Valwood Flint River OPEN Harvester Christian SWGA Brookwood Arlington Playoff

Home Away Away Home Away Home

7:30 pm 7:30 pm 7:30 pm 7:30 pm TBA

Away Home Away Home TBA

*Saturday Game

The Heritage School is an independent, college preparatory school serving students ages 3 through twelfth grade. We are dually accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).

2093 Highway 29 North Newnan, Georgia 30263 770.253.9898



Friday, August 27, 2010 — The Times-Herald — 9B

GISA REGION 2-AA Seven schools to vie for four playoff berths in 2-AA to head coach squad including Ben Gibson, linemen Dallas Gibson and Chris Gregg as With realignment, school well as running backs Ethan closures, defections to the Rowe and Chase Williams. Georgia High School The Woodbury school will Association and the eliminaopen their season on the road tion of football programs at at Griffin Christian who is now some schools, the Georgia in class AAA and will visit Independent Schools Heritage on Oct. 1 for a region Association has 14 schools in showdown. Class AA including the After a 1-9 season, the Valwood Valiants saw their Heritage School. The Hawks will be part of a overall mark dip below .500 at Region 2 that will be includes 135-137-5 in Brannon Tidwell’s rival Arlington as well as first season at the school. Brookwood from 3-AAA The Valiants will five seniors (Thomasville), Flint River and nine juniors returning for (Woodbury), Harvester Tidwell including quarterback (Douglasville), Southwest GA J. B. Bahnsen, running (Damascus) and Valwood back/linebacker Devonte (Valdosta). Fountain and junior running The other region will have back/defensive back Alex schools that are based in either Waldron. Macon or Augusta. The aforementioned threeWhile the regions have some will have a sizable line changed, the playoff format has working in front of them with not as the first four teams in tackles Griffen Clyatt and Matt each will qualify for the state Barnes each weighing in at playoffs. over 270 pounds while guards In 38 seasons, the Warriors Aulden Bowden and Alan of Southwest GA have amassed Taylor weighing 245 each. an impressive record of 274Valwood will open their sea154-9 including a 10-3 mark last son on the road at Tiftarea year under head coach David Academy and will host Bell. Heritage on Sept. 24. The biggest loss suffered by The Hawks of Harvester Christian Academy finished the Warriors was not on the field but on their roster as they their second year of football with a 2-8 record under head will have to find someone to coach Todd Parker. replace running back Nile Despite their struggles, the Knapp who graduated and the 2,197 yards that he amassed last Hawks had two all-region players returning in senior lineman year. Mitch Lamb and senior runHowever, the Warriors ning back/linebacker Marty remain deep at running back McLain. with senior Taylor Tabb and Harvester will open the seajunior Cody Evans part of a son in Douglasville against group that combined for over Holy Spirit Prep and the battle 1,800 yards last year when of the Hawks will take place on Knapp did not have the ball. On defense, the Warriors are Oct. 15 when they will host Heritage. led by linebackers Jameson In the first year under head Burch (senior) and Vann Harrell (junior) as well as sen- coach Robert East, the Brookwood School Warriors ior defensive back Cody finished with a 3-8 record after Burkhalter. three straight winning seasons. SGA will open their season The Warriors return 16 on the road against the starters including junior quarWestwood School and will be the homecoming opponent for terback Taylor Bragg as well as fellow juniors Tyler Quinet Heritage on Oct. 22. Flint River Academy has had and Justin Johnson at running a solid football program with a back. On defense, the linebacker 199-183-7 record in 35 years and corps is experienced with the 2009 season was not any three seniors Hayes Balfour, different as the Wildcats finChance Harbin and Paul ished with a 9-2 record under Brewer leading the way in the first-year head coach J.R. Warriors 3-5-3 alignment. Ragan after a loss to eventual Brookwood will open their GISA AA champion Memorial season tonight at home against Day. Southland Academy of The Wildcats lost five seniors including all-state quarter- Americus and will host Heritage this year on October back Trent Bishop but a number of all-region players return 29 in Thomasville.



OFF AND RUNNING By CHRIS GOLTERMANN It’s not hard to find Robert Edwards car in the parking lot of Arlington Christian School in Fairburn, and you certainly don’t need the make and model. Just look for the tag that reads “NEVGVUP” It’s been as much of a motto as it has been a life lesson for the former Georgia Bulldog running back, who after instant success, found himself battling to maintain his livelihood, let alone his life. An instant NFL star, his career was cut short just as quickly on a freak knee injury that nearly cost him his leg. Edwards eventually got back on the field, finishing his career in the Canadian Football League. So don’t expect him to give up either durEdwards ing his first chance to be a head football coach. Since being hired in January, the 35year-old has immersed himself in the job, even if he’s been handed more than his share of surprises. “When I first got over here I was surprised, because I was like ‘How am I going to win with just twenty five guys?’” said Edwards. “But when I started talking to people, I found out everybody around (the league) is shorthanded.” To try to prepare himself for his first year of coaching, the one-time first round draft pick of the New England Patriots, reached to the past. He contacted his former coaches at Washington County High School, where he won a Class AA state championship playing with teammate Takeo Spikes. Edwards equally looked up his former Georgia quarterback, Mike Bobo, who has also put on a headset as the Bulldogs’ offensive coordinator. A former teammate, Rod Perryman, came aboard as an assistant after two years as head coach at Forest Park. “I tried to talk to as many of my former coaches, whether it was high school or college, as I could,” said Edwards. “But even after all that, there were just little things that I never thought about that you suddenly had to deal with. Mike was a big help and he the biggest thing he told me was stay patient. Some of these kids, especially the ninth graders, have never played football before.” The 2010 season and a coaching debut arrives today against Mt. Vernon in a rare 5 p.m., kickoff. It’s as much a fresh start for the Eagles program, which is under its third head coach over a three-year span. With only four seniors on the roster, Edwards is as much concerned about building the fifth-year program, than producing an immediate winner. “We’re a young team with four seniors, but that’s another plus for me,” he said. “It gives me a chance to develop the team.” While young, this year’s Arlington team is sizeable, especially on the front line. While 6-foot-11, 360-pound right tackle Rodney Johnson sticks out as a first-year player with loads of potential, it’s been sophomore Greg Pulliam and junior Michael Brock that have garnered the most praise. A converted 6-0, 215-pound running back, Pulliam will be

Former Georgia, NFL running back settles into new job

ARLINGTON CHRISTIAN 2010 ROSTER No. Name Pos Ht-WT Yr. 1 Christopher Brownlee WR/DB 5-11, 165 Fr. 2 Avery Gann DB/QB 6-0, 150 Sr. 3 Blake Barnes RB/LB 6-0, 170 Jr. 4 Kalon Baker DB/WR 5-10, 150 Jr. 5 Antonio Williams RB/DE 5-10, 160 So. 7 Levi Henderson WR/CB/P/K 5-9 170 Sr. 8 Will Watson QB/LB 6-0, 170 Jr. 9 Dani Mambobo LG/DL 6-1, 210 Jr. 11 Dylan Downes TE/DE 6-3, 175 Jr. 12 Shaw Powell RB/DB 5-5, 135 So. 14 Caleb Kunkel WR/DB 6-1, 160 Fr. 16 Ben Copeland DB 5-10, 150 So. 17 Blake Phillips WR/DB 5-11, 160 So. 20 Charod Strickland RB/S 5-9, 195 Sr. 21 Andre Southern FB/LB 5-9, 190 Sr. 23 Nolan Huber TE/LB 6-1, 190 Jr. 27 Grant Chastain K/FB 5-6, 150 So. 32 Brigh Wiggins OL/DL 6-1,155 Fr. 41 R.L. Hubbard OL/DE 5-10,150 So. 45 Greg Pulliam C/LB 6-0, 215 So. 52 Michael Brock OL/DL 6-3, 245 So. 54 Kameron Jones OL/DL 6-0, 245 Jr. 58 Anthony Proffit OL/DL 6-0, 160 So. 62 Triston Gregoine OL/DL 5-11, 205 So. 64 Rodney Johnson OL/DL 6-11, 360 Jr. 70 David Kissinger OL/DL 6-4, 340 Jr. 74 Darius McNear OL/DL 6-3, 235 So. 82 Swade Hutchinson WR/DB 6-0, 140 Fr. Head Coach: Robert Edwards (1st season); Assistants: Lance Pepin, David White, Richard Bomar, Rod Perrymond the team’s starting center as a sophomore and Brock, at 6-1, 215 pounds, will beside him as a starting guard. Junior Dani Mambobo, at 6-1, 210, has a chance to hold down the other guard and senior Dylan Downes (6-3, 175) is the team’s starting tight end, with Nolan Huber (6-1, 190) can rotate in. “The (offensive) line is going to be the key to us winning,” said Edwards. “We’re going to run the ball, cause it’s my background, and we have three good running backs to do it with.” The key up front will be as much establishing depth in order for Arlington to rotate its offensive and defensive lines. David Kissinger, at 6-4, 340pounds, has that potential should he be able to make it back from an injury that has kept him out of action. Sophomore newcomer Darius McNear (6-3, 235) also has both size and raw talent, but needs work according to Edwards. A foursome of sophomores including Triston Gregorie (511, 205), Anthony Profit (6-0, 160), R.L. Hubbard (5-10, 150)

and Brigh Wiggins (6-1, 155) hopes to fill that mold along with freshman Kameron Jones (6-0, 160). “To stay competitive, I’ve got to put our best athletes out there,” said Edwards. “We’ll give them a break on certain plays when we can. At this point, a lot of them are probably used to going both ways. I’m sure every team (in the region) faces that same dilemma. At least we’ll be in the same boat.” Senior Charod Strickland leads a trio of running backs, having rushed for at least 600 yards in each of the past two seasons. Scat-back Shaw Powell (5-5, 135) and Blake Barnes (6-0, 170) will rotate among carries. Edwards said the basic offense will be a runoriented pro-set with a little bit of the I-formation thrown in. “It all depends on what team we’re playing and how they’re playing us,” said Edwards. “No matter what level you plan on, it starts with the line.” It will also have to protect first-year starting quarterback Will Watson, who will have to fill

some of the roles left by graduating senior Josh Cunningham. The All-State standout played three offensive positions during last year’s 6-5 season including quarterback. A strong-armed 6-0, 170pound junior, Watson was a standout baseball player in the spring for the Eagles. He’ll have the benefit of both Downes at tight end and senior Levi Henderson at the receiver spot as veteran targets. Henderson and freshmen Caleb Kunkel are working at the corners on defense, with Strickland at safety. Lance Pepin, who has been on the Eagles’ coaching staff for all four varsity seasons, handles the defensive coordinator duties. The linebacking corps stars with Barnes, Pulliam and Watson, who will also be rested some for junior Nolan Huber. The defensive front will be strong as well with the 6-foot-3 Downes coming off one end, 611 Johnson at nose guard and Brock also up front. Kissinger at 6-4, 340 and McNear at 6-3, 235 could be among the mix as well, but are still learning the position. Special teams should also be sound with Henderson punting and sophomore Grant Chastain handling the kicking duties. The Eagles have had two weeks inbetween its two scrimmages, both against Griffin Christian, to work on making improvements. “We scrimmaged them two weeks in a row. It was like night and day,” said Edwards. “The first scrimmage I was worried, because we were trying to evaluate what we had. But we looked a lot better in the second.”


2010 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE TODAY at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian, 5 p.m. Sept. 3 Dawson Street Sept. 10 Holy Spirit Prep Sept. 17 at Windsor Academy Sept. 24 Brookwood Academy* Oct. 8 at Southwest Ga. Academy* Oct. 15 Flint River Academy* Oct. 22 Valwood Christian** Oct. 29 at Harvester Christian*, 7 p.m.* Nov. 5 at The Heritage School* *GISA Region 2-AA Game


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10B — The Times-Herald — Friday, August 27, 2010


Lakes makes mo ve fr om LB to star ting fullbac k group, but is currently out with a knee injury. For the third straight season, Continued from page 7B meanwhile, Northgate will be breaking in a new starting year’s players returning to pre- quarterback. Like his predecessor, Toby Slagle, junior Bret vious positions. Offensively, Misutka saw limited action last Northgate will stay in the wing-T set familiar to Walburn. year as a backup but the staff feels the 5-foot-7, 165-pound “It’s a wing-T. We’d really like for it to look like what was righthander is ready to step in behind center. at East Coweta with Danny “He’s a good leader and the Cronic,” said Walburn. “Right now we’re just putting the base kids seem to rally around him,” of the offense in. You’ve got to said Walburn. Senior Brad Swinney, also have a foundation to work with and that’s what we’re trying to played in a backup role last year, and in addition to being a do. As we get in this (year), tremendous asset as the we’re going to try and expand Vikings’ starting punter, has on it. the ability to lead the offense. Like Cronic’s, the fullback Waiting in the wings is 6-6, remains a centerpiece and the osh Viking staff thinks it has theirs 200-pound sophomore Jo Harrison, who is slowly makin converted linebacker Alex ing progress in his first season Lakes. While still expected to with the varsity. play some on defense, the 6“He’s done some good things foot-1, 190-pound junior’s new as well and is getting better job will be to carry much of and better every day,” said the load after making an Walburn. “We’re starting to get immediate impression during him in against our first team the spring. It wasn’t long until Walburn discovered that there defense. The speed of the game is a lot different.” was also a family history with Only one of last year’s Lakes among running backs. starters is back on the front “We looked at him at linebacker in the spring. We hadn’t line, but the group that the staff has assembled takes seen any film on him playing offense, but we put him in for a advantage of both size and quickness. couple of plays in the spring Senior Cody Weaver (6-3, game and he ran for touchdown every time we ran him,” 235) is back at tackle, with sensaid Walburn. “Two, his daddy ior Adam Rabern (6-0, 260) starting on the other side. was an All-State running back at Greenville. I think skill play- Twin brother Ryan Rabern (6ers on offense in high school is 0, 230) will be the team’s starting center. where it’s at. In our offense, The guards are Jake Slagle the fullback is critical.” (6-0, 205), a converted quarterWalburn feels that he is at least “two or three deep” at all back, and Brian Fleenor (5-9, 205) with hopes of taking three running positions. advantage of each’s speed in Junior Kyle Kovacs “has the offense. been a pleasant surprise,” as “In our offense, we don’t Lakes’ backup, with Josh have to have massive guards,” Barber also working at fullsaid Walburn. “We feel like back. Jake’s got good size, he’s a hard Seniors Payton Usher (358 worker and he’s tough nosed. rushing yards in 2009) and Brian’s going to play the Isaiah Riddle (143 yards) are quick side and he’s done a returning halfbacks, each of good job.” whom played roles in last Seniors Mason Stender and year’s offense and capable of Brandon Handley along with handling lots of carries per Zach Brewer are among those game. The wingbacks are led challenging for playing time as by junior Tony Williams, who well. has been praised for both his Northgate also enters the speed and blocking ability downfield. “He’s an extremely season with two solid tight ends in junior Mitch Bemister hard worker.” Starting free and senior Andrew safety D’lonzo Harris can also Schexnayder, who played linerotate in when needed. Junior Robbie Carter hopes to be able backer last year. “We feel good about our to add a third wingback to the


tight end situation,” said Walburn. “We’re going to have to find some playing time for Schexnayder on defense, because he’s a good player. He’s done a good job moving over there and he’s working hard.” Sophomore Brandon Facyson and senior Scotty Gaston (6-1, 190) are the team’s top two receivers heading into the season, but the staff expects four players to be in the rotation with both Facyson and Gaston expected to see time in the secondary. Senior Devonte Lablanc and sophomore Andrew Brady are the others expected to be in the rotation. Defensively, Northgate’s incoming staff has also shuffled some players around from previous positions, though some like hulking sophomore defensive lineman Sean Spencer (6-4, 240) are right back where they were a year ago. Spencer was one of the only starting freshmen on varsity among the county’s three public schools, while also making an immediate impact. The sophomore, however, missed the spring after breaking his leg and is just getting back to full strength. Junior Drew Gibson has earned the start at the other defensive end position and will play the right side, with senior Jonathan Rice. The staff equally feels junior Leon Sapp can step in to play either end or tackle in Northgate’s new 8man front. Newcomer De’Andre Johnson, a sophomore 6-2, 305-pounds, gives the Vikings a massive presence in the middle. Walburn feels like Johnson has dedicated himself to bettering himself and “he only missed one workout session this summer to an excused absence.” “He’s come in much better shape and we feel like he can be a good player for us,” said Walburn. “His size is something you can’t coach.” The other inside tackle is junior David Higgins, a smaller, but equally strong, quick defender. Junior Alex Heavner and junior Kain Elliot also will be in the rotation on the defensive front. Senior Jake Peterson shifts from the offensive line to line-

backer as the starter for the Vikings on the strong side. The 6-1, 230-pounder, whose brother Zach is a starting center at Army, has made a smooth transition to the position after the spring. “After spring when we evaluated we wanted to get a taller, rangier guy in there,” said Walburn. “He’s a smart kid too, so he’s getting better.” Senior Josh Barber (5-9, 200) has been “a pleasant surprise” as the team’s starting inside linebacker with senior Courtez Glenn out with an injury. Defensive lineman Drew Gibson can also step back to play the inside will spot as well. Meanwhile, the team has moved leading tackler Gordy Duncan, a 5-10, 175-pound senior, to outside linebacker from the middle with junior Jonovan Cotton. Drew Garner and Isaiah Riddle can also play at the outside spot if needed. Newcomer D’lonzo Harris, at 5-9, 160-pounds, centers the defensive backfield at free safety after playing junior varsity last year. Gaston and Facyson are the starting cornerbacks with Rex Evans and Shaun Byron as the initial backups. On special teams, Walburn said he’s been blessed to have stepped into a situation with standouts at both punter and kicker. In addition to Swinney, an All-Region 5AAAA punter, soccer standout Will Lutz handles the kicking. “As far as a punter and a kicker, I feel like I’ve got as good a two guys as I’ve ever had,” said Walburn. “Even our special teams, we try to look at that as a different unit. “ With 97 players on the varsity roster, the first-year Viking coach’s philosophy includes playing as many of them as possible, knowing that there are benefits if done properly. “I try to play as many people as we can without hurting performance because I feel like if kids feel like they’re a part of something on the football team, that the morale of your squad is much better because everybody then says, ‘I’m a part of it,’” said Walburn. “They have an investment in it. And anytime you have an investment in something, it means more to you. “

Br ead y mo ves to help de pleted offensi ve line HAWKS Continued from page 8B The additional absence of injured starting guard Grayson Parker has thrust senior Stuart Bready from last year’s fullback spot up front to the line as one of the team’s strongest players. Freshman Tyler Henson has also been thrust into a starting role and has been a pleasant surprise so far on both sides of the ball, as has sophomore center Richard Ebersbach. Sophomore Ben Dudley, meanwhile, has stepped in as a starting guard. Braden Vandersluis and Daniel Kaas-Neal are also out, but could add depth to the line upon their return. The defense, meanwhile, has been put in the hands of former Indian player JT Weaver, who was an All-Conference linebacker at Gardner Webb, before

returning home to help coach ECHS feeder program teams. The Hawks have gone to a fourman front, and like the Cronic offense, have tried to put players in multiple positions for worst-case scenarios. “I’m been real satisfied with our defense. The biggest thing right now is trying to keep it fun and simple,” said Weaver. “Once they do that, they’re energetic and they’re moving, and that’s what we want.” Weaver’s defense ends are made up of Kimball, a senior, and Henson, a freshman, with Dalton Trammell able to rotate in and out on either side. Bready has been plugged inside

with Ebersbach at the tackle spots. York centers the linebackers, with Veal and Ben Dudley expected to start on the outsides. Both Trammell and Nix could also see playing time at the position. Veal could also be used at one of the cornerbacks with Kimsey, giving the Hawks two athletic corners. Rich is the starting safety, though York also is capable of dropping into the secondary as well. “If we get hurt, we’re really going to have to scramble around,” said Weaver. “But the guys we have all believe in the system. Special teams are a work in progress and a definite weak spot over the past two seasons despite capable kickers. Heritage used onside kicks exclusively under Harrison, a rarity in high school football, choosing to give up field position rather than points on a

return. The new philosophy is 180degrees opposite. Cronic brought in former Indian and NFL punter Chris Hanson as an assistant coach, who has started from scratch with the team’s specialists. Kimsey will take on the punt duties to open the year. While unable to get much work done in last Friday’s scrimmage prior to tonight’s opener, the short amount of footage the staff saw on film was encouraging. “Everything that came out of that scrimmage, other than it finishing early, was positive,” said assistant John Gray. As for the return to coaching, those who have known Cronic through his ties to East Coweta still see much of the same qualities during his first months at Heritage. “He hasn’t changed. He might be a little different, but he hasn’t changed,” said Weaver. “He’s the same Coach Cronic.

NEWNAN AT A GLANCE Compiled by Chris Goltermann HEAD COACH: Mike McDonald (2nd season, 13-1; Overall 32-16, five seasons) STAFF: Kenny Morris (offensive coordinator), Jeff Bryant (co-defensive coordinator), LaVarrett Pearson (co-defensive coordinator), Hap Hines (running backs), Jerry Allen (wide receivers), Ken Kesselring (offensive line), Chris Ramsey (defensive line), David Robertson (outside linebackers), Jason Earwood (tight ends), Bob Sandlin (kickers), James “Radar” Brantley (trainer) STRENGTHS: Offensive line, quarterback, running backs all experienced; Most newcomers have varsity experience from playing 24 varsity games in 2 years. WEAKNESSES: Defensive leaders need to emerge, Team needs go-to receiver at flanker and slot positions to step up; Punt team struggled in 2009. KEY LOSSES: Alec (S) and Zander Ogletree (LB) (Georgia), LB Adam Strakose (West Georgia), CB Jamal Ransby (Georgia State) OUTLOOK: Two consecutive trips to the Class AAAAA state semifinals may have ended in disappointment. But if any year needed to build on those experiences, it’s in 2010 for the Cougars. A large group of contributing seniors is gone, leaving a tenacious defense depleted of star talent and putting more pressure on a sound offense to become world-beaters. OFFENSE QUARTERBACK There are plenty of positives to build on, starting with the skill positions on offense. Lendell Arnold emerged as Newnan’s “trigger guy” at quarterback, throwing for over 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns. “We’re just proud of the way he stepped up,” said Cougars offensive coordinator Kenny Morris. “He’s a great leader and great competitor for us.” Morris also likes the potential in sophomores Bryce Benton and Nick Smith and “we think they have the potential to both be real good players for us.” RUNNING BACK Chris Robinson was second among the county’s runners in rushing yards and touchdowns, emerging as Newnan’s No. 1 back, as well as a top scoring threat during its run to the postseason. “We felt he exceeded our expectations,” said Morris. Sophomore Lamont Anderson could be this year’s biggest surprise out of the backfield while working with Marcus Terry. Meanwhile, fullback Bryant Ball, who was used in key goal-line situations, gives Newnan another powerful runner, especially in shortyardage. OFFENSIVE LINE Just as important, the offensive line has “more depth than we’ve ever had,” according to Morris. Four starters are back up front including third-year contributor Chris Beno (6-1, 250), who should start at left tackle. Alex Farmer, who can play center or guard and Rob Wroble will be the quick side off the left, while 285-pound seniors Ontarion Brewer and Spencer Whitehead give size to the right. Newnan likes what it sees in newcomer Jamal Carlisle, a 6-3, 285-pound sophomore, who could quickly get into the starting mix.

RECEIVERS Hakeem Wynn, returning at tight end, provides a big target with wideout Shaq Warner who came on with several big catches in the 2009 state playoffs. The Cougars, though, will need new hands to emerge elsewhere, however, entering the fall with unproven players at both the flanker and slot positions. The team likes the potential not only in 6-2 receiver Frankie Miller at receiver, but the potential from senior Jamal Lankford and junior Jalen Bolden. Antonio Bentley, Cody Daracott and Tito Avalo are all in the mix for the slot receiver opening. DEFENSE DEFENSIVE LINE Despite losing six defensive starters, the line remains one of the deepest units for Newnan in its 3-5 scheme. J.R. Cameron and O.D. Pittman were both huge contributors in last year’s success. Senior Kenny Warren and junior Nick Wood get a chance to step up as potential starters after being in the rotation among backups in 2009. Randale McGruder also could also get substantial playing time. “All those guys got the opportunity to get playing time last year,” said co-defensive coordinator LaVarrett Pearson. “We really think it’s going to help them out. The key to our defense right now is how well our line plays.” LINEBACKERS Gone are the centerpieces of an outstanding group from 2009, Zander Ogletree and Adam Strakose, both of whom signed college football scholarships. The returners, though, were no slouches either. Denzel Smith returns to the outside after being injured for part of the 2009 season and fellow senior Trevor Tanner took advantage of Smith’s absence to make several key plays for the Cougars late in the season. “Pound for pound, Denzel is probably the strongest athlete we have on the team,” said Pearson of Smith. The third returner among last year’s top-five is Alberry Melson will be back on the strongside. Bryant Ball, who played mostly on offense last year, will also be counted on at the strongside position. The middle linebacker position job, previously held by Strakose, may be the biggest question mark among the group. SECONDARY Jamal Ransby, who was among county leaders in interceptions, will have to be replaced after signing with Georgia State last February. Rod Chaney and Deion Poythress, both of which saw playing time, expect to get the first looks. Chaney started five games last season for the Cougars. Sophomore Trey Matthews, meanwhile, is left to fill the giant hole at safety left by All-State performer Alec Ogletree, now off to Athens. SPECIAL TEAMS After struggling at times with its punt teams a year ago, head coach Mike McDonald said he did the smart thing and “fired myself as special teams coordinator.” Patrick McAlpin returns to handle the punt and kicking duties, where the firstyear starter continually improved in 2009. Newnan, though, had a punt blocked by Griffin in its preseason scrimmage that turned into a touchdown.

Ne wnan ‘not ther e y et’ COUGARS Continued from page 6B Nick Cameron (5-9, 185, Jr.) and Bryant Ball (5-10, 180, Jr.) will fill the other two linebacking spots with Maurice White (5-8, 225, So.) backing up. Ball will also see playing time at running back after scoring nine times from there last year. Tray Matthews (6-0, 180, So.) will start at free safety and Deion Portress (5-7, 150, Jr.) at the other corner with Chaney. Patrick McAlpin (6-0, 190, Jr.) returns to kick PATs and field goals with transfer Austin Hurler (5-8, 140, Jr.) backing up. Wroble will be the long snapper and Robinson, Ball and Lemond Anderson (5-8, 175, Jr.) the kickoff return specialists.

The Cougars face one of their toughest schedules in recent memory this year starting with three strong non-region foes in LaGrange, Peachtree Ridge and Woodstock. Newnan has its open date following the LaGrange opener. The Cougars’ new region, 2AAAAA, sports two state powerhouses in Stephenson (picked in the coaches-media preseason poll to win the league title with Newnan second) and M.L. King.“It’ll be a real challenge for us,” McDonald said. “We have a chance to be pretty good, but like I told the kids, just being good won’t be enough this year. That won’t cut it. We’ve got to strive to be great. We’re not there yet, but that’s what we’re working to be.”

Fowler br other s lead East Coweta secondar y INDIANS Continued from page 5B named to the All-Region 4AAAAA second team last season as well as the all-county team. In his sophomore season, Holloway had 68 tackles with five for losses, five sacks and three fumble recoveries. Holloway will be joined on other side of the line by seniors Bruce Webb and Houston Mills with support from Simmons and Trollinger. Angel Santiago, the winner of the 2010 Ironman competition at EC, leads the linebacking corps for the Indians after he recorded 33 tackles last season and joined Holloway on the all-county defensive team. Santiago, who will play the strong linebacker, is expected to be joined by senior Demarcus Rosser, Mario Clark as well as McTier, Jones and sophomore Edwin Rivera. The secondary will be a

mixed bag between a couple of positions manned by inexperienced players and the other two slots in the hands of Jarin and Jared Fowler. Jared Fowler earned AllRegion and All-County honors after leading the team with 90 tackles including 64 solo efforts and eight pass breakups

while Jarin Fowler had four interceptions. Among those joining the Fowler include by juniors Michael Collins, T.J. Ingram, Godfrey and senior Demarcus Rosser along with several others who get a chance to play Friday. Both the kicking and punting jobs also opened this presea-

son. Senior Anthony Greenlee has stepped into do all of the punting, placekicking and kickoffs when the season begins. Greenlee will be backed up by sophomore Spencer Smith, while another sophomore Cody Houser will be the primary kicker for the junior varsity team.

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Friday, August 27, 2010 — The Times-Herald — 11B






Crusaders continue taking small steps toward rising to top of league



Lions hunt for state title in last year of 8-man game


he rain and lightning last Friday night brought an early end to Trinity Christian’s season opener at home against Youth Christian after just one quarter. From their opponent’s end, however, it might have been a godsend. Already trailing 20-0 to Trinity with a little more than 12 minutes into the season, opposing coaches waved the white flag and both teams went home rather than continue a game that could have easily lasted until well past midnight. The Lions’ 20 first-quarter points hope to be as much of a premonition of good things to come in 2010 with its thirdyear program gaining steam with every game. Tonight, Trinity opens league play in the Independent Schools of Georgia and Alabama at Twiggs Academy in a nondivision matchup. Head coach Matt Schock, also Trinity Christian’s middle and high school principal, has seen the roster nearly double in size from last spring, when a transition toward 11-man football in the Georgia Independent Schools Association seemed a bit premature. “When spring came around we thought there was no way that we could go to the GISA,” said Schock. “But within the last three or four weeks, we’ve had at least twelve new guys. We had some in school last year who decided to come out and play, and then we had some come in as new students.” Schools in the GISA, which begins the first of a two-year reclassification period in 2010, may be glad Trinity has decided to hold off until making their move until 2012, though the program will jump from the current 8-man game to 11man football next season. It will also be with the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama, which is offering traditional football for the first time in its 17-year history in 2010. Maybe it’s for the best, considering Trinity Christian came one victory away from playing for last year’s ICSGA 8-man state championship. A 9-2 mark came in only the program’s second year. For the first time, practices on the high school’s campus off Highway 154 look a lot more like those a few miles down the road. Tackling dummies no longer are stand ins. “It’s probably the biggest and deepest we’ve been as a team,” said Schock. The roster is 28 players strong despite returning just two starters on offense. The losses included both of the team’s leading rushers in Clint Karr and Andrew Dennis. Four seniors are back among 14 returners that were out in spring. Joining them are 14 newcomers, however. While some are not necessarily new to the school, the mix of the two groups can cause a bit of concern regarding chemistry. “We think the biggest key is going to be how well we gel as a team,” said Schock. Adam Downs is one of the newcomers at quarterback, having most recently played at Arlington Christian after first attending Trinity. The 6-foot-2 junior has the look “of a prototypical college quarterback,” according to Schock. “He’s a pretty big kid and he’s got a strong arm.” Downs should benefit from both size and depth up front on the line. Eddie McQuillen, a 6-7 senior, dominated at nose guard last year and will play on the offensive line as well this year. Also back on the ends are seniors John Hogan, who was named the team’s MVP last year, and Emery Johnson. “We think the line is going to be a strong point of our team,” said Schock. Two newcomers fill out the starting unit in sophomore Cole Barnes at center and senior Zach Snipes. The reserves among linemen, meanwhile, are plentiful. They include

TRINITY CHRISTIAN 2010 ROSTER No. 2 4 5 6 7 10 12 21 23 25 28 38 45 51 54 56 60 64 68 71 74 75 77 85 88 90 92

Name Christian Salvanera Connor Adams Adam Downs Jacob Pape Donterrious Snelling Chris Leazier Landon Comeans Emery Johnson Auggie Pettit John Hogan Nate Woodruff Joe Hogan Dakota Price Logan Maloy Chris Baswell Mark Collier Cole Barnes Eddie McQuillen Byron Gilliam Zach Snipes Andrew Farrell Christian Salvanera Aaron Anderson Robbie Sanchez Josh White Clay Stille Zach Wolf


Yr. Fr. So. Jr. So. Fr. Jr. So. Sr. So. Sr. Fr. Fr. So. So. Sr. So. So. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Fr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr.

Wolf, who can also play linebacker. 2010 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE “We’re still figuring out Aug. 20 Youth Christian, W 20-0 what we want to run defenTonight at Twiggs Academy sively,” said Schock. “We think Sept. 3 at Heritage Christian we’ll have a lot of speed on Sept. 10 Colonial Hills defense this year.” Sept. 17 Grace Baptist John Hogan leads the Sept. 24 Ballard (Ala.) Christian returning linebackers from the Oct. 1 at Faith Academy outside position, along with Oct. 9 at Praise Academy Pettit. Collier, until being Oct. 15 at LaFayette Christian injured, had been working Oct. 22 Crosspointe Christian inside. Nichols and Sanchez will seniors Chris Baswell at cenalso see plenty of action at the ter, Robbie Sanchez at guard position to fill in along with and Clay Stille. Also in the Wood, while Stearly and mix are juniors Aaaron Dakota Price are possible Anderson and Andrew Farrell, backups as well. along with freshmen Joe Snelling and sophomore Hogan and Christian Connor Adams lead the corSalvanera. nerbacks heading into the fall. The starting backfield has First-year player Nate some depth as well, much Woodruff is in the mix as well. needed in the early weeks of The current 8-man league the preseason. Sophomore has shrunk from more than a Auggie Pettit and junior dozen teams to 10, with Austin Nichols are both newSharpsburg schools Trinity comers, with Nichols current- and Heritage Christian both ly nursing a stress fracture in paired together in the ICSGA his foot. Incoming freshman North division with defending Donterrious Snelling has also state finalist Grace Baptist, been working at tailback, with Praise Academy and Colonial another newcomer — junior Hills, which shifts back from Chris Leazier — getting most play in the GISA to 8-man. of the work at fullback. Tonight’s host, Twiggs Snelling and Pettit will also Academy, makes up the South be used on the outside at Division with Ballard (Ala.) , times as potential receivers. Crosspointe, Faith Christian Hogan can also be split out and LaFayette Christian. wide, catching a touchdown Trinity fell in the state semipass in last week’s victory. finals to Grace Baptist last seaOverall speed will be as son at home and the teams much an asset on defense as it face each other on Sept. 17, will size up front. Opposing again at Trinity, which plays quarterbacks will have to find its home games at East a way to avoid the reach of Coweta Middle School. both McQuillen’s 6-7 frame “We’d like to be shooting for and Snipes, at 6-4, 240 pounds. it again this year,” said Schock. Johnson is a returning starter “We’d like to be able to end (8up front and junior Byron man play) with a state title. Gilliam came on strong as well We’ve got a tough schedule last season. The backups and almost everybody we play include Joe Hogan, Salvanera is as good or better than they and incoming senior Zach were last year.”


Heritage Christian School “Distinctively Christian...Distinctively Different”



l Williams is not your typical high school football coach. His days are spent as a manager at Delta Air Lines, not plotting air assaults in a fieldhouse. Instead of breaking down film, he’s finding ways to keep Delta’s fleet soaring. As far as Heritage Christian’s football team goes, however, the 2010 season is a chance to step into the pilot’s seat after helping the Crusaders program take off four years ago. Williams moves from a role of assistant coach during Heritage Christian’s first three seasons of 8-man varsity football into the head position, with hopes of continuing to see it blossom into bigger things. The Crusaders, who are 0-1 following last Friday’s seasonopening loss, battled through injury problems to finish 4-5 overall in 2009. This year’s roster is sizably bigger in both numbers and stature in 2010. Williams, who was a defensive assistant a year ago, is still keeping that side of the ball as a fixture toward success in the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama. The team continues its 2010 season tonight at Lafayette Christian in LaGrange. “We’ve simplified everything, gone to more assignment football,” said Williams. “We’ve really tried to focus the kids on specific positions. I’m a big defensive fan. My philosophy is I’d like to keep us in the ballgame and have a chance to win it at the end.” Paul Frantz, whose son is in his junior year for the Crusaders, is the team’s defensive coordinator and Kelsey Holt will handle the play calls on offense. Heritage Christian is coming off what Williams called a “real good spring” and the program’s numbers have improved to a point where the team is able to scrimmage against one other in practice. “We started off with 10-11 kids and limped through a season with about 12. Last year we were able to keep about 14 or 15,” said Williams. . This is the first year where we’ve been able to practice on both sides (of the ball).” This year’s roster has three seniors including fourth-year player Robert Culmo back at running back as one of the team’s main ball carriers. Both freshman Dutch Williams, in his second year, and 6-foot-3 sophomore Tyler Smith, will get time at quarterback. Last week, Williams scored for the Crusaders on a bootleg run during its 20-6 loss to Faith Christian. The line includes returning freshman Christian Parkerson

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN 2010 ROSTER No. Name 10 Gordon Smith 12 Robert Culmo 15 Tyler Smith 17 Paul Frantz 21 Jake Humphries 30 Dutch Williams 34 Jake Smith 42 Christian Parkerson 44 Noah Parkerson 45 Jacob Spiller 50 Colt Crouch 55 Joseph Woods 60 J.D. Farlow 66 Bailey Todd 80 Austin Reaves 82 Jesse Parkerson Head Coach: Al Williams;


Ht. 5-0 5-8 6-3 5-10 5-9 5-9 6-0 5-10 6-3 5-11 5-9 6-3 5-11 5-7 6-2 5-9

Wt. 160 156 235 183 127 144 202 197 158 194 200 192 147 185 198

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

Assistants: Paul Frantz (defensive coordinator), Kelsey Holt (offensive coordinator)


Also up front for the Crusaders are Franz, Woods and Gordon Smith at the ends Aug. 20 Faith Academy L 20-6 and Crouch, Reeves and Jesse Tonight at LaFayette Christian Parkerson at defensive tackle. Sept. 3 Trinity Christian Williams and Culmo will Sept 10 Hope Christian School both play at outside linebacker Sept. 17 Praise Christian with eighth-grader Jacob Sept. 24 at Grace Baptist Spiller (5-11, 158). Oct. 1 at Colonial Hills Already, the school has folOct. 8 at Twiggs Academy lowed the natural progression Oct. 15 Crosspointe Christian that comes with any fledgling Oct. 22 at Ballard Christian (5-10, 203) at center, with older program. Since its inception, brother Noah, a 6-3, 197 pound the program has continued to junior is one of the team’s tight add to its facilities, beginning with a new field and eventually ends with senior Joseph goal posts two years ago. Woods (6-3, 200). Construction at the Eight-man teams feature a five-man line of scrimmage on Sharpsburg school, located just across the street from Thomas both sides of the ball with a Crossroads Elementary, has pair of ends. This year’s depth continued, allowing the field to up front will give Heritage be fenced in. Christian a chance to both While nearby 8-man rival rotate and substitute, unlike in Trinity Christian is moving on 2009. to the Georgia Independent “It’s still both ways, but this Schools Association full-time year we’ll be able to substitute,” said Williams of the line. next season, Heritage will “That was one of the problems remain rooted where it has we had (last year), having kids been in the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia play on both sides of the ball. and Alabama (ICSGA). The But this year we actually have league began in 1993 as the enough kids. It’s not tremendous size. But it’s an over 200- vision of Heritage Christian pound line.” founder and basketball coach Sophomore Austin Reeves Ronald McCurry and has (6-2, 185) and eighth-grader expanded to include more than Jesse Parkerson (5-9, 198) are 20 schools. two of the team’s offensive For the first time, however, guards, while freshmen Colt the ICSGA is offering 11-man Crouch (5-9, 194) will play football, and it could be anothoffensive tackle. er step for the program in In addition to Culmo, junior upcoming years. Lights are Jake Smith, at 6-0, 202 pounds, another, as Heritage Christian has made a full recovery from will play some of its home a dislocated hip suffered in games at East Coweta Middle practice last year, and gives the School due to the current work team a boost in the backfield. clearing land surrounding the Junior Paul Frantz may also see on-campus football field. carries as well with Bailey “The school’s doing a good Todd, a 5-7, 147-pound eighth job of cleaning it up. We’re grader, with freshman J..D. always looking for lights,” said Farlow (5-11, 192) at fullback. Williams. “I can probably foreDefensively, Jake and Tyler see maybe in the next year or Smith will see lots of time at two years, we’d probably be an end and tackle, respectively, 11-man (program). If you can and Noah Parkerson will plug get about 25 solid kids and up the middle of the field at enough young kids who are linebacker. Christian Parkerson playing out of the school, it turns around to play defensive helps. But for now eight man’s tackle. a good fit.” 2010 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Trinity Christian School Serving the families of Coweta and surrounding counties since 1991. Over 800 students from Pre-K - 12th grade.

...Excellence... Character... ...Experience... Opportunity... Our way of educating since 1965 3613 Hwy. 34 East Sharpsburg, GA 30277 Phone: 770-252-1234 / 770-252-9298

• Fully Accredited With Quality • Biblical Worldview • College Prep • Traditional Math Curriculium • Georgia Certified Teachers • GISA-ICSGA Various Extracurricular Activities • Affordable Tuition



8817 Hwy. 54 West Sharpsburg

CROSSROADS CHURCH 2564 Hwy. 154 Newnan

For more information, call 770-251-6770



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12B — The Times-Herald — Friday, August 27, 2010

2010 Football Section  

2010 Football Section

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