There are just 35 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2018 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 couple of weeks 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 two weeks, 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 Falcons were inches away from knocking off then No. 1-ranked and now-two time defending state champion Blessed Trinity and establishing themselves among the field of state title contenders in Class 4A. But injuries suffered in that 21-20 overtime loss set up a rough finish to the 2018 season. Now, they are healthy and carrying more experience into 2019 as a result.
They lost a ton of quality talent to graduation but also return a ton of talent. Coach Ben Hall said the focus has been forward and not behind as they get ready for what they hope could be one the program's best campaigns in years.
QUESTION: Coach, injuries played such a huge factor over the last half of last season. How close are some of the key guys to being ready for the 2019 season?
ANSWER: We did experience a few injuries during the second half of the season last year. (This year we are) currently healthy and working hard in anticipation of the start of the 2019 season.
Q: Y’all lost a lot of talent at the receiver position. Who among an inexperienced group coming into this season have impressed you as you head into fall practice?
A: Several players are working hard at the WR and TE positions to put their stamp on this group this season. Owen Warbington, Grant Lackey, Taylor Reeves, Douglas Pena, Ryan Lusco, Connor Larson, Caleb Swift, and Jaheim Hayes make up a very intelligent and trustworthy group at receiver. At TE, Sal Sengson, Josh Barnett, and Baxley O'Brien look to get the bulk of the workload with Colby Brookshire and Connor Mayfield contributing as well. “Competitive and reliable” best describe both units, and our staff is excited to watch them succeed in 2019.