2017 Football Preview

sports preview

Arabia Mountain Rams

Head coach: Stanley Pritchett (5th season)

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 9-3 (Playoffs)

Outlook: The Rams are coming off a season during which they won their first region title and had their first playoff appearance. The team aspires to have a second consecutive playoff appearance, but will have to do so with a young defense. Eight of the team’s top 10 tacklers graduated, and coach Pritchett and his staff will depend on the young players to fill the void.


Cedar Grove Saints

Head coach: Jermaine Smith (5th season)

Region: 5-AAA

2016 record: 13-2 (Playoffs)

Outlook: The 2016 Class AAA state champions will have a larger target on their back this season, but the team has enough talent to live up to the challenge. The Saints have their top wide receiverJadon Haselwood returning, as well as playmaker Israel Spivey. They also added former Redan quarterback Xavier Dennis. The Saints will be young on defense but have a couple of their top defensive players returning in linebacker Isaiah Ratcliff and defensive end Roderic Forts.


Chamblee Bulldogs

Head coach: Curtis Mattair (2nd season)

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 2-8

Outlook: The Bulldogs struggled to win during coach Mattair’s first year as head coach, but hope to turn things around in 2017. Assistant coach Brandon Rhodes said the team worked hard in the spring and summer to improve and hopes the results show on the field. The Bulldogs will look to quarterback Stuart Steel to lead the team this season.


Clarkston Angoras

Head coach: Terrence Hughey (4th season)

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 1-9

Outlook: Clarkston has struggled to win more than one game under fourth-year head coach Terrence Hughey. Clarkston has not had a winning season since going 5-5 in 2012. Returning starting quarterback Foday Tarawally will have an opportunity to lead the Angoras to its first winning record in his last season at Clarkston.


Columbia Eagles

Head coach: Brian Montgomery (1st season)

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 2-8

Outlook: Last season, the Eagles had their first losing season in six years. Enters new coach Brian Montgomery, who will try to get the Eagles back on the right side of .500. Columbia will have its leading rusher back in Thaddeus Easley, who rushed for 777 yards and scored three touchdowns last season.


Cross Keys Indians

Head coach: Mark Adams (2nd season)

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 1-5

Outlook: Only three players from the 2016 Indians team graduated, which means Cross Keys has majority of its team returning. Coach Adams said the team had 30 players to participate in summer workouts, and he hopes to get up to 40 players for the first time in a while by the first game. One of the returning players is three-time starter Hau Vo, who recorded 20 tackles last season.


Decatur Bulldogs

Head coach: Cody Cory (1st season)

Region: 6-AAAAA

2016 record: 1-9

Outlook: With a new coach and an expected 16 seniors on the roster, the Bulldogs hope to bounce back after a rough season in a new region. Some of the experienced players returning include wide receiver/safety Coby Webb, wide receiver Christian Haddock, quarterback Brayton Reed and linebacker/fullback Jermaine Harkness.


Druid Hills Red Devils

Head coach: Myron Burton (2nd season)

Region: 4-AAAA

2016 record: 4-6

Outlook: The Red Devils are in rebuilding mode this season after graduating a majority of the starters from last season. They will have their leading tackler back in defensive lineman Xavier Perkins, who recorded 72 tackles last season. One of their sack leaders, linebacker Tyrique Robinson, will also be back.


Dunwoody Wildcats

Head coach: Michael Nash (3rd season)

Region: 7-AAAAAA

2016 record: 2-8

Outlook: The 2016 Wildcats started the season 2-1, but lost seven consecutive games once they entered region-play in their first season in Class AAAAAA. With a year under their belt in the Region 7-AAAAAA and a few playmakers returning—leading receiver Turner Nims, leading rusher Josh Hudgins and leading tackler Jack Oliverthe Wildcats should win a region game or two this season.


Lakeside Vikings

Head coach: Cam Jones (2nd season)

Region: 7-AAAAAAA

2016 record: 5-5

Outlook: Lakeside started the season 4-1 under first-year head coach Cam Jones, but struggled when they faced more region opponents in the second half of the season. The Vikings hope to have better results this season with a more experienced team with several top players returning, including quarterback Matthew Holt, running back Max Guggenos, wide receiver Damonte Pressley and linebackers Miles Miccichi and Matthew Watkins.


Lithonia Bulldogs

Head coach: David Edwards (1st season)

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 5-6 (playoffs)

Outlook: After five seasons of leading the Columbia Eagles, David Edwards is now at Lithonia and expects to improve a team that made the playoffs last season. The Bulldogs graduated many starters from last year’s team, but have enough talented players to step in to make another run to the playoffs. Those players include quarterback Tareq Shaw, running back Rayshad Baldwin and defensive end Tre’ Wilkins.


Marist War Eagles

Head coach: Alan Chadwick (33rd season)

Region: 7-AAAA

2016 record: 7-4 (Playoffs)

Outlook: Alan Chadwick, the longest tenure high school football coach, is entering his 33rd year as head coach. Last season ended with a disappointing overtime loss in the first round of the playoffs, but with a large senior class this year, Chadwick and the War Eagles are ready to show that they can compete with the best in Class AAAA. Marist will have a few playmakers to lead the team this year, including quarterback Chase Abshier, tight ends John Fitzpatrick and Middleton Parker, linebacker Paul Stanley and cornerback Dean Johnson.


M.L. King Lions

Head coach: Deante Lamar (1st season)

Region: 4-AAAAAA

2016 record: 2-8

Outlook: The Lions had their worst record in the program’s 14-year history in varsity play in 2016. Former Lithonia assistant coach Deante Lamar hopes to rebuild the program and get M.L. King back to its winning ways in his first season as head coach. The Lions will have a few returning starters to help with the rebuild—including running back/linebacker Jaelon Thomas, wide receiver/safety Antonio Fletcher and defensive/offensive lineman De’Marque Johnson.


McNair Mustangs

Head coach: Shelton Carleton (5th season)

Region: 5-AAA

2016 record: 3-7

Outlook: The Mustangs have struggled to reach five wins in Shelton Carleton’s tenure, but Carleton said his team is looking to get over .500 and possibly a playoff spot. The Mustangs will depend on a large junior class to lead the way, which features quarterback Jayden Wooden, receivers/cornerbacks Darius George and Jalen Brown and cornerbacks Kyron Fisher and Dontavious Brewer.


Miller Grove Wolverines

Head coach: Justin Larmond (2nd season)

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 4-7 (Playoffs)

Outlook: The Wolverines made the playoffs for the first time in program history, despite having a losing record in coach Larmond’s first season. Miller Grove is expected to have a talented defense this season, led by defensive end Caleb Tannor and cornerbacks Jalen Williams and Brandon Booker.


Redan Raiders

Head coach: Roderick Moore (4th season)

Region: 5-AAA

2016 record: 3-7

Outlook: The Raiders are hoping to have their first winning season under fourth-year head coach Roderick Moore. Moore said the coaching staff made changes to the offensive and defensive schemes that they hope the players will execute well enough to win more games. The Raiders will depend on several two-way players this season—including Nehemiah Adams, Kareem Bennett, DeAnthony Colbert, Jachob Collins and Kendic Matthew.


St. Pius Golden Lions

Head coach: Paul Standard (17th season)

Region: 8-AAAA

2016 Record: 2-9 (Playoffs)

Outlook: The Golden Lions had its first losing season during coach Standard’s 16-year tenure due to youth, injuries and other adversities. Standard said he expects his players to use last season’s disappointment to fuel them this season. Ben White, who was one of the injured players, is expected to lead the offense at quarterback for the Lions, but returning starting quarterback Connor Egan will also compete for QB playing time and will also line up at wide receiver and cornerback.


Southwest DeKalb Panthers

Head coach: Damien Wimes

Region: 5-AAAAA

2016 record: 6-5 (Playoffs)

Outlook: The Panthers overcame the tragic loss of their coach, Michael Tanks, to finish the regular season with a 6-4 record and advance to the playoffs, where they lost in the first round. With a new, but experienced, coach (Damien Wimes), an experienced quarterback (Justin Tomlin) and the team’s leading tackler (Eris Walker) back, Southwest DeKalb is poised to win its first region title since 2009.


Stephenson Jaguars

Head coach: Ron Gartrell (22nd season)

Region: 4-AAAAAA

2016 record:  8-5 (Playoffs)

Outlook: The Jaguars made a surprising run in the playoffs—to the third round—last season with many young players contributing. Those players are back this season and Stephenson is expected to be in the mix again for a region title and another postseason run.


Stone Mountain Pirates

Head coach: James Collier (1st season)

Region: 5-AAA

2016 record: 1-9

Outlook: Stone Mountain has only won one game in the past three seasons, with the one win coming last season. New head coach James Collier will have a tough task on his hands transforming the Pirates into a winning program. He has a few top defensive players returning from last year’s team, including leading tackler Max St. Juste, Lorenzo Weaver and Mason Litt.


Towers Titans

Head coach: Robert Tigner (1st season)

Region: 5-AAA

2016 record: 1-9

Outlook: After going 5-5 in 2013, the Titians had three consecutive losing seasons with a total record of 5-25. Robert Tigner is the third head coach in five seasons and hopes to get the team back to .500. They have a couple of offensive starters returning, including quarterback Terry Dennis and wide receiver David Mangino.


Tucker Tigers

Head coach: Bryan Lamar (6th season)

Region: 4-AAAAAA

2016 record: 13-2 (Playoffs)

Outlook: Tucker had a disappointing end to the 2016 season with a loss in the state championship game. The Tigers are hungry to get back to the big game, but have a different result. They have the talent to do so with players such as wide receiver/punt returner Josh Vann, offensive tackle Dylan Wonnum, running back Taurean Taylor, linebacker Tre Leslie and linebacker Michael Harris, who transferred from Lovejoy.


Record predictions

Below are Carla Parker’s record predictions for DeKalb County football teams.


Region 7-AAAAAAA

School                              Region     Overall

Lakeside                             2-4           6-5


Region 4-AAAAAA

School                              Region           Overall

Tucker                                 7-0                 9-1

Stephenson                        6-1                 7-3

M.L. King                             2-5                 2-8


Region 7-AAAAAA

School                               Region             Overall

Dunwoody                           2-6                   3-7


Region 5-AAAAA

School                                  Region          Overall

SW DeKalb                            5-0                  7-3

Arabia Mountain                 4-1                  7-3

Miller Grove                         3-2                  6-4

Chamblee                             2-3                   5-5

Lithonia                                 1-4                  2-8

Columbia                              0-5                   3-7

Clarkston*                            0-0                   1-9

Cross Keys*                          0-0                   1-5



Region 6-AAAAA               Region            Overall

Decatur                                 3-4                     3-7


Region 4-AAAA

School                                   Region           Overall

Druid Hills                               3-3                  4-6



School                                    Region           Overall

Marist                                     3-1                   7-3


Region 8-AAAA               

School                                   Region             Overall

St. Pius X                                 5-0                   6-4


Region 5-AAA

School                                     Region            Overall

Cedar Grove                             4-2                  8-2

Redan                                        3-4                  4-6

McNair                                      2-5                   4-6

Towers                                      1-6                   1-9

Stone Mountain                       0-7                  1-9



1,955 total views, 1 views today

Facebook Comments


  1. K. Pittman says:

    Great predictions. We Shall see!!

  2. Morrell Productions says:

    2016 3A State Champions Cedar Grove verses Stephenson
    Hard hitting, Stephenson Band and more
    watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PITNHicFZs
    Enjoy and Share

Leave a Comment - Comments may take up to 48 hours to appear