RB Eric Swinney Sandy Creek
RB Mikell Lands-Davis Alexander
RB Shannon Brooks Pickins
WR Trey Gillis Griffin
WR Christian Owens Griffin
WR Keyston Fuller Griffin
OL Mitch Mathes Troup
OL Deandre Howard Shaw
OL Coey Gates Whitewater
OL Ben Cleveland Stephens County
OL Chandler Tuitt Sandy Creek
DL Trenton Thompson Westover
DL Titus Davis Stockbridge
DL Kenneth Brinson Marist
DL Austin Bryant Thomas Co. Central
LB Austin Cole Gilmer
LB Ian Hayes Ridgeland
DB Richard LeCounte Liberty County
DB Aaron Williams Carver (Atlanta)
DB Eder Mora Dalton
DB Steve Covington Whitewater
DB Josh Alexander Whitewater
WON AND DONE
Steve DeVoursney maintained a near-dynasty during his 13-year
run as the head coach at Griffin.
Wins, region titles and players going on to play in college — the
Bears did it all.
Except, that is, capture the state title. That finally happened
in 2013, the icing on the cake for DeVoursney’s tenure. Griffin
achieved a perfect season and set records in the final game as the
Bears defeated traditional power Carrollton 56-35.
What should have followed was an offseason of celebration.
Instead, it all was over. DeVoursney and his wife, a teacher at
the school, resigned amid allegations of recruiting and providing
improper academic help.
It was a shocking end to one of the best coaching stints in recent
history. Expect Griffin to carry on, as the talent and culture of winning should remain.
Coach Jarrett Laws enters after five seasons at Drew. Adding in two
seasons in charge of Mt. Zion (Jonesboro) Laws has a 31-39 career mark.
He’s got all the ingredients for success. But it will be strange to
see the Bears guided by anybody other DeVoursney.
BUCKET LIST ITEM: THE FISH BOWL
A good football rivalry needs two successful programs, a little
bit of disdain or hate — and it never hurts to have a unique name.
Marist vs. St. Pius has all that and then some. The Fish Bowl is one
of the state’s best rivalries and it’s only getting better. Marist dominated this one for a long time, but the Lions have won the last two.
This rivalry also features two of the most respected coaches in
the state. Marist’s Alan Chadwick has been in charge since 1985,
posting a 322-58 record. On the other sideline, Paul Standard has
guided the Lions for 11 season, with a 117-41 mark to his credit.
Marist and St. Pius meet again on Oct. 10.
RIVALRY ON THE RISE: LIBERTY COUNTY-WAYNE COUNTY
Wayne County has dominated region rival Liberty County if you
go strictly by wins and losses, now with four straight wins in the
series. But football games aren’t black and white.
Check out the scores of the last four meetings between the two
Region Three schools: 34-26, 14-13, 21-20 and 14-6.
Twice Wayne County has escaped with a one-point win. The others went down to the wire as well. For two schools located 31 miles
apart, success is expected. And they’ll have to go through each
other to win the region.
CAN’T MISS OUT-OF-CONFERENCE CONTEST:
THOMAS COUNTY CENTRAL AT VALDOSTA
Two of the most storied programs in the South, Thomas County
Central travels to Valdosta, the winningest program in the country,
on Aug. 29.
The teams played a season ago, with the Wildcats from 6A-
Region One coming out on top 28-24. The Yellow Jackets can get
revenge this season at the famous Bazemore-Hyder Stadium.
For two teams with 29 combined state championships ( 24 for
Valdosta, five for Thomas Co. Central), there’s a lot of respect and
tradition on the line.
TOP 10 TEAMS
2. Sandy Creek
8. Thomas County Central
PROGRAM TO WATCH:
PLAYER TO WATCH:
DL Trenton Thompson, Westover
BEST FRIDAY NIGHT
Jackets’ Nest, Thomas County Central
PHO TO B Y DEAN LEGGE
Steve DeVoursney finally won the state title in 2013 in his final season as Griffin head coach.