Newcomers make Region 1-AA even tougher -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Newcomers make Region 1-AA even tougher

August 10, 2004

Undated - Two-time region 1-AAA champion Thomasville knows life will not be any easier in region 1-AA.

The Bulldogs return six starters on offense including quarterback Clay Hodges but the problem is there are no skill players back on offense and only three starters back on defense.

 One of those defensive starters is free safety Chris Burkes who will most likely see alot of snaps on offense this year as a young Thomasville team is expecting a tough fight for a state playoff berth.

Thomasville head coach Tommy Welch said  "From everything I have seen and heard about those guys, we will have to battle to just to make one of those top four. "

It is the exact opposite over in Quitman, where Brooks County is returning to region 1-AA loaded with experience and talent.

The Trojans have seven starters back on offense and seven on defense including Micah Edwards who is a three year starter at quarterback.

Edwards has a major college prospect in Joseph Huewitt at wide receiver and junior fullback Jaboa Dixon already has 160 career tackles at linebacker.

Brooks County head coach Ryan Branch said "If our kids get locked in and they do what we are talking about doing and they buy into it, I think we will definitely have a chance to win it."

Up the road in Adel, Cook High coach George Dean has a stable full of running backs returning who accounted 2500 rushing yards last year.

The Hornets also have experience at the receiver position and on the line but have a young but promising quarterback in Ty Goff.

The worry for coach Dean is over on defense where the Hornets have just two starters back.

Dean says so far the defensive line and secondary are shaping up in the preseason but not linebacker.

George Dean said "We have got to some little bitty kids that can run to the ball and we have some bigger kids who just haven't gotten any experience. So, we just have to find what the best combination is and make it work."

Over at Berrien, Mike Hill becomes the third coach in the last three seasons and his job is to try to turn around a program that has won just three games in the last two years.

The Rebels return four starters on offense including quarterback Jordan Stokes and five starters on defense.

Hill believes is needed most is a new attitude and one small step forward is the fact the Rebels have alot of new players out for football.

Hill said "It is a habit forming, losing as much as winning is. Once they start believing and getting the right attitude, I believe we can turn this thing around."

Mike Hill's first game as a head coach is against Fitzgerald and Cook High will open at home against Cairo. 

Brooks County also opens at home agianst West Laurens and Thomasville starts their season against rival Thomas County Central.

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