There are just 29 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2017 high school football season. But make no mistake, preparations for the upcoming campaign got underway months ago in weight rooms, sand pits and practice fields throughout the state. And teams throughout northeast Georgia are in full countdown mode.
With that in mind we spent the last few days catching up with programs around our area to get a feel for how spring practice went, how the summer is going and what coaches believe the fall will look like. We call the series "Two-a-Days" in honor of those old-school grinding sessions that lead us out of summer and into fall, asking each area coach two key questions about the state of their respective programs.
Over the next few days, AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night will get you prepped for the start of gridiron action with responses from coaches throughout northeast Georgia. (Teams run in alphabetical order)...
The Trojans were just two plays from perhaps an eight-win season in 2016 behind backfield stud Kyle Bacus. But after one of the best seasons in North Hall history Bacus graduated, leaving coach David Bishop and the Trojans with a huge void to fill in the backfield. Yet Bacus was one of just 15 seniors in 2016, and Bishop told AccesWDUN that the Trojans have more than just one slot to fill as they head into 2017.
QUESTION: Coach Bishop, how do you replace a guy like Kyle Bacus with the style of offense you run?
ANSWER: It’s always tough to try and replace a guy with 1,700 yards of offense. We have several guys with different styles so we’ll have to try and get that production from two or three guys each game. (Senior) Peyton Mavity, (junior) Drew Faulkner, and (sophomore) Brady Dehass have looked pretty good so far. The other issue will be that our offensive line will be smaller this year so we may be a little more outside run oriented than in the past.
Q: The defense took a big hit with graduation, especially the linebacking corp. Where does the defense sit as you try to put together a unit that can slow down an offensive-minded Region 7-AAA?
A: The linebacking group was the biggest position loss on the entire team from last season. We lost all four of our starters and our top five guys in that unit. We’ve moved some guys around and have done a lot of 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills to see what we have. It’s been difficult. Right now we haven’t settled on a single guy in that group but we have some time to try and sort things out.