High School Sports

Tradition of winning ingrained within Calhoun

MCT

In addition to the color scheme of black and gold, Calhoun has its share of common threads with Peach County.

Like the Trojans, the Yellow Jackets have carved out a robust legacy of contending for championships. Since 2005, Calhoun has advanced to the state championship game eight times and during that same span, failed make it to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs just once. Along the way, the Yellow Jackets have claimed a pair of state championships, the most recent one coming in 2014.

The two teams will clash at 1 p.m. Friday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta with the GHSA Class 3A championship at stake.

“Everybody that tees it up in July is shooting for an opportunity to play in Mercedes-Benz for a shot at a state championship,” Calhoun head coach Hal Lamb said. “We’re very excited to be here and can’t wait for the opportunity. We’ll suit up and see what happens.”

From the standpoint of Calhoun, the Yellow Jackets will aim to add another rung to the program’s already sterling list of accolades. It’s a mentality that’s ingrained within the Yellow Jackets as freshmen, as it is passed down from one group of upperclassmen to the next group coming behind them.

“They’re very driven, they understand the tradition here. The expectations here are to win every time that they step on the field. They come in as freshman and the older guys teach them that and by the time they are juniors and seniors, they are passing it along to the younger guys,” Lamb said. “It’s all about a commitment level — they expect to win every time they step on the field.”

As is the usual case for Calhoun, defense leads the way. The Yellow Jackets have posted a pair of shutouts and held seven opponents to a touchdown or less.

“Our kids play extremely hard. We hang our hat on our defense, but our offense has played well, too,” Lamb said. “We’re about 50-50 in run pass and we like that. We feel like we can run and throw it when we need to.”

The Yellow Jackets will need to do just that on Friday afternoon to topple Peach. The game will be a rematch of a second-round matchup in 2015, won 20-14 by Calhoun in overtime.

“They’re unbelievable. They’re very fast, very athletic,” Lamb said of Peach County. “ I don’t see any weaknesses on either side of the ball. I just don’t see any weakness on this football team.”

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