Yes, it’s still July, and we’re more than a month away from the start of the 2017 football season. But that doesn’t mean we can’t get ready for the upcoming season. To do that, we’ll have a series throughout the summer counting down to the season.
The series continues as we break down the high school season for teams in Bibb, Houston, Peach, Jones, Monroe, Crawford and Twiggs counties.
A, Armstrong: Christian Armstrong is one of the top offensive linemen in the nation, and he committed to Florida State in June.
B, Barney Hester: The Howard head coach surpassed 500 games on the sideline during the 2016 season and enters this season with 505 games under his belt, including 334 wins.
C, Corky Kell: The Corky Kell Classic will return to Mercer on Aug. 17 as Houston County faces Jones County and Mary Persons faces Lee County.
D, Doubleheader: The Macon Touchdown Club will hold its season-opening doubleheader for the second year at Mercer on Aug. 26 as Howard faces Mount de Sales and Central faces FPD.
E, End zone: Southwest junior quarterback Jordan Slocum likely will spend a lot of time there this season.
F, First year: Ryan Crawford takes over at Houston County in his first year as the Bears’ head coach, replacing Von Lassiter.
G, Greg Moore: FPD’s head coach has the longest tenure at his current school of the Macon area head coaches as he enters his 18th season as the Vikings’ boss. Moore has won 128 games with the program.
H, Horton: Jeremy Horton leads the Veterans offensive attack from his wide receiver position.
I, Irvin: Jourdain Irvin is a senior offensive lineman and defensive lineman at Stratford.
J, J.J.: JaQuez Jackson, a Peach County linebacker, has committed to Georgia Tech.
K, Kearis Jackson: The superstar athlete is one of the top wide receivers in the state as he enters his senior season at Peach County.
L, Larry Harold: Harold takes over at Central as the Chargers’ head coach after Jesse Hicks was hired at Baldwin.
M, Mount de Sales: Keith Hatcher’s team looks to get going after a 2-8 finish in 2016.
N, Northeast: The Raiders have a new head coach in Ashley Harden after Bruce Mullen’s long tenure with the program.
O, Owens: Running back Tyrell Owens could be a player to watch in Perry’s offensive attack this season.
P, Perry: The Panthers enter their first season with Kevin Smith as their head coach.
Q, Quentavious Morant: The senior is one of the Howard Huskies’ top defensive players.
R, Rivalry: The Northside Eagles and Warner Robins Demons open their season against each other Aug. 18 at McConnell-Talbert Stadium. It’s the 60th meeting in the rivalry.
S, Semifinals: Four Macon area teams reached the GHSA semifinals last year: Northside, Mary Persons, Peach County and Tattnall Square.
T, Trey Hill: The Houston County star offensive lineman got a close view of what a top recruit’s senior season was like last year with teammate Jake Fromm, and now it’s Hill’s turn.
U, Umerah: Tobe Umerah is poised for a big senior season at Stratford and then will head across the country to Stanford for his college career.
V: Veterans’ program is entering his eighth season.
W, Windsor: Windsor kicks off the 2017 season for the Macon area teams with a trip to Heritage on Aug. 11.
X, Xavier Wesley: The offensive lineman is one of the top players for the Central Chargers.
Y, Year two: Mike Chastain is entering his second season as the head coach at Warner Robins after a 3-8 season in 2016.
Z, Zackery Harris: Harris takes over as the head coach at Twiggs County.