We’re halfway through the 2017 season, and there have been many terrific performances, outstanding games and surprising teams.
Here’s a look at the player and coach of the year candidates halfway through the season, along with the surprise teams and championship contenders for teams in Bibb, Houston, Peach, Monroe, Jones, Crawford and Twiggs counties.
Player of the year candidates
Christian Armstrong, Warner Robins: The Florida State commit is leading the way up front for a Demons offense that is averaging 31 points per game.
Drake Bolus, Jones County: The senior running back has rushed for 632 yards and has returned three kickoffs for touchdowns.
Dalton Cox, FPD: The senior quarterback has thrown for 966 yards and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions.
Dylan Fromm, Warner Robins: The junior quarterback has thrown for 1,277 yards and 14 touchdowns in his team’s 5-0 start.
Chris Gibson, Peach County: The senior running back keeps the Trojans’ offense balanced with 450 yards rushing on 95 carries.
Antonio Gilbert, Peach County: The senior quarterback has thrown for 1,082 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions.
Jeremy Horton, Veterans: The senior had 236 yards rushing and 303 yards receiving before going down with an injury.
Kearis Jackson, Peach County: The Georgia commit is one of the most dynamic players in the state, and he has been close to breaking a kickoff return into addition to his wide receiver duties (23 catches for 450 yards).
Jeremiah Kelly, Howard: The sophomore running back has 79 carries for 638 yards.
Teldrick Ross, Jones County: The senior quarterback has thrown for 524 yards and rushed for 626 yards and nine touchdowns.
Tobe Umerah, Stratford: The Stanford commit has led an Eagles defense that is allowing 11.8 points per game.
Coach of the year candidates
Mike Chastain, Warner Robins: The Demons won just three games last year, but they are 5-0 heading into their top-10 showdown with Coffee on Friday.
Ashley Harden, Northeast: In his first season with the Raiders, Harden has led the team to three wins after a two-win 2016.
Barney Hester, Howard: The Huskies already have won four games this season after winning just once in 2016.
Justin Rogers, Jones County: Rogers’ Greyhounds are 5-0 entering their home game Friday against Hampton.
Kevin Smith, Perry: The Panthers won three games in 2016, but in Smith’s first season, they entered Thursday’s game at Dougherty with a 3-1 record.
Howard: The Huskies have won four straight games after losing their season opener.
Mount de Sales: The Cavaliers carry a 3-1 record into their home game with Stratford on Friday after winning two games in 2016.
Northeast: The Raiders have scored 119 games in four games after scoring just 107 points in the entire 2016 season.
Perry: The Panthers are averaging 37.8 points per game.
Jones County: The Greyhounds are 3-0 in GHSA Region 4-5A, and they are ranked fifth in Class 5A.
Northside: The Eagles won four straight games entering their game Thursday night against Macon County, and they are ranked fifth in Class 6A.
Peach County: The Trojans are 4-1, and they are ranked fourth in Class 3A with their off week this week.
Tattnall Square: The Trojans are 4-0 and ranked seventh in Class 1A entering their road trip to Wilkinson County on Friday.
Warner Robins: The Demons are 5-0 and ranked sixth in Class 5A.