Tuesday August 16th, 2022 8:45PM

Two-a-Days: Defense is top priority for Warriors heading into fall

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

There are just 18 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)...


The Warriors brought back popular assistant Chad Bennett to take over for Tim Cokely, and that sparked a lot of renewed interest in the program. However, they lost a lot of production to graduation and some key transfers.

The key area is on the defensive side, where they return just four starters from a year ago. Bennett discussed his return to Cleveland and rebuilding a defensive unit that was one of the better groups in the area in 2021. 

QUESTION: Coach, you’re back where you had a lot of success as an assistant. How has the transition to head coach been progressing so far through the summer

ANSWER: The transition has gone great. I was in a unique situation. I had the opportunity to coach the upperclassmen. They knew who I was and how I coached. They are still learning about me as the head coach, but the relationships had been built, making the transition smooth.

Q: The defense is replacing five starters on a unit that was better than the numbers showed in 2021. How is the rebuild of the defense coming along? Who are some guys that have impressed so far during the spring and summer?

A: I am very excited about the potential of our defense. Coach Logan Head and his staff are doing a great job preparing our guys for the season. We have some good football players that just need to get some Friday night experience. Jeb Robinson (Senior DL/LB), Jacob Holbrook (Sr. LB), Noah Williams (So. LB/DL), and Colton Turner (Sr. DB) are a group of experienced players we look for to lead the way defensively while building that experience with the other guys. Trenton O'Kelly, Devin Norton, J.D. Trowell, and Luke Dockery have had good spring and summer showings along the defensive line. Nate Bray, Carson Smith, Cade Dockery, and Ryan Fowler have had good summers at linebacker while in the secondary, Vondre Nelson, Cam Wilson, Kane Lowery, Caysen Duvall, Joseph Haynes, Isaiah Whitlow, and Elijah Nelson have all done a nice job and are competing for playing time.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, High School Sports, Friday Game Night
  • Associated Tags: High school football, White County football
© Copyright 2022
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
NASCAR's Kyle Busch thankful family escaped mall shooting
Kyle Busch’s tumultuous year took another turn. Busch, his wife and their two children escaped the Mall of America in Minnesota after shots were fired...
6:00AM ( 6 hours ago )
Scott McLaughlin fastest to grab Nashville IndyCar pole
Scott McLaughlin won the pole for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix on Saturday, grabbing his second career pole on his last flying lap in the Firestone Fast Six.
8:55PM ( 15 hours ago )
United beats Sounders with dramatic goal in stoppage
Andrew Gutman sent 68,586 fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium into a frenzy Saturday afternoon, as he delivered a dramatic goal in second half stoppage time to lift Atlanta United to a 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders...
8:50PM ( 15 hours ago )
Softball: Uncertainty surrounds area softball teams as 2022 campaign officially opens Thursday
Early talk has the 2022 GHSA girls softball campaign, which officially opens on Thursday around the state, being another rebuilding year for the Northeast Georgia area as a whole. However, for the first time in many years, the numbers are up and some young, talented players may be ready for breakout seasons...
12:04PM ( 3 days ago )
Coach Joe named grand marshall for Battle of the Heroes
The Easton Foundation announced Monday that "Coach Joe" Joseph York has been named the Grand Marshal for the 2022 Battle of the Heroes on Saturday, Aug. 6.
7:00AM ( 4 days ago )
Mic'd Up: Bennett, Warriors pushing toward opener
Chad Bennett may be the new head coach at White County but is not new to the program.
12:09PM ( 5 days ago )
High School Sports
Two-a-Days: Offense is immediate focus for Raiders
Despite a third straight winning season, the Raiders missed the playoffs for a second straight season in Class 7A in 2021. Now, they are moving down to Class 6A and immediately have become a favorite to win Region 8-6A...
8:04AM ( 1 week ago )
Two-a-Days: Enthusiasm is high for Indians, but OL rebuild is still a key area
The numbers and positive attitude surrounding the program are the highest in more than a half-dozen years. And first-year coach Heath Webb is known for being able to resurrect dormant programs...
4:10PM ( 1 week ago )
Two-a-Days: QB, OL are top issues as Lightning jump back into 11-man
The Lightning made the playoffs in the GAPPS 8-man division in 2021 but are making the jump back into the 11-man league this season. But there are still plenty of questions as they are expected to break in a freshman at quarterback and trying to find enough guys up front to keep him protected...
10:04AM ( 1 week ago )
Friday Game Night
Two-a-Days: New QB, defensive changes the focus for the Panthers
The Panthers made the playoffs in 2021, the eighth time in nine seasons, but also suffered their second straight losing season for the first time in a decade.
4:04PM ( 1 week ago )
Two-a-Days: Interest is at an all-high for the Indians, who still have plenty of on-field questions
Coach Jason Roquemore said interest in the program has been the biggest change in now his third season in Hiawassee. But they have plenty of on-field questions to answer, most specifically in the secondary, which will be young and inexperienced...
10:04AM ( 1 week ago )
Two-a-Days: Defensive changes highlight Eagles' summer work
The Eagles were hit hardest by COVID and roster defections over the past two seasons. However, a move into the Georgia Independent Athletic Association and out of GHSA may be just the catalyst to get the program back on track. Coach Nick Garrett is hoping the same thing...
4:04PM ( 1 week ago )
Two-a-Days: Changes abound for Wildcats as they try to keep rolling
The Wildcats' offense should still be plenty lethal with most of the key skilled guys back. Finding the right combination up front and how quickly the defense incorporates and embraces the new staff changes may be the key to the season...
10:04AM ( 1 week ago )
Two-a-Days: Trojans making progress on systemic offensive changes
Probably no other program in Northeast Georgia is undergoing as systemic a change as the Trojans. After running the wing-T for more than two decades from elementary school to high school, new coach Sean Pender and his staff are implementing a spread offense...
4:04PM ( 1 week ago )