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Tuesday August 9th, 2022 4:56PM

Two-a-Days: Changes abound for new-look Dragons

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

There are just 25 days remaining until the kickoff of the 2022 high school football season. But make no mistake, preparations for the upcoming campaign got underway months ago. And teams throughout northeast Georgia already 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. Our "Two-a-Days" series honors 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)...

JEFFERSON

The Dragons not only will be replacing the likes of Malaki Starks (Georgia) and standouts Kadin Bailey, Jordan Perry and Austin Redmon to graduation, but they are also will be breaking in their third head coach since winning the Class 2A state title in 2012.

Travis Noland takes over for Gene Cathcart and brings in his pro-style offense as they transition away from the option. They also will be trying to fill several key secondary slots on defense.

A new quarterback will be unveiled, and how quickly things take hold may decide whether they can make another playoff run despite moving up to Class 5A. Noland discussed the offensive changes, the quarterback situation, and the secondary.

QUESTION: Coach, you're switching the offense to a more conventional pro-style attack. How has that transition been coming along during the spring and summer, and has anyone taken hold of the QB spot as you get ready for the Fall?

ANSWER: "Our transition offensively has gone well to this point. Max Aldridge has done a good job at quarterback and will be our starter going into the season. Our offensive line continues to improve, and we look forward to the entire offense getting better as the season progresses."

Q: On defense, y’all are having to replace nearly the entire secondary from last season. Who has stepped up so far as y’all rebuild that key position?

A: "Defensively in the secondary, we have a good nucleus returning in senior safeties Bowman Horn and Chase Johnson and (junior) corner Justin Beatty as well as some talented newcomers. Much like our offense, we expect our defense to improve and get better as the season goes on."

  • Previously in Two-a-Days: JACKSON COUNTY
  • Up Next in Two-a-Days: JOHNSON
  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, Jefferson football
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