Previews of This Week’s Games Involving DeKalb County Teams
DeKalb County fans, the wait is over – let the 2012 Georgia high school football regular season begin!
Cedar Grove at Tucker is this week’s marquis game involving county teams and just might be the best game in the state this weekend NOT played at the Georgia Dome.
The defending 4-A state champion Tigers, under first year head coach Bryan Lamar (a Tucker graduate), host a talented Saints team Friday at 7:30 PM at Clarkston’s Hallford Stadium.
The Tucker juggernaut has won fifteen straight games but this year steps up to a highly competitive Reg. 6, 5-A. In preseason action last week, Tucker squeaked by 2010 4-A state champion Chattahoochee 14-13.
Senior QB Juwaan Williams and senior 5-A All-State RB Yusuf Minor (945 yards, 8.9 ypc in 2011) lead the Tigers who open the season as the 2nd ranked team in 5-A.
Coach Ray Bonner’s Cedar Grove Saints were 7-4 in 2011 and went to the playoffs. They open the 2012 season ranked 7th in 3-A. The Saints are led by AJC Super 11 and 3-A All-State quarterback Johnathon McCrary (read more about McCrary later in this blog).
Cedar Grove also has outstanding players in senior DB Everett Nicholas and junior DL Bryson Allen-Williams, both 3-A All-State selections.
There’s a double-header at Panthersville Stadium Friday night. In the 5:15 PM game, Lithonia opens its season hosting South Atlanta. The Bulldogs knocked off Salem 20-7 in a preseason game last weekend behind the running of junior Clark Jones (6 carries, 81 yards, 1 TD). Senior DL David Johnson is a 4-A All-State selection.
The 8 PM Panthersville game is an all-DeKalb matchup with Arabia Mountain hosting Clarkston. The Rams are coming off a 40-7 preseason walloping of Forest Park last weekend, while Clarkston tied Meadowcreek 7-7 In their preseason scrimmage last Friday.
In other games involving DeKalb teams, Lakeside hosts Holy Innocents at 7:30 PM at Adams Stadium (in a game yours truly will be announcing) while Towers hosts Maynard Jackson at Avondale Stadium, also at 7:30 PM. Stone Mountain goes on the road to take on Greater Atlanta Christian in another 7:30 PM Friday contest. Also Friday, Redan travels to Cross Keys where the Raiders and Indians will play a 4 PM preseason scrimmage game.
Week 1 Games - Friday, Aug. 24
Redan at Cross Keys, 4 PM (scrimmage)
South Atlanta at Lithonia, Panthersville, 5:15 PM
Holy Innocents at Lakeside, Adams, 7:30 PM
Cedar Grove at Tucker, Hallford, 7:30 PM
Stone Mountain at Greater Atlanta Christian, 7:30 PM
Maynard Jackson at Towers, Avondale, 7:30 PM
Clarkston at Arabia Mountain, Panthersville, 8 PM
M.L. King Names Interim Coach
DeKalb County announced Wednesday that Rober Freeman has been named interim head coach of the M.L. King Lions. Freeman, formerly the Lions’ defensive backs coach, takes over for Michael “Iron Mike” Carson who was suspended with pay after being accused of sending nude photos of himself to the mother of a football player.
Carson led M.L. King to a 12-1 record in 2011 and the Lions made it to the third round of the 5-A playoffs last year. In 2010, Carson’s first season with the Lions, M.L. King went 8-4. The Lions open this year’s campaign September 1 against Stockbridge as part of a double-header at Tri-Cities High in East Point.
Click here to read the Fox 5 news story on the accusation and Carson’s suspension.
More Kudos for McCrary
Already named to this year’s AJC Super 11 Team, Cedar Grove senior QB Johnathon McCrary was named this week to the Georgia High School Football Daily All-Classification Player of the Year watch list for 2012.
McCrary threw for 2,643 yards and 27 TDs in 2011 and needs 2,965 more yards to break the state career passing yardage record currently held by former Metter QB Zach Stanford. McCrary’s team, ranked 7th in 3-A, has to improve on last year’s 7-4 record, though, to give him a realistic shot at the record.
Marist Team Loaded With Talent
The AJC’s Michael Carvel is high on Marist, pointing out in an article this week that the War Eagles have one of the largest pools of D1 prospects in the school’s history.
Carvell says TE Greg Taboada has more than twenty D1 schools interested and is holding offers from Alabama, LSU, Vandy and others. NT Steve Wallace, 6’0”/280, has an offer from Kentucky. 5’11”/175 RB Gray King has an offer from Air Force and RB/DB Myles Willis recently switched his commitment from Central Florida to Boston College.
Coach Alan Chadwick says Willis may be the fastest player at Marist in his 28 years at the helm, having recently clocked a 4.34 40-yard dash.
Stadium Change for August 31 Chamblee – Dunwoody Game
The August 31 Chamblee vs. Dunwoody game, originally scheduled to be played at North DeKalb Stadium, has been moved to Adams Stadium. Game time is 7 PM.
The game was moved because of “issues with the sod” at North DeKalb Stadium.
Three Former DeKalb County Players Taken in 2012 NFL Draft
Congratulations to the following former DeKalb County players chosen in the 2012 NFL Draft:
Bruce Irvin, DE; Irvin originally attended Stockbridge High but transferred to Stephenson for part of his junior year (he did not play football for the Jaguars); Irvin played collegiately at Butler Community College and Mt. San Antonio College; Irvin was a first round pick of the Seattle Seahawks (15th overall pick in the draft).
Stephen Hill, WR; Hill attended Miller Grove High School and played collegiately for Georgia Tech; Hill was drafted in the second round (43rd pick overall) by the New York Jets.
Corey White, S; White attended Dunwoody High and played collegiately at Samford; White was chosen in the fifth round of the draft by the New Orleans Saints.
Coach Offers Perspective on High School Football Player Transfers
A reader asked last week about the trend of high school students to transfer to another school – often across state lines – ostensibly to improve their opportunity to play their sport of choice. There’s no doubt this is happening more and more with high school football players and these transfers can have a significant impact on the talent level of both schools involved.
Rush Propst is entering his fifth season as head coach at Colquitt County. Propst wrote an interesting article this week for the AJC in which he offered his thoughts on the factors that can go into making such decisions. Click here to read the article.
Enjoy the games this weekend, folks! Check back on Sunday for results/recaps.
John Becker is a 30-year Atlanta resident, currently living in Virginia-Highland. John’s a freelance writer and an avid high school, college and pro football fan (much to the detriment of most other productive activities during the fall). As the Voice of Adams Stadium (public address announcer), John brings a unique perspective to his analysis of high school football in DeKalb County and he looks forward to sharing his insight with fans through his blog.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter at @JNBecker.