Saturday November 28th, 2015 6:22AM

Football 2013: 'Hungry' Indians rebuilding with talent

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor


MASCOT: Indians

TEAM COLORS: Red and Black


HEAD COACH/RECORD AT SCHOOL: Travis Noland, ninth season, 60-21

2012 RECORD/ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 8-3, first round Class AAAA playoffs

KEY LOSSES: RB Chaz Thornton, QB Dionte Mayfield, FB DK Dooley, WR T
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TOCCOA -- Stephens County football fans may not recognize all the names taking the field for the Indians on opening night -- but coach Travis Noland promises they will recognize his team's style of play.<br /> <br /> "We're not changing how we play; we're still doing the same things," Noland said. "Even though we may not have a go-to guy, the kids we have are hungry, and they're great kids. And they've handled everything the way you would hope for a young team."<br /> <br /> With just two starters back on each side of the ball, Stephens County will be learning on the job this campaign, but Noland is encouraged by what he's seen from his squad in the preseason.<br /> <br /> "They're fun to coach and be around, and I love their attitude," Noland said. "But it's going to be a challenge too."<br /> <br /> After graduating longtime standouts like running back Chaz Thornton, receiver T'omas Colbert, quarterback Dionte Mayfield and linebacker Jabacus Wiley, the Indians know they face a tough test in Region 8-AAAA this season and will turn to a new crop of players to provide the answers.<br /> <br /> "We've still got a large senior class; we're just going to have some new starters," Noland said.<br /> <br /> Stephens County will be buoyed by the return of two standouts on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.<br /> <br /> Ben Cleveland, who was named preseason All-State, and Thomas Lowery will anchor the offensive line, while Gary Walker and Devin Ferreira will hold down the Indians' defensive front.<br /> <br /> Cleveland and Lowery will block for an attack that will be led by running backs Sapario Reese and Jai Brown and quarterback Mason Long. A junior, Long will be a key for the Indians in several roles this season, also returning kicks and punts and occasionally playing some snaps at receiver.<br /> <br /> Tailbacks Reese and Brown, meanwhile, will provide a mix of abilities, with the senior Reese acting as the power back and the junior, Brown, as the quicker, cutback option.<br /> <br /> "They're both good tailbacks, and we're excited to have both of them," Noland said.<br /> <br /> Defensively, the Indians will break in a new set of linebackers, as well as defensive backs, which could prove difficult in a region that includes a state semifinalist from a year ago in region champ Monroe Area, as well as strong programs at Chestatee and Eastside.<br /> <br /> "We have some uncertainties, but we're excited to get going with the kids we have," said Noland, whose team is looking to make a fourth straight state playoff appearance and 16th in 18 seasons.<br /> <div style="padding: 0px 10px 0px 5px; overflow: hidden; height: 1px;"> <br /><div style="padding: 0px; width: 150px; height: 1px;<br /> font-family: Tahoma; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 11px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust:<br /> none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none;"><br /> <div style="border:1px #000 solid;margin:auto;width:400px;padding:0 10px;"><br /> <p><u>Promo by <span style="font-weight:bold;">Google</span></u></p><br /> <p><br /> Are you looking for a way to save money on auto insurance? We've taken the mystery out of this confusing subject by outlining 10 simple steps to saving money while getting the best coverage for yourself and your car.<br /> Welcome:<br /><br /> <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Auto Insurance reviews</strong></a><br /> <br /> </p><br /> </div><br /> </div><br /> </div><br />
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