2013 RECORD: 6-5
THE COACH: Brad Dehem
THE PLAYERS: Jay Roberts (Soph., QB)
THE WORD: A tough September gave way to a 4-2 finish for the
Cougars. Brookstone fought it’s way into the playoffs, but was
destroyed 51-0 at Prince Avenue Christian. It was the third season in a row the Cougars qualified for the playoffs, but didn’t
register a win. Brookstone hasn’t won a playoff game since
2008. In 2014, the Cougars will depend on young Jay Roberts,
a sophomore quarterback who was an all-region selection last
year. His solid play should lead to better production for an offense that got rolling at the end of 2013.
2013 RECORD: 0-10
THE COACH: Robert Jones
THE WORD: Central hasn’t had a winning season since 1994.
They haven’t won a game in the last two years. It has been a
difficult time to be a Hawk over the last two decades. Things
might not get much easier this fall as the Hawks play on the
road for more than half of their games. Central hasn’t won an
away game since their 40-34 win over Brookstone in 2011.
DOOLY COUNTY BOBCATS
2013 RECORD: 8-4
THE COACH: Jimmy Hughes
THE PLAYERS: Demetrius Boone (Sr., OL), Isai Cornejo (Sr., K)
THE WORD: Jimmy Hughes lost all-star Montravius Adams
last fall, but still managed to get to the Class A Public School
Playoffs Quarterfinals. The Bobcats lost 24-21 at Marion
County – unable to avenge their only region loss, which also
came at Marion County, but the final score was 27-25. This
fall Marion County comes to The Grove and will face Dooly
County on September 12th in the first region game of the
year. The winner of the game will be considered one of the
favorites in 4-A.
2013 RECORD: 1-9
THE COACH: Roger McDonald
THE PLAYERS: Kenzavier Tenny (Sr., DB), Mikhail Snelling (Sr.,
DB), Xavier Slaton (Sr., DB), Jamal McKee (Sr., DB), Elijah
Amie (Sr., RB), Anthony Ayers (Sr., DL), Jamal Mayner (Sr., DL)
THE WORD: Last year’s 1-9 season was the worst of the Roger
McDonald era at Greenville. After taking over for longtime
loved coach Jeremy Williams, McDonald had the Patriots in
the playoffs each year of his tenure. But in 2013 the bottom
fell out. It was the first one-win season in Greenville since
2002 – Williams’ first year. This fall the schedule is full of
region games, but the opener is a non-region fight at AAA
Haralson County on August 29th.
HAWKINSVILLE RED DEVILS
2013 RECORD: 9-4
THE COACH: David Daniell
THE PLAYERS: Phillip Thompson (Sr., QB/DB), SeQuan Lawson
(Sr., WR/DB), Cal George (Sr., WR/DB), Dakota Sloan (Sr.,
QB/DB), Malik Holliman (Sr., DB), Tyrone Wright (Sr., RB/LB),
Gernert Tyler (Sr., WR), Tyler Niebrand (Sr., WR/DB), EJ Single-tary (Sr., WR), Devin Adams (Sr., DL), Brett Kilgore (Sr., OL)
THE WORD: The fans at Bobby Gentry Stadium were pleased
with the turnaround of 2013. After back-to-back season of
4-6 football, the Hawkinsville Red Devils were back on the
winning side of the scoreboard and back in the playoffs. The
Red Devils’ turnaround season ended with a Class A Public
School Playoffs loss at region foe Marion County. That game
was totally different than the 14-10 win Hawkinsville had
on November 1st last year. In the playoffs Marion County
slashed their way to a 40-7 win on the way to the state title.
Hawkinsville travels to Buena Vista on October 17th and
host Dooly County the week before. Those two games will
determine the season for the Red Devils.
MARION COUNTY EAGLES
2013 RECORD: 13-1
THE COACH: Mike Swaney
THE PLAYERS: Johnny Royal (Sr., RB), Lorenzo Smothers (Jr.,
DB), Tray Smith (Sr., OL), Cameron Cox (Jr., DL), Derrick Lawrence (Sr., WR), Dustin Eckert (Sr., QB), Marquis Thomas (Sr.,
DB), Jatavious Brown (Jr., LB)
THE WORD: Marion County has played football since only 2006,
but they’ve done a great job of starting a program from scratch.
But the program took off when coach Mike Swaney arrived in
2010. In the last four seasons the Eagles have won 43 games,
three region titles and celebrated its first state title last fall.
Marion County dropped only one game last season, but got
revenge on Hawkinsville with a 40-7 beating in the Class A
Public State Playoffs Semifinals. The Eagles then held Charlton
County to a field goal during the 12-3 win in the title game.
This fall the Eagles hope to continue breaking scoring records
with senior running back Johnny Royal, who helped the Eagles
power to 32 points a game on offense. Region games against
Hawkinsville and Dooly County will be the Eagles’ toughest
tests on the schedule.
2013 RECORD: 7-4
THE COACH: Randy Grace
THE PLAYERS: Chris Rehak (Sr., OL), KeAndre Ashley (Sr., RB),
Thomas Russell (Sr., LB), Cade Pepper (Sr., OL), Marcous
Herrer (Sr., DL), DeAndre Bowman (Jr., RB), Mikal Marble
(Jr., DB), Luke Dawahare (Sr., DB), Ben Davis (Jr., DL), Trey
Sudberry (Jr., QB), Triston Wells (Jr., DB), Walter Meeks (Sr.,
DL), Kevin Jacobs (Sr., K)< Michael Herrera (Soph., LB), Avery Ross (Soph., RB), Johnny Jacobs (Soph., WR)
THE WORD: The Vikings got off to a great start in 2013. At 5-0,
Pacelli seemed like a real contender. Then they ran into Marion
County ( 28-14 loss), Dooly County ( 55-28 loss) and Hawkinsville ( 21-14 loss). The Vikings seemed like the fourth-best team
in perhaps the best Class A region in the state. So they entered
the Class A Private School Playoffs and took their worst loss of
the year – a 40-7 drubbing at Mt. Pisgah. So to toughen up for
the playoffs coach Randy Grace has scheduled a road game at
11-1 Seminole County. Last year’s 7-4 season was the culmination of winning for a program that went 2-8, 0-10 and 1-9 from
2009-11. The turnaround has happen. Now the question is if
the Vikings can make the move in the playoffs.
SCHLEY COUNTY WILDCATS
2013 RECORD: 2-8
THE COACH: Josh Kemp
THE PLAYERS: Tra Minter (Sr., RB), Kapris Battle (Sr., LB)
THE WORD: Wildcat Stadium is itching for improvement.
After back-to-back 2-8 seasons Josh Kemp’s Schley County
Wildcats will depend on Tra Minter, a senior running back,
and Kapris Battle, a senior linebacker, to get them back on
the right side of the scoreboard. Schley County will have to
improve on offense. The Wildcats only scored 30 points or
more t wice last year. The defense has room for improvement
as well – it allowed 31 points a game last year.
TAYLOR COUNT Y VIKINGS
2013 RECORD: 6-5
THE COACH: Chris Kirksey
THE PLAYERS: Jay Bloodser (Sr., DB), Austin Sapp (Sr., WR/
DB), Kelby Monts (Sr., DB), James Whiteman (Sr., QB), Rob
Fowler (Sr., TE), Austin Dykes (Sr., OL)
THE WORD: If nothing else, Taylor County is consistent. The
Vikings have turned in seasons of 6-4, 5-5, 6-4, 5-5 and
6-5 since 2009 — hovering around .500 means there’s
room to go up or down. Coach Chris Kirksey has been at
the helm since 2004 and would like to make another trip
to the playoffs in 2014.
EAGLE’S LANDING CHRISTIAN
2013 RECORD: 11-1
THE COACH: Jonathan Gess
THE PLAYERS: Nick Dawson (Sr., DL), Chandler Reeves (Jr., OL)
THE WORD: Jonathan Gess has created a monster program.
In the last four seasons the Chargers have lost only five
games. The most painful loss, perhaps, in that time was the
one-point loss to Calvary Day in last year’s Class A Private
School Semifinals. The 35-34 decision at home cost Eagle’s
Landing Christian a shot at back-to-back state titles. Getting
back to the playoffs seems like a formality for the Chargers,
but just in case Gess has scheduled three larger schools to
play – including AAAAA Whitewater, who got to the playoffs
last season themselves. Seniors Nick Dawson and junior
Chandler Reeves give Eagle’s Landing Christian two of the
better linemen in the region. A state title is certainly not out
of the question for the Chargers this fall.
LANDMARK CHRISTIAN WAR
2013 RECORD: 8-3
THE COACH: Wayne Brantley
THE PLAYERS: Stockton McGuire (Jr., QB), Sam Dobbs (Sr., ATH)
THE WORD: Landmark Christian had become a playoff staple
in the last few years. Wayne Brantley, the coach for the last
two years at the Fairburn school, has managed to have
tremendous success in a short amount of time. Players like
junior quarterback Stockton McGuire and senior Sam Dobbs
certainly help make Brantley’s job a lot easier. In 2014,
Landmark Christian will try to get back to the playoffs with
a schedule that includes Eagle’s Landing Christian, Central
of Carrollton (AAA), Rockmart (AAA) and Lithia Springs
(AAAAA). The strength of schedule is there – the War Eagles
just have to do their part and win.
MT. VERNON MUSTANGS
2013 RECORD: 1-9
THE COACH: Ryan Zimmerman
THE PLAYERS: Sam Harris (Sr., WR/DB), Gareth Tremege (Sr.,
RB), William Pahl (Sr., OL), Jon Walsh (Sr., WR)
THE WORD: First-year coach Ryan Zimmerman had a tough
2013. The Mustangs won only once – a 22-2 win over lowly
Cross Keys – and went scoreless in four game last fall. This
year Mt. Vernon will try to get going with a pre-conference
schedule that’s a little more forgiving. Cross Keys returns
to the schedule. Also on the slate is Wheeler County ( 3-7
in 2013), Towns County ( 4-6 in 2013), Hebron Christian
Academy ( 2-8 in 2013) and Crawford County (0-10 in 2013).
Perhaps wins in the non-region can the Mt. Vernon ready for
a challenging region schedule later in the fall.
OUR LADY OF MERCY BOBCATS
2013 RECORD: 5-6
THE COACH: Mike Earwood
THE PLAYERS: Jervon Kyles (Sr., RB/DB), Matthew Silien
(Sr., WR), Jameson Vest (Sr., QB), Keagan Jordan (Sr., LB),
Kareem Mincey (Sr., DB)
THE WORD: Our Lady of Mercy has gone to the playoffs the
last two years. That’s a pretty good job for a school that you
don’t immediately think about in terms of football. Still, Mike
Ear wood and the Bobcats haven’t won a playoff game in school
history, so that’s the goal this fall. One has to acknowledge that
the only way to win a playoff game is to get into the playoffs, so
the foundation for Our Lady of Mercy seems to be there. But the
put to a win is something they are still working on. The Bobcats
will visit defending state champs Aquinas on September 12th.
Games with Haralson County (AAA) and Lumpkin county (AAAA)
will also get them ready for region play and the playoffs that
await at the end of the year.
STRONG ROCK CHRISTIAN
2013 RECORD: 3-7
THE COACH: Mark Miller
THE PLA YERS: Torey McKissick (Sr., WR/DB), Zach Jones (Sr.,
RB), Ryan Butterfield (Sr., QB), Hunter Myers (Sr., DB/RB),
Nick Folds (Sr., WR), Connor Maddox (Sr., LB)
THE WORD: Mark Miller enters his fourth season at Strong
Rock Christian looking to jump above the .500 mark for
the first time in program history. The Patriots have only
been playing football since 2007, but have gone through a
coaching change and shifted regions in that time. It feels
like Strong Rock Christian is still getting its legs under itself.
This fall the Patriots will face a couple bigger schools in non-region play in order to get ready for the fall.
CHRISTIAN HERITAGE LIONS
2013 RECORD: 8-3
THE COACH: Preston Poag
THE PLAYERS: Ian Robbins (Sr., DB), Hershel Beene (Sr., OL),
Evan Townsend (Sr., LB), Spencer Burdette (Sr., OL), Collin
Calhoun (Sr., OL), Logan Gazaway (Sr., OL), Noah Holsom-back (Sr., OL), Logan Mashburn (Sr., OL)
THE WORD: Year Three saw Dalton’s Christian Heritage surge to
an 8-3 record and a spot in the Class A Private School Playoffs.
Getting to the playoffs that quick for a program that started
in 2010 is pretty impressive. Coach Preston Poag’s team only
lost twice in the regular season – by a combined 11 points.
Most of the Lions’ wins were convincing last season, but the
season finale win at Fellowship Christian in overtime was probably the win of the year. Region champ Darlington, the only loss
in region play for the Lions, has moved up to AA. It seems the
region is there for the taking for the Lions.
2013 RECORD: 5-5
THE COACH: Al Morrell
THE WORD: For all but one season in Fellowship Heritage’s
football existence they have struggled to win on the gridiron.
So last year’s 5-5 record wasn’t that bad considering the history of the Paladins. Things are looking even better for 2014.
This Fellowship Heritage team will try to get going by playing six
home games out of seven from August 29th to October 24th.
Perhaps the Paladins can use the home crowd to push them
over the five-win mark. That hasn’t happened since 2007 when
Fellowship Heritage was 11-2 and region champs.
KING’S RIDGE TIGERS
2013 RECORD: 4-6
THE COACH: Jeff Pickren
THE PLAYERS: Penny Hart (Sr., WR), Bowen Magill (Sr., LB),
Austyn Hennings (Sr., WR), Henry Jones (Sr., QB), Remy
Lazarus (Sr., WR)
THE WORD: Jeff Pickren’s Tigers enter their seventh season
as a program looking to finally make the jump into being a
winning team. They’ve narrowly missed out on that the last
few years, but struggled to score from week two to week six
and lost four games in a row. Also, the Tigers have struggled
on defense at times. They allowed more than 31 points four
times last year… three times in a row in games against Pace,
Darlington and Mt. Paran. The schedule this season will be
largely the same as last.
MOUNT PARAN CHRISTIAN EAGLES
2013 RECORD: 9-3
THE COACH: Mitch Jordan
THE PLAYERS: Michael Adams (Sr., DB), Dorian Walker (Sr.,
RB), Allen Cater (Sr., DL), Emoni Williams (Sr., ATH), Jake
Allen (Sr., QB), Nick Sbravati (Sr., LB), Taylor Trammell (Jr.,
RB), Jack Rowan (Sr., WR), Graham Massey (Sr., DB), Reed
Massey (Sr., DB), Nolan Sullivan (Sr., LB), Aaron Cooper (Sr.,
LB) Patrick Lee (Sr., OL/DL)
THE WORD: Mitch Jordan has taken Mt. Paran Christian from a
2-7 first-year program in 2007 to a 9-3 playoff team in 2013.
That’s a pretty impressive move up the standings. The Eagles
lost a heartbreaker at eventual state champs Aquinas in the
quarterfinals of the Class A Private School Playoffs last fall. The
35-32 loss summed up each defeat the Eagles had last fall –
tight losses against playoff teams. Mt. Paran Christian seems
poised to make a playoff push again this fall. The Eagles play
a competitive non-region schedule that includes a home date
with AAAA North Clayton.
MT. PISGAH CHRISTIAN PATRIOTS
2013 RECORD: 12-1
THE COACH: Mike Forester
THE PLAYERS: Nick Piccapietra (Sr., LB), John O’Connor (Sr.,
LB), Ben Miller (Sr., RB), Blake Smith (Sr., DL)
THE WORD: The only complaint about coach Mike Forester’s
first year at Mt. Pisgah Christian school is that the Patriots
didn’t win the state title, but they came painfully close.