High School Sports

Peach making holiday week count by preparing hard

Peach County’s Kearis Jackson (7) returns a punt during a game against Warner Robins earlier this sesason.
Peach County’s Kearis Jackson (7) returns a punt during a game against Warner Robins earlier this sesason. jvorhees@macon.com

Thanksgiving week can be a very peaceful and relaxing time, but for Chad Campbell and his coaching staff, the feel of the holiday is just a bit different.

The Peach County head coach has been quite busy gearing up for a showdown with Westminster on Friday night in the GHSA 3A state playoffs.

“To start with we have watched every Westminster game to get the feel of what they like to do and what they do well and it gives us a good idea of where they want to attack us and what might work against them, “said Campbell , whose team comes into the game with an 11-1 record. “The kids are out of school this week so they are coming in at 7 a.m. and watching film and working out, and then we practice after that. We feed them lunch and then they go home. It’s really a special week for us because they can focus on football and not have to worry about school.”

After a coin flip by the GHSA on Tuesday, Peach County now knows that if they win on Friday night they will be on the road the following week. “These seniors know that this is the last time they will suit up at this stadium and that is a big deal in this community,” Campbell said. “There is no doubt this place is very special and some of them won’t recognize that until later, but the ones that go on to play college football always come back and tell me how much they miss their high school days. There really is nothing like playing high school football, especially in a community like Peach County.”

Peach County has been led by running back Trevon Woolfolk, who has scored nine touchdowns in the last three games since moving into the starting lineup when Chris Gibson tore his ACL in the Pike County game. “We always have known that we had two very good backs with Chris and Trevon, but it was a question as to whether Trevon could handle playing every down, Campbell said. He has stepped up for us and handled it like we expect a senior to handle it.”

Quarterback Antonio Gilbert has put together a strong season, with 2,531 yards of passing and 20 touchdowns, and he is loaded with weapons. Kearis Jackson leads the way with 47 catches, but Miller Thomas, Jaylen Green, Terkel Jefferson and Noah Whittington all have had strong years catching the football. Peach County also throws to the running backs, with Gibson and Woolfolk combining for another 29 receptions.

“I don’t know if we have so many guys who have played so well at the receiver position and that has allowed Antonio to go through his reads and progressions and find someone that’s open,” Campbell said. “Everyone thinks it is all Kearis Jackson but we have a lot of guys that can catch the ball.”

Westminster comes into the game with a 7-5 record, but four of the teams they lost to are still in the playoffs. The overall record of the teams that Westminster lost to is 51-9. They are coming off of a thrilling 59-57 win over East Hall.

“Oh we won’t overlook them at all because they have played a very tough schedule, “Campbell said. “The bottom line is if you are still playing football at this time of year, then you are probably a pretty good football team. We just need to go out on Friday night and play a clean football game.”