35 years of MARTA

TEAM PREVIEWS

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Arabia Mountain Rams
Head coach: Stanley Pritchett
(2nd season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 7-3

Outlook: After making history with their first winning record, the Arabia Mountain Rams look to build off last year’s success under second-year coach Stanley Pritchett. The Rams will have to do that in a new region and with a number of young players. After losing more than 20 seniors from last year’s team, the Rams will look to returning quarterback Jakobi Myers to lead the offense. Myers threw for 1,147 yards, completed 54 percent of his passes and scored 13 touchdowns last season.

Cedar Grove Saints
Head coach: Jermaine Smith
(2nd season) • Region: 4-AAA
2013 record: 6-4

Outlook: In his first year as head coach, Jermaine Smith led the Saints to the second round of the playoffs. With one of their best college recruiting classes, the Saints are poised to make another run in Region 4-AAA and a possible playoff appearance. Cedar Grove is building on offense but has a number of its top defensive players returning, including defensive back Chris Fredrick, who finished third on the team in tackles (92).

Chamblee Bulldogs
Head coach: Allen Johnson
(3rd season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 6-4

Outlook: The Bulldogs lost their 2013 leading rusher Xzavier Shugars, who transferred to Tucker High School. Shugars led Chamblee in yards (1,071) and touchdowns (11). Young players will have to step up to fill the void of Shugars’ production. Some of those players include junior quarterback Kendrew Wynn, who led the team in passing yards (448); and the Burgess twins Brent and Chris, who had a combined 474 yards in receiving, rushing and passing.

Clarkston Angoras
Head coach: Terrence Hughey
(1st season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
2013 record: 4-5-1

Outlook: The Clarkston Angoras will try to have their first winning season since 1998 under new head coach Terrence Hughey. They will try to do that in a non-region schedule that has them playing Tucker Sept. 26. The young team will have to compete without Rooshambi Paquette, who led the team in yards (957) and touchdowns (13).

Columbia Eagles
Head coach: David Edwards
(3rd season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 6-4

Outlook: The Eagles are expected to make some noise in their region with their leading rusher and passer Andre Brown, and leading receiver Shadell Bell returning. Brown led the team with 2,204 total yards and 20 total touchdowns. He also finished second on defense in tackles with 48. Bell led the team in receptions (37) and receiving yards (463).

Cross Keys Indians
Head coach: Kevin Saunders
(1st season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 1-9

Outlook: New head coach Kevin Saunders won a state championship in Virginia and hopes to one day bring one to Cross Keys. But first, Saunders and his young Indians team will work to get Cross Keys its first winning record since 1994. The Indians will have their leading receiver back. As a junior, Samuel McDade led the team in receptions (32), receiving yards (548) and team touchdowns (5). McDade also led the team in interceptions (6).

Decatur Bulldogs
Head coach: Scott Jackson
(2nd season) • Region: 4-AAA
2013 record: 7-3

Outlook: Despite a 7-3 record, the Bulldogs missed out on the playoffs because of a 3-3 region record, which put them at fifth place in region standings. With its leading rusher Elijah Rachell, leading tackler Andre Young and starting quarterback Devontae Carter all returning, Decatur will be competitive in a new region to earn a playoff spot.

Druid Hills Red Devils
Head coach: Mark Adams
(2nd season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
2013 record: 4-6

Outlook: The Red Devils have moved down a classification but are probably in one of the toughest regions with M.L. King, Stephenson, Mays and defending state champion Creekside. However, Druid Hills should be able to hold its own with most of its top offensive and defensive players returning, including its top three rushers (Michael Scott, Hassan Enis and Dax Tolson) who scored a combined 16 touchdowns.

Dunwoody Wildcats
Head coach: Jim Showfety
(5th season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
2013 record: 3-7

Outlook: Dunwoody will try to play for its first winning record since 2011. With a team of mostly four-year starters, coach Jim Showfety believes the team can get over the hump this season. The Wildcats will have to get over that hump without Aaron Alexander, who had a total of 895 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Wildcats will have their second lead rusher, Daniel Hinton, returning, as well as quarterback Matthew Nathan and wide receiver Chase Hawkins.

Lakeside Vikings
Head coach: Heath Hinton
(2nd season) • Region: 2-AAAAAA
2013 record: 2-8

Outlook: Lakeside’s offense accumulated 3,226 yards last season. The team hopes to collect more yards and wins in a new region behind an offensive line that includes Mike Horton, one of the top offensive linemen in the state. The offensive line will block and open holes for its leading rusher, Kellyen Walker. Walker rushed for 864 yards and scored three touchdowns last season. The Vikings will also have linebacker Darrell Patterson, who led the defense in tackles with 95.

Lithonia Bulldogs
Head coach: Marcus Jelks
(5th season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 4-6

Outlook: In his fifth season as head coach, Marcus Jelks is looking to get the Bulldogs at or above .500 for the first time since 2002. Lithonia will have to replace its starting quarterback, leading rusher and two leading tacklers from last season. The Bulldogs will have its third leading tackler, Marquavious Latner, this season. Lithonia will also have running back Terence Minor back, who averaged 11.9 yards per rushing attempt.

Marist War Eagles
Head coach: Alan Chadwick
(30th season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 8-2

Outlook: After another disappointing end in the semifinals of the state playoffs, the War Eagles will regroup and try to make another run for a state title as coach Alan Chadwick enters his 30th season. Quarterback Samuel Phelts will lead the offense while one of the state’s top offensive linemen Sage Hardin blocks for him. The defense will have Jack Kratzenberg and Kenneth Brinson, who were among the top five tacklers from last season.

M.L. King Lions
Head coach: Nicolas Kashama (1st season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
2013 record: 7-3

Outlook: The Lions will open the 2014 season with their fourth coach in four seasons. Nicolas Kashama was the defensive coordinator at M.L. King from 2010 to 2012. Kashama said he plans to implement discipline. The Lions will need discipline as they face tougher opponents in the revamped Region 6-AAAAA and rebuild the team after losing many starters.

McNair Mustangs
Head coach: Shelton Carleton (2nd season) • Region: 4-AAA
2013 record: 1-9

Outlook: Coach Shelton Carleton’s first season with the Mustangs is one he would probably like to forget, but the Mustangs have a lot to look forward to in a new region. The Mustangs will have a quarterback and wide receiver tandem of Mickey Riddley and Antonio Somerset this season. Riddley threw for 1,019 yards on 88 pass completions, and Somerset caught 48 of those 88 passes for 755 yards. Last season’s top two tacklers Justin Corley and Don Evans also will be back this season.

 

Miller Grove Wolverines
Head coach: Damien Wimes
(5th season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
2013 record: 4-6

Outlook: After back-to-back winning seasons, the Wolverines faltered in 2013 and fell under .500. Miller Grove will try to bounce back but without its leading defender, linebacker Ray Tillman, who had 111 tackles, 11 sacks and 11 tackles for a loss last season. The Wolverines will have a few returning starters on offense, including quarterback Jonathan Mitchell.

Redan Raiders
Head coach: Roderick Moore
(1st season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 1-9

Outlook: The Raiders may have gotten a new coach, but coach Roderick Moore is not new to this job. Moore was the head coach at McNair from 2005 to 2008. Moore said the losing mentality that Redan had when he took over was the same mentality McNair had when he began there as an assistant in 1999. Moore is changing the mindset of the program through discipline, hard work and better academics. He hopes the culture change translates into wins on the football field.

St. Pius Golden Lions
Head coach: Paul Standard
(14th season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 Record: 7-3

Outlook: St. Pius will face new challenges this season as it moves up from AAA to AAAA. The Golden Lions will face their old nemesis and new region opponent Marist. St. Pius is still expected to be a contender in the new region with a couple of returning starters, led by quarterback Joey Connors, running back Dalton Wilson and Nick Spear.

Southwest DeKalb Panthers
Head coach: Michael Tanks
(2nd season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
2013 record: 2-8

Outlook: Last year, the Panthers had their first losing season since 1979 under first year head coach Michael Tanks. But Tanks will try to get the program back on winning ground with an experienced defense. The Panthers has five of its top defensive performers, who had a combined 348 tackles, returning this season.

Stephenson Jaguars
Head coach: Ron Gartrell
(19th season) • Region: 6-AAAAA
2013 record: 8-2

Outlook: The Jaguars are “basically starting over” this season, said head coach Ron Gartrell. Stephenson lost 18 starters, mostly on defense. The Jaguars, which historically had good defensive units, led all county teams in defense last season. Stephenson will look to defensive end Chauncey Rivers and defensive back Dale Warren to lead the defense this year.

Stone Mountain Pirates
Head coach: Chaka Moore
(1st season) • Region: 6-AAAA
2013 record: 4-6

Outlook: The Pirates are also starting over under new head coach Chaka Moore. Stone Mountain lost a lot of players and will look to young and inexperienced players to step up this season.

Towers Titans
Head coach: Brian Montgomery (1st season) • Region: 4-AAA
2013 record: 5-5

Outlook: The offseason took a surprising turn for Towers recently when former head coach James Holloway was let go and replaced by Brian Montgomery. Montgomery was the former coach at Shiloh High School in Gwinnett County but resigned in 2012 due to recruiting violations. Despite the coaching change, the Titans will try to continue to improve after going from a winless team to a .500 team in one season.

Tucker Tigers
Head coach: Bryan Lamar
(3rd season) • Region: 2-AAAAAA
2013 record: 10-0

Outlook: With the state championship loss behind them, the Tucker Tigers are focused on competing in a new classification and facing two of the top football programs in the nation in back-to-back weeks. Tucker also lost a large number of starters but still has some playmakers left in defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter and athletes Duke Shelley and Elijah Sullivan.

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One Comment

  1. GHSFPS says:

    New–Watch Tucker vs. Stephenson football scrimmage
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9vAWWci5Uc

    Watch Lowndes vs. Norcross football scrimmage
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7eZ2Wlr0Bu4

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