High School Sports

Breaking down Middle Georgia’s GHSA football teams this spring

Peach County's Kearis Jackson, center, and the Trojans won 12 games last year.
Peach County's Kearis Jackson, center, and the Trojans won 12 games last year. jvorhees@macon.com

A look at Middle Georgia’s GHSA football teams this spring.

Class 6A

Northside

Head coach: Kevin Kinsler.

Last year’s record: 11-3.

Spring practice dates: May 1-12.

Returning offensive starters: 3.

Returning defensive starters: 5.

Key returning players: Ham Williams (OL), Josh Herring (OL), Marcus Jolly (ATH), Braxton Golden (DL), Kameron Tate (LB), Marcelle Griffin (DB), Armand Childs (DB/LB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Replacing key linebackers and members of the secondary.

20160826_hoco_peach_bc_0784
Houston County running back Jaeven West (1) had a big game running and catching the ball in last week’s win over Northside, and will have to have a similar night on Friday against Valdosta. Beau Cabell bcabell@macon.com

Houston County

Head coach: Ryan Crawford.

Last year’s record: 7-3.

Spring practice dates: May 8-19.

Returning offensive starters: 4.

Returning defensive starters: 6.

Key returning players: Trey Hill (OL/DL), Khalil Polk (WR/DB), Jaeven West (WR/DB), Caleb Thomas (OL/DL), Jamir Best (TE/LB), Tylon Chambers (TE/DL), Kiefer Askew (WR/DB), Keishoen Jarrett (TE/LB), JT Hix (OL/DL), Jayon Nealy (OL/DL), Scott Akin (OL/LB), Khalil Johnson (RB/DB), Xavier Martinez (RB/LB), Zay Hicks (WR/LB), Jamar Grice (RB/LB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Replacing quarterback Jake Fromm and finding leadership on both sides of the ball, while making sure team learns new schemes with a first-year head coach.

leyton pickney
Veterans quarterback Leyton Pinckney (11) and the Warhawks open their season Aug. 18 against Northgate. Jason Vorhees jvorhees@macon.com

Class 5A

Veterans

Head coach: David Bruce.

Last year’s record: 5-6.

Spring practice dates: May 3-19.

Returning offensive starters: 6.

Returning defensive starters: 3.

Key returning players: Leyton Pinckney (QB), Jeremy Horton (ATH), Sidney Snyder (OL), Jakob Roberts (OL), Justin Stevens (DB), Andrew Ensley (DE).

Biggest question marks on the team: Defensive front and running backs.

1223 MASP Armstrong
Warner Robins offensive lineman Christian Armstrong will take part in next week’s Rising Seniors game at Mercer. Beau Cabell bcabell@macon.com

Warner Robins

Head coach: Mike Chastain.

Last year’s record: 3-8.

Spring practice dates: May 3-19.

Returning offensive starters: 5.

Returning defensive starters: 7.

Key returning players: Jam’l Dillard (DE), Bobby Kelly (DE/OLB), Christian Armstrong (OL/DL), Julius Cobbs (WR/DB), Jabari Miller (DB), Marcayll Jones (WR/DB), Jarius Burnette (RB/OLB), DeAngelo Whitehead (WR/DB/RB), Ponce Hollowell (RB/DB), Christian Anderson (LB), Jerquan Parrish (LB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Quarterback and learning new defensive scheme.

0804_MASP_JonesCo_Football_CT_007
Clay Teague photo@macon.com

Jones County

Head coach: Justin Rogers.

Last year’s record: 8-4.

Spring practice dates: May 3-19.

Returning offensive starters: 5.

Returning defensive starters: 9.

Key returning players: Teldrick Ross (QB), Demontae Trawick (LB), Antonio Evans (LB), Dequeze Fryer (WR).

Biggest question marks on the team: Replacing Bradley Hunnicutt at quarterback and Nick Singleton at wide receiver.

0916_B738041743Z.1 0916_HWRD_VTRN_6954_ER
Howard's Barney Hester is greeted by his wife Lynn and their grandchildren at midfield Friday night after being presented a plaque and game ball by Howard principal Shannon Norfleet for his 500th game. EVAN RODENROTH For The TELEGRAPH

Class 4A

Howard

Head coach: Barney Hester.

Last year’s record: 1-9.

Spring practice dates: May 8-14.

Returning offensive starters: 5.

Returning defensive starters: 7.

Key returning players: DeAndre Shelton (LB), Daniel Lavelle (DE), Jayland Parker (QB), Donavan Brantley (LB), M’Khai Mack (FS).

Biggest question marks on the team: Finding a quarterback and some offensive linemen and cornerbacks, while getting back to making progress with the program.

0930_MASP_MP_GS_600_ER
Mary Persons Tre Slaton finds a gap in the line against Spalding. EVAN RODENROTH For The TELEGRAPH

Mary Persons

Head coach: Brian Nelson.

Last year’s record: 11-3.

Spring practice dates: May 8-19.

Returning offensive starters: 3.

Returning defensive starters: 3.

Key returning players: Jatorian Hansford, Bralen Harvey, Tre Slaton, Noah Davis, LaDamian Sands, Andre Threatt.

Biggest question marks on the team: Questions throughout the roster.

0114_MASP_ALL_STAR_CT_009
Jay Watkins (3) of Perry breaks through the line in the Middle Georgia All-Star Classic. Clay Teague photo@macon.com

Perry

Head coach: Kevin Smith.

Last year’s record: 3-7.

Spring practice dates: May 4-19.

Returning offensive starters: 4.

Returning defensive starters: 9.

Key returning players: Jay Watkins (RB), Caleb Beard (OL), Jamati Harris (DL), Tyler Knowles (PK), Jecory Burks (DB), Keinjus King (DB), Davion Ross (WR/DB), Cameron Johnson (DE), Christian Corbett (QB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Quarterback, offensive line and defensive line.

west laur mcclain
Kagan McClain was promoted to head coach at West Laurens on Tuesday after six seasons as an assistant. Courtesy Kagan McClain

West Laurens

Head coach: Kagan McClain.

Last year’s record: 7-5.

Spring practice dates: May 8-19.

Returning offensive starters: 3.

Returning defensive starters: 4.

Key returning players: Noah Garnto (OL), Joseph Horne (OL), Doryan Gorham (LB), Abram Morrow (DL), Ben Deal (LB), McKinley Kemp (DB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Inexperience of having only seven returning starters, especially on the offensive line where the Raiders lost three starters.

larry harold
Former Macon County head coach Larry Harold was hired recently as the head coach at Central. Jason Vorhees jvorhees@macon.com

Class 3A

Central

Head coach: Larry Harold.

Last year’s record: 6-4.

Spring practice dates: No spring practice.

Returning offensive starters: 8.

Returning defensive starters: 7.

Key returning players: Xavier Wesley (DT), Zachary Cotton (G), Kameron Adkins (LB), Jeremy Denson (OLB), Kanuri Williams (FS), Jakwanis Singleton (WR), Zavion Muhammad (WR), Denterius Hogan (WR), Taylor Dean (T), Donald Lamb (QB), Cameron Collier (S).

Biggest question marks on the team: Adjusting to a new head coach and new systems.

1202_MASP_PCH_GAC_5055_ER
Peach County Trojan quarterback Antonio Gilbert slips away from a Greater Atlanta Christian defender and picks a first down late in the second half. EVAN RODENROTH/For The TELEGRAPH EVAN RODENROTH/For The TELEGRAPH

Peach County

Head coach: Chad Campbell.

Last year’s record: 12-2.

Spring practice dates: April 27-May 13.

Returning offensive starters: 7.

Returning defensive starters: 7.

Key returning players: Kearis Jackson (WR), Antonio Gilbert (QB), Chris Gibson (RB), Justin Harris (WR), Cedric Hillsman (OL), Dylan Perry (OL), Cameron Woolfolk (OL), Octavious King (OL/DL), Nigel Manns (RB), JaQuez Jackson (LB), Shamarcus Redding (S), Sergio Allen (LB/DE), TJ Adams (DE/LB), Rodney Howell (CB), Mitchell Fineran (PK), Mikel Aikens (CB).  

Biggest question marks on the team: Lack of depth at linebacker and on both lines.

1028_MASP_CENTRAL_WESTSIDE_CT_004
Westside's Omar Jones (11) scores a touchdown after fighting Central's Zavion Muhammad (6) for possession of a pass in the 1st half of their game. Clay Teague photo@macon.com

Westside

Head coach: Spoon Risper.

Last year’s record: 6-5.

Spring practice dates: May 8-19.

Returning offensive starters: 8.

Returning defensive starters: 7.

Key returning players: Allen Banks (DE), Omar Jones (DE/TE), Tavores Pearson (DB), Lakelvin Clark (RB), Emanuel Boone (G).

Biggest question marks on the team: Quarterback and defensive backs.

von_lassiter_0839
Von Lassiter was hired as the head coach at Bleckley County this month. Beau Cabell bcabell@macon.com

Class 2A

Bleckley County

Head coach: Von Lassiter.

Last year’s record: 2-8.

Spring practice dates: May 5-19.

Returning offensive starters: 5.

Returning defensive starters: 5.

Key returning players: Torenio Davis, Nykeem Farrow, Reid Hartley, Andrew Butler.

Biggest question marks on the team: Adjusting to new head coach and coaching staff.

Dodge County

Head coach: Rex Hodges.

Last year’s record: 6-6.

Spring practice dates: May 8-10.

Returning offensive starters: 6.

Returning defensive starters: 6.

Key returning players: Nic Cummings (QB), Payton Bush (PK), Jadin Johnson (LB), Cade Cranford (TE/DE).

Biggest question marks on the team: Must replace three starters on the offensive line.

1011 PREP Dublin
Head coach Roger Holmes and the Dublin Irish travel to Henderson Stadium on Thursday to face Southwest. Beau Cabell bcabell@macon.com

Dublin

Head coach: Roger Holmes.

Last year’s record: 8-3.

Spring practice dates: April 27-May 13.

Returning offensive starters: 6.

Returning defensive starters: 7.

Key returning players: Bruce Guyton, Jaden Derriso, Rodridquez Martin, Jermaine Cooley, Tyler Strickland, Montarian Carswell, Berrick Wadley, Jaquez Evans.

Biggest question marks on the team: Replacing punter and place-kicker Brice Watson and developing depth.

East Laurens

Head coach: Chris Robinson.

Last year’s record: 1-9.

Spring practice dates: May 8-19.

Returning offensive starters: 8.

Returning defensive starters: 6.

Key returning players: Bryce Robinson (FB/LB), Peyton Brinson (C/DL), Darius Peed (DB/RB), Jon Eric Senn (QB/PK), Terrell Coney (RB/DB), Eriq Cooper (RB/DB), Travis Bell (RB/DB), Christain Brantley (OL/LB), Cuyler Morris (TE).

Biggest question marks on the team: Strength and depth.

Putnam County

Head coach: Kyle Gourley.

Last year’s record: 1-9.

Spring practice dates: May 8-18.

Returning offensive starters: 2.

Returning defensive starters: 2.

Key returning players: N/A.

Biggest question marks on the team: Installing new schemes and finding leaders from younger players. 

0826_MASP_Westside_SW_CT_003
Southwest's Jordan Slocum (11) tackled for a loss by Westside's Allen Banks (80) in the 1st half of their game Friday night. Clay Teague photo@macon.com

Southwest

Head coach: Joseph Dupree.

Last year’s record: 6-5.

Spring practice dates: May 1-12.

Returning offensive starters: 6.

Returning defensive starters: 7.

Key returning players: Jordan Slocum (QB), Randy Green (LB), Isaiah Goolsby (OL), JaQuavious Jones (RB), Khalil McBride (RB), JaQuez Pennimon (DB), Ke-Andre Jackson (OL), Qui’iunatae Clowers (DB), TJ Parker (TE), Noah Howard (WR), Jerome Denson (DL), Elijah Jones (OL), Elisha Jones (LB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Replacing the defensive line.

20160725_Crawford_068
Crawford County head coach Greg Street’s Eagles host Taylor County on Friday night. Jason Vorhees jvorhees@macon.com

Class 1A

Crawford County

Head coach: Greg Street.

Last year’s record: 5-4.

Spring practice dates: No spring practice.

Returning offensive starters: 4.

Returning defensive starters: 5.

Key returning players: Nick Jackson (QB), Jamorris Pickard (OL/DL), Bud Harris (DB/WR), Keontae Reeves (DB/WR), Bryce Vaughn (OL), Quin Panamon (RB), Richard Jackson (DB/WR), James Jackson (DB/WR), Alex Henton (WR/DB), Malik James (RB/LB), Michael Bloodworth (OL), Casey Hancock (OL), Eric Braswell (DL/OL). 

Biggest question marks on the team: Depth on both sides of the ball.

1115 FBH Dalton Cox
Dalton Cox and the FPD Vikings travel to top-seeded Eagle’s Landing Christian on Friday for the second round of the GHSA Class 1A private playoffs. Clay Teague photo@macon.com

FPD

Head coach: Greg Moore.

Last year’s record: 7-5.

Spring practice dates: May 11-19.

Returning offensive starters: 6.

Returning defensive starters: 5.

Key returning players: John Lester (OL), Dalton Cox (QB), Blaine Kizer (TE), Ryan Jones (LB), Robert Johnson (DB), Titus Moore (WR), Maurice Gordon (WR), JaCobe Singletary (OL), Seth Wilson (DL), Bryant Beall (OL); C.J. Harris (S/RB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Filling the void on the offensive and defensive lines and a linebacker.

DRP_9945
Mount de Sales' Adrian Hardwick. EVAN RODENROTH/For The TELEGRAPH EVAN RODENROTH/For The TELEGRAPH

Mount de Sales

Head coach: Keith Hatcher.

Last year’s record: 2-8.

Spring practice dates: No spring practice.

Returning offensive starters: 7.

Returning defensive starters: 6.

Key returning players: Adrian Hardwick (RB), Said Wanna (LB), Dane Frier (OL/DL), Josiah Cotton (RB).

Biggest question marks on the team for 2017: Inexperience at quarterback.

0923_MASP_STFD_LBTY_9278_ER
Stratford's Nathan Hunt catches a short pass from quarterback Noah Hill and heads up the center of the field Friday night against Lincoln County High. EVAN RODENROTH For The TELEGRAPH

Stratford

Head coach: Mark Farriba.

Last year’s record: 8-4.

Spring practice dates: May 5-18.

Returning offensive starters: 6.

Returning defensive starters: 8.

Key returning players: Nathan Hunt (DB/WR), Tyler Jordan (DB/WB), Larson McDaniel (ILB/TE), Jake Jamison (PK), Tucker Massey (OLB/G), Sammy Martin (DL/T), Tobe Umerah (DL/T), Jourdain Irvin (DL/T), Jamie O'Quinn (DB/WB), Jonathan Siegel (DB/WB), Christian Palmer (QB).

Biggest question marks on the team: Inside linebacker, center, fullback and wingback.

1009_masp_stratford_tattnall_0126_bc.jpg
Tattnall Square's quarterback Destin Mack. BEAU CABELL bcabell@macon.com

Tattnall Square

Head coach: Chance Jones.

Last year’s record: 12-1.

Spring practice dates: May 4-19.

Returning offensive starters: 5.

Returning defensive starters: 5.

Key returning players: Destin Mack (RB/LB), Miles Morris (QB), Brock Baggerly (TE), Mckinley Anderson (LB), Chandler Whittington (OL), Tyler Bennett (OL), William Morgan (DL), Peyton Braddy (DL).

Biggest question marks on the team: The Trojans will be looking to new leaders after losing 16 seniors off last year’s team.

Note: The following schools did not provide spring practice information: Baldwin, Dooly County, Hancock Central, Hawkinsville, Lamar County, Macon County, Monticello, Northeast, Rutland, Taylor County, Twiggs County, Upson-Lee, Washington County, Wilkinson County.

Related stories from Macon Telegraph

  Comments