CHANGE IS NEVER EASY, ESPECIALLY WHEN A TRANSI-
tion is unexpected.
That’s what happened at Griffin last offseason, when
Steve DeVoursney resigned amid allegations of illegal recruit-
ing and improper academic assistance.
DeVoursney led the Bears for 13 successful seasons,
piling 125 wins to only 35 losses.
To make the abrupt end of DeVoursney’s tenure even more
stunning, the Bears were coming off his best season, an
undefeated 15-0 record and AAAA state title.
It was Griffin’s first state title since 1978 (third total) and
looked to be the first in what could have been a long time of
trophies with DeVoursney in charge.
With DeVoursney gone, Griffin had to find a new coach and
restore its credibility.
Enter Jarrett Laws.
Laws came to Griffin after demonstrating the ability to
rebuild and turnaround programs in a hurry. First he took
Mount Zion (Jonesboro) from three wins in 2007 to eight the
After a move to Drew High in 2009, he built the program
in Riverdale from scratch into a playoff team in just its
third season. So he rebooted one program and completely
constructed the other. Taking over a powerhouse though is a
different challenge completely.
“I’ve felt extremely blessed to be considered for a job like
None of those first 10 games was close. The Bears aver-
this,” Laws told the Clayton News Daily. “It is like a dream
job. The opportunity that I have at Griffin has some deep
cultural and professional opportunities. This will be the first
job I’ve had that I don’t have to go in and fix a program. I just
have to maintain the state of excellence of the program.”
Laws did exactly what he set out to do in 2014. The Bears
finished the regular season unbeaten and claimed their 13th
aged over 45 points a game, while opponents put up only
12. 4 a game.
The Bears first round playoff matchup with a talented
Liberty County squad wasn’t close either.
A second-round loss to Marist ended the campaign, but
Laws served notice that Griffin was not going anywhere, not
in the region and not against respected opponents across
The next step is to do it again — consistency is key and the
margin for error is thin in Class AAAA.
Laws passed the first test and history shows he’s capable
of both building and sustaining a successful program.
There’s the customary level of talent in the current senior
class, but there’s a handful of underclassmen that should be
key this season, too.
Offensive lineman Cedric Webb and defensive end Terry
Fuller — both juniors — will be counted on to produce big this
season. Young talent like that gives evidence that, with Laws
in charge, Griffin will be a contender for some time to come.
JARRETT LAWS LEADING GRIFFIN TO TOP
Jarrett Laws led Griffin to
11 wins in his first season as
coach in 2014.
QB Logan Byrd, Veterans
QB Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville
RB;Elijah;Holyfield, Woodward Academy
RB Xavier Gantt, Buford
WR Jacob Robertson, Woodward Academy
WR Malick Mbodj, Arabia Mountain
TE Miller Forristall, Cartersville
OL Ben Cleveland, Stephens County
OL Brodarious Hamm, Spalding
OL Chandler Tuitt, Sandy Creek
OL Tristan Crowder, Carrollton
ATH Richard LeCounte, Liberty County
DL Tyler Clark, Americus-Sumter
DL Shug Frazier, Buford
DL David Marshall, Upson-Lee
DL Jordan Smith, Lithonia
DL Cecil Stallings, Chamblee
DL Malik Herring, Mary Persons
LB Jeremiah Littles, Wayne County
DB Christian Tutt, Thomson
DB Marlon Character, Grady
DB Antone Williams, Woodward Academy
DB Korey Banks, Sandy Creek
DB Demeon Pierce, Bainbridge
2. Woodward Academy
3. St. Pius X