a lot of their starters from last season including their leading receiver and eight of their top nine tacklers on defense.
The Eagles will be a different team in 2016. They do return
Mykelle Kelley, 2015’s leading rusher, along with starting
quarterback Quentez Battle. The Eagles will be a team that
could be on either end of the standings in 2016 – they lost
a lot of talent but they also have key pieces remaining with
guys ready to step in.
SCHLEY COUNTY WILDCATS
2015 RECORD: 0-10
HEAD COACH: Darren Alford
THE PLAYERS: Daniel Reese (So., QB), Alec Harris (Jr., FB/
LB), Calvin Sims (Jr., RB), Tra Sampson (So., FB/DB), Jake
Hall (Sr., WR/DB), Dartavious Napper (So., WR/DB), Wade
Rodgers (So., OL/DL), Derric Tatum (Jr., LB).
THE WORD: The Wildcats were 0-10 in 2015. The program
was 6-4 in 2014. There isn’t a team in the state that shows
how fast things can change than the Wildcats as 2015
served as a complete reset button for the Wildcats. 2016
looks more promising as some young talent got valuable
experience in 2015 and is now ready to make the next
leap as a group. The Wildcats may not be ready for a state
championship bid, but there is a strong chance they could
grab a few wins and be in contention for a playoff berth.
Junior Alec Harris is an intriguing player to watch for the
Wildcats as he could be the leading rusher and be one of
the team’s leading tacklers on defense. Harris could be the
X-factor in deciding where the Wildcats end up in 2016.
ST. ANNE-PACELLI VIKINGS
2015 RECORD: 7-4
HEAD COACH: Alan Griffin
THE PLAYERS: Avery Ross (Sr., RB), Michael Herrera (Sr.,
LB), Tanner Hall (Sr., FB/LB), Daniel Mansfield (Sr., OL/DL),
Shane Hester (Jr., QB/DB).
THE WORD: The Vikings will be young in 2016. They will
have a quarterback competition to find a quarterback
and will be looking for someone to carry the load in the
backfield as they graduated most of their offensive production in 2015. Avery Ross could be the breakout player on
the offense as he is the most experienced of the players
on the offense returning. There are two candidates on the
roster for the quarterback position in junior Shane Hester
and sophomore Jacob Anderson, neither of which are very
experienced but bring different skill sets to the position.
The Vikings will be finding themselves in 2016 and it could
produce a year of teaching and growth.
TAYLOR COUNTY VIKINGS
2015 RECORD: 3-7
HEAD COACH: Mark Wilson
THE PLAYERS: Gunnar Watson (Jr., QB), Lyn-J Dixon (Jr.,
RB), Tre-ci Boyington (Jr., RB), Ashon Hayes (Sr., OL/DL),
Tyrese Brown (Sr., WR/DB), Tri-Kevion Hadley (Sr., DB).
THE WORD: The Vikings are a team poised to be a threat
every week as they have one of the better quarterbacks
in the region in Gunnar Watson. Watson has a grasp of
the pass game and command of this offense as a junior.
Watson does not turn the ball over much even as a young
quarterback and is protected by the luxury of having the
versatile Lyn-J Dixon in the backfield. Dixon is a threat when
handed or receiving the ball. Look for Tyrese Brown to be
more involved in the offense in 2016 as a wide receiver.
EAGLE’S LANDING CHRISTIAN ACADEMY CHARGERS
2015 RECORD: 11-3
HEAD COACH: Jonathan Gess
THE PLAYERS: Trevor Gear (Sr., RB/DB), Josh Mays (Jr.,
RB/DB), Sean Queen (Jr., WR), Khaleb Hood (Jr., DB),
Jonathan Youngblood (So., LB), Byron Terry (Sr., DB),
Harrison Taylor (Jr., DL).
THE WORD: The Chargers are coming off a state
championship in 2015 and are looking to repeat. However,
the Chargers lose their starting quarterback from last year.
The returners in the backfield such as senior Trevor Gear
and Josh Mays will be asked to take more of the load to
help ease the new quarterback’s transition. The Chargers,
despite trying to work in a new quarterback, should still
be a dangerous team and be considered a favorite to win
region 5-A. There is key talent throughout the roster and
head coach Jonathan Gess is still in charge of the program
that has built a winning culture.
HOLY INNOCENTS’ GOLDEN BEARS
2015 RECORD: 2-8-1
HEAD COACH: Ryan Livezey
THE PLAYERS: Ian Jones (Jr., QB/CB), Will Meshad (Sr.,
WR/CB), Edward Verdree (Jr., OL/DL), Craig Scott (So., OL/
DL), Mykell Tubbs (Sr., WR/LB).
THE WORD: The Golden Beard will look to grow into a
team that can compete for a playoff spot in 2016 and
beyond as they take the step down in classification for
this season. The Golden Bears struggled in AA in 2015,
but 2016 could prove to be a year in which the Golden
Bears improve their win total with some depth and talent
returning from last season’s team.
LANDMARK CHRISTIAN WAR EAGLES
2015 RECORD: 7-4
HEAD COACH: Wayne Brantley
THE PLAYERS: Joey Blount (Sr., WR/DB), Lofton Tidwell
(Sr., RB), Dylan Gabrielson (Sr., TE/DE), Al Hogan (Jr., OL),
Nicolas Toomer (So., WR), Kyle Ferguson (Sr., DB), Renzy
Wilkie (Jr., DE).
THE WORD: The War Eagles come into 2016 with lots of
returning talent and skill but will replacing their starting
quarterback, Stockton McGuire. The War Eagles could look
to sophomore Will Oliver to replace McQuire behind center.
The War Eagles will return explosive running back Lofton
Tidwell to take pressure off the young signal caller. 2016
could see the War Eagles repeat their 7-4 success of 2015
and see them advance further in the postseason with the
hope of having their young quarterback mature by the later
stages of the season.
MOUNT VERNON MUSTANGS
2015 RECORD: 4-6
HEAD COACH: Wayne Dabbs
THE PLAYERS: Ahmir Lee (Sr., RB), Marquez Bembry (Sr.,
WR/DE), Parker Corley (So., WR/LB), Tommy Stupek (Sr.,
OL/DL), Eric Harris (So., OL/DL), William White (Sr., OL/DL),
Ethan Magnum (Sr., QB).
THE WORD: The Mustang have veteran playmakers to lean
on in 2016 as leading rusher Amhir Lee returns along with
an offensive line packed with plenty lots of experience with
Tommy Stupek, Erick Harris and William White are ready to
open more holes for their senior running back. Ethan Magnum is a possible option to take over at quarterback as he
was all-purpose threat in 2015 as has played wide receiver
and running back. 2016 will see the Mustang improve, but
the region around them has gotten stronger as well.
OUR LADY OF MERCY BOBCATS
2015 RECORD: 4-6
HEAD COACH: Jamie Aull
THE PLAYERS: Trey Robinson (Sr., RB), Bryce Griffin (Sr.,
OL/LB), Jamari Adderley (Jr., RB), Jared Emerson (Jr., RB/
LB), Ike Chioke (Sr., OL/DL), James Morris (Sr., OL/DL),
Garrison Hand (Fr., QB), Lawrence Tillman (Sr., RB).
THE WORD: The Bobcats will be a solid team in the
trenches on both sides of the ball as they return lots of
experience and have some size with Ike Chioke and James
Morris returning along with senior Bryce Griffin who is also
a part of the Bobcats’ linebacker corp. The trench talent
that the Bobcats will return will give them a chance against
anyone, but they will be breaking in a young quarterback.
The Bobcats have multiple quarterbacks on their roster,
but 6-4 freshman Garrison Hand will be one to watch. Hand
could give the Bobcats a new dynamic at the quarterback
position. The Bobcats could get over the .500 hump in
2016 as a sleeper team.
STRONG ROCK PATRIOTS
2015 RECORD: 1-9
HEAD COACH: Tommy Webb
THE PLAYERS: Demetrius Knight (So., QB/RB/DB), Luke
Welborn (So., QB), Zach Hampton (So., RB), Drew Hudgins
(Sr., WR/DB), Nicholas Hassan (So., WR), Seth Thompson
(Sr., LB/P), Jackson Barton (Sr., WR/DB).
THE WORD: Tommy Webb played a lot of freshman in
2015 and he will begin seeing the benefits in 2016 as
those freshmen are now sophomores with a full season
of varsity football and off-season weight training and
conditioning under their belt. Strong Rock played two freshmen at quarterback with Demetrius Knight being the more
explosive of the two in leading the team in passing and
rushing. Luke Welborn also received valuable experience in
2015. Both will be counted on again in 2016. Sophomores
Zach Hampton and Nicholas Hassan will be asked to jolt
the running game and the passing game, respectively, in
their second seasons.
2015 RECORD: 9-3
HEAD COACH: Franklin Pridgen
THE PLAYERS: Banks Ramsey (Jr., QB), George Bielan
(Jr., RB), Harrison Cook (Sr., WR/DB), Adom Moon (Sr., FB/
DB), John Morris (Sr., TE/LB), Ryan Weed (Sr., RB/LB), Sam
Gollich (Sr., OL/DL), Mitchell Robinson (Sr., LB ).
THE WORD: The Wolves come into 2016 as a veteran
team looking to challenge ECLA for the region title after
moving down from AA. The Wolves got solid quarterback
play in 2015 from then sophomore Bankes Ramsey
who will be behind center again with his second leading
receiver Harrison Cook and second leading rusher George
Bielan returning to take some of the pressure off of him.
Ramsey will have Sam Gollich to protect him again as well.
Throughout the roster there are juniors and seniors with
experience and after watching their new regional rival ECLA
win the state championship, the Wolves should only be
hungrier. Experience, talent and depth will give the Wolves
a shot at upending the Chargers.
Region 6, Division A
BOWDON RED DEVILS
2015 RECORD: 6-6
HEAD COACH: Robert Andrews
THE PLAYERS: Aaron Beasley (So., RB/DB), Carson
Parmer (Sr., QB), Tay Sheppard (Sr., RB/DB), Devin Rogers
(Sr., OL/DL), Jason Meherg (Sr., LB), Ty Wyatt (Jr., DB).
THE WORD: The Red Devils return an electric tandem
at the running back position that will most likely ride all
the way into the postseason again in 2016. Senior Tay
Sheppard and sophomore Aaron Beasley return as dual
running backs. Sheppard gives the Red Devils the big
explosive plays in the running game and the return game.
Beasley provides power as well as giving the Red Devils a
intimidator on the back end of their defense. Beasley may
be one of the top defensive players in 6-A in 2016 after
being one of the better players on the Red Devils’ roster
in 2015 as a freshman. This duo will put the Red Devils in
position to see postseason play again in 2016 and compile
a plus .500 record.
CHRISTIAN HERITAGE LIONS
2015 RECORD: 6-6
HEAD COACH: Jay Poag
THE PLAYERS: Wesley Hagan (Sr., WR/DB), Patterson
Beene (Sr., DB), Zach Gentry (So., RB/DB), Brandon Poag
(Sr., QB), Evan Acres (Sr., OL/DL), Kha Mai (Sr., WR/DB).
THE WORD: The Lions made a playoff appearance in 2015
and will be in contention to repeat that success in 2016.
The Lions have some returning talent, but will also be a very
different team. The quarterback position will be a question
mark for the Lions as Brandon Poag is the most veteran of
the group and could get the nod. The Lions also will return
playmaking safety Patterson Beene to give the defense
turnovers and take pressure off the inexperienced offense.
Look for the Lions to be one of those teams fighting for the
last few playoff spots at the end of the season.
2015 RECORD: 10-2
HEAD COACH: Thomas Atha
THE PLAYERS: Mason Tant (Sr., QB/DB), Tijia Whatley
(Jr., RB/DB), Elijah Mckoy (Sr., RB/DB), Nile Houser (Sr.,
DB), Skyler Sledge (Sr., LB), Burt Tidwell (Sr., DL), Griffin
Brewster (Fr., QB).
THE WORD: Coming off a strong 2015 the Tigers look to
replace their starting quarterback in 2016. The Tigers may
first look to senior Mason Tant as a candidate. Tant is also
a playmaking safety for the Tigers but has the ability to turn
into a dual-threat for the Tigers. A player to watch will be
incoming freshman Griffin Brewster. He may not be under
center early in the season, but Brewster could get some
meaningful snaps in his freshman season. Brewster would
also be a more traditional quarterback for the Tigers. The
Tigers will lean on the numerous upperclassmen to make
another playoff appearance. The Tigers will first need to
get the quarterback position settled before taking the next
step and contending for a state title.
GORDON LEE TROJANS
2015 RECORD: 4-6
HEAD COACH: Greg Ellis
THE PLAYERS: Drew Cobb (Sr., RB/DB), Braden Jarvis (Jr.,
RB), Jared Spradlin (Jr., OL), Carson Akins (Sr., OL), Caleb
Vines (Jr., OL), Wesley Walker (Sr., WR/DB), Harrison Moore
(Jr., LB), Jarrett Lassetter (Jr., K).
THE WORD: The Trojans enter year two of the Greg Ellis
era and make the switch down to single A after competing
in AA. The Trojans lose their top two quarterbacks and
their top two rushers. The Trojans will be leaning on senior
Drew Cobb and junior Braden Jarvis to give the running
game some juice. Cobb and Jarvis will have a veteran
group of offensive linemen in front of them with the return
of Celeb Vines, Carson Akins and Jared Spradlin. 2016
will be an intriguing season for the Trojans as the team
finds themselves in a new region. The Trojans could be a
sleeping giant in region 6-A.
MOUNT ZION EAGLES (CARROLL)
2015 RECORD: 8-4
HEAD COACH: Keith Holloway
THE PLAYERS: Jordin Akin (Sr., QB), Jace Jordan (Sr., RB/
DB), Richard Farley (Sr., FB/LB), Carlos Ackles (Jr., WR/DB),
Kareem Walker (Jr., SB/LB), Cole Helton (Jr., LB), Jonathan
Strozier (Sr., OL).
THE WORD: The Eagles will boast a three-headed monster
in their backfield and will feature one of the region’s best
running backs in Jace Jordan. The Eagles full back Richard
Farley returns as the hammer to Jordan’s speed and junior
Kareem Walker is the sparkle who is known to be a big play
waiting to happen. The Eagles will return their signal caller
Jordin Akin to make the offense go. The Eagles will compete
with Darlington for the region crown and should be one of
the favorites to be a breakout team.
NORTH COBB CHRISTIAN EAGLES
2015 RECORD: 6-4
HEAD COACH: Jake Sorg
THE PLAYERS: Reese Parker (Sr., OL/LB), Chase Tolar (Sr.,
OL/DL), Mark Watson (Sr., DB), Santino Corpora (Sr., FB),
Timothy Walker (So., RB), Hunter Titus (Sr., LB), Reily Martin
THE WORD: The Eagles will come into 2016 with a veteran
team and look to push their way into the postseason after
enjoying a winning season in 2015. The Eagles will be
looking for a quarterback but return players at plenty of key
spots on the field. Reese Parker is a big time player for the
Eagles as he is a key piece of the offensive line as he mans
one of the tackle positions for the Eagles. On the defensive
side of the ball he provides the team with solid tackling and
pass rush from his middle linebacker spot and also makes
the defensive calls. The Eagles will look for Parker to open
holes for Timothy Walker and Santino Corpora in the game
as they hope to carry more of the load in 2016.
2015 RECORD: 8-4
HEAD COACH: Justin Brown
THE PLAYERS: Jarrett Pierce (Sr., RB/DB), Jarrett Gill
(Jr., QB), Logan Blevins (Jr., LB/FB), Evan Walker (Sr., DB),
Tanner Railey (Jr., WR), JJ Jennings (Sr., LB).
THE WORD: The Bulldogs graduated 15 players from the
2015 team. In 2016 they will have an all new offensive
line and a new receiving corps. The Bulldogs will have
their quarterback and leader Jarrett Gill back under center
after a big 2015 season. Gill will need to be a bigger part