GRAY -- Torrez Finney likes what he sees from first-year Jones County head coach Justin Rogers and what he brings to the Greyhounds’ program.
And Finney thinks that is just what the Greyhounds need to take the next step.
“We don’t want to be average any more; we were 5-5 last year, and that’s not good enough,” Finney said. “We want to be a program that is in the playoffs every year and then become a program everyone in the state looks at when they’re talking about the best teams in the state, the teams that can win the state title.
“That’s what we’re looking for, and Coach Rogers is coaching us that way.”
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Rogers certainly knows what it takes to be part of a state championship team. He was the offensive coordinator at Griffin the past few years, and the Bears won the GHSA Class AAAA title last year with a powerful offense.
Rogers’ system features a spread offense that he believes adjusts well to whatever talent a program has.
“We can’t go out and find players; we have to work with the players who are walking the halls at Jones County,” Rogers said. “That’s what makes the spread so good. It can be used in whatever manner you need it to work and fit the players you have.”
The Greyhounds seemingly had a perfect fit for the offense in talented running back Walker Juhan. But the senior tore his ACL and MCL during the summer and will miss the season.
“That was tough, and it’s a terrible break for him,” Rogers said. “We hate that for him, and we’re going to miss him, but again, that’s what makes the spread so good. We can adjust it to what we have, and it’s next man up.
“He’s a talented young man, and it’s going to be hard to replace him. We’re going to have to go with a committee to replace all the things he can do.”
Still, Finney is excited to see what the Greyhounds can do with Rogers leading the program. Previous head coach Dwight Jones left Jones County after last season to take over at Harris County after six years with the Greyhounds.
Jones County reached the playoffs once -- finishing 7-4 in 2012 -- during Jones’ tenure.
“We’re very glad we have Coach Rogers,” Finney said. “Everything has gone great this summer. The offense has been great, and he has really pushed us this summer and is challenging us, and we’re really excited about what we’re doing.
“It’s been an adjustment, but we have picked up everything well, and it’s going to be a great season.”
JONES COUNTY IN 2014
Head coach: Justin Rogers (First season as a head coach).
2013 record: 5-5.
2014 region: GHSA 2-AAAA.
Returning starters: 5 on offense; 2 on defense.
Players to watch: Nyjel Lewis (6-0, 180, Sr., WR); Terrell Solomon (5-10, 170, Jr., S); Tryic Solomon (5-10, 170, Jr., CB); Torrez Finney (5-8, 205, Jr., DT); Reggie Lewis (5-7, 145, Jr., RB).
Aug. 29 at Morgan County
Sept. 5 Cross Creek
Sept. 12 at Greenbrier
Sept. 19 Northside
Sept. 26 Grovetown
Oct. 3 at Lakeside-Evans
Oct. 16 at Houston County
Oct. 24 at Evans
Oct. 31 Richmond
Nov. 7 Warner Robins