JEFFERSON — Jefferson is more than just a football team. They’re a family.
Coach Gene Cathcart and his staff have built a program that is more about family, brotherhood, than Xs and Os.
Sure, the Xs and Os are working well – No. 1 offense, No. 10 defense – but the chemistry is the driving force that has them in the Class 4A state title game more so than the play calling.
It’s evident when you take a trip to Memorial Stadium and watch the way practice is conducted by the staff and players.
“You gotta trust the process and have faith in what the coaches are teaching you,” running back Jordan Perry said. “You’ve got to have people that are willing to work with each other.”
“We’re brothers out here,” Reese Johnson said. “We trust each other a lot.”
Cathcart says his team has the “we over me” attitude.
“I’d like to think a true championship team would have great chemistry,” he said. “Cohesion, selflessness and, obviously, God-given ability, because no mule has ever won the Kentucky Derby. I was once told the greatest compliment a coach can get is his team plays the game the right way, very physical, with great effort and class.”
The Dragons will have their single toughest test of the 2020 season when they face No. 1 Marist on Tuesday. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. and can be heard live on FM 102.9 WDUN. The War Eagles have the top defense in all classifications, giving up just 2.8 points per game. But the Dragons have the top-ranked scoring offense -- 44 ppg -- in Class 4A.
“We’ve got a big task in front of us, but we like to think they have a pretty sizable task in front of them, too,” Cathcart said.
It has all the ingredients to be a game for the ages.
“We know they are physical,” junior lineman Dylan Ryoul said. “They have the best defense in the state of Georgia, but we have the best scoring offense. We’ve just got to be physical like we always are.”
“They’re good. If we keep the ball in our hands and not shoot ourselves in the football, l think we’ll be all right,” Johnson said.