There are just 37 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 Tigers have become a playoff stalwart under coach Sid Maxwell -- three playoff runs to the second round or better in three of his four seasons -- and are once again being considered a preseason selection to make another playoff run in 2019.
They also are coming off their best season, in terms of wins (10-2), in program history. However, they will be rebuilding the entire offense and breaking in a new quarterback for a second consecutive season.
QUESTION: Coach, y’all posted the first 10-win season in program history last year and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons. Do you feel y’all have turned the corner of putting the Tigers on the map, so to speak?
ANSWER: It's a challenge every year to maximize your teams' talent. This year we have the opportunity to fill many positions replacing last year's heavy graduating class. The key to our success will be the coaching staff building our system around the strength of our players. They have done an outstanding job my four years at Dawson and I am confident both coaches and players will be ready for the upcoming season. Our success will be focusing on consistency and finding the right personnel to execute as a team for 48 minutes.
Q: You will be rebuilding the offense, including the entire backfield, with just one returning starter. Whom do you see possibly emerging as some potential stars on offense once you get the pieces in place?
A: It's early and we have many new faces competing for playing time. As of today a few players -- receiver Dakohta Sonnichsen, H-back Hunter Barron, running back Shawn Thomas, offense linemen Bryson Broadway and Seth Adams -- have stood out in practice this summer. Hopefully, defensive crossover players' Riley Herndon, Brody Howell, and Bryce Bryant can contribute to the offense this year.