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Sunday August 25th, 2019 4:30PM

Two-a-Days: Bulk of White County offense returns in 2019

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

There are just 27 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, sandpits 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. 

This session with White County coach Tim Cokely will conclude the 2019 edition of AccessWDUN's Friday Game Night "Two-a-Days" series. We hope we got you prepped for the start of gridiron action with a look at all of our northeast Georgia teams.

WHITE COUNTY

The Warriors managed to get into the playoffs in 2018 for a second straight season despite a four-game drop in wins and playing in the brutal Region 7-4A.

And they did it with a young roster, which returns the bulk of its skilled offensive players, including now-junior quarterback J Ben Haynes, who may be poised for a breakout season, and their entire receiving corp as well.

 

QUESTION: Coach Cokely, J Ben Haynes (junior quarterback) returns as does the entire receiving corp from 2018. There were struggles last year in a transition year yet y’all managed to make the playoffs. Could this be the year the offense really breaks loose?

ANSWER: Offensively we should be strong since virtually all of our skill guys return. Besides our returning receiver corps and QB, we are looking for big things from our running back group which includes Cory Ezzard, Zion McMullen, Jared Julian and Silas Mulligan.

Q: Y’all also lost most of your defensive front from 2018, including two huge players in Jay Lepkoske and Deejay Fleming. What is status right now of rebuilding that unit?

A: Defensively all three linebackers -- Cory Ezzard, Jared Julian and Greg Wimer -- return. Those guys, along with our starting safety Nix Burkett, should shore up a vastly improved unit.

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