Henry county football media day

Those two teams faced off 38 times over the years and the series sits in Stockbridge’s favor at 19-18-1. One of the classic games between the two was the 1994 contest that decided the sub-region championship, a 10-7 win by the Warhawks at old Stockbridge High School. Sadly, the rivalry, which has not been played since 2011 will come to an end this season with the closing of Henry County High School and the opening of nearby McDonough High.

The Bulldogs had one of the most talented teams in the county last year and caught fire in midseason when a quarterback change was made and freshmen Arendez Fedd took the reins of the offense. The finished out the season 4-2 and lost a tough first round playoff game on the road on a tough call right at the end when they held the lead.

Gone are 18 players from that team, including stars Trey Dean who is now playing for Florida and Chris Joyce who signed with Tulane.

The Golden Eagles made a splash in the playoffs after a two year absence. They held the lead late into the second half against the undefeated and 4 th ranked Warner Robins Demons before falling in overtime. Graduation hit the skill positions hard and Coach Jones has spent the offseason reloading the talent, specifically at QB were last year’s starter Cameron Lewis is now at East Tennessee State. Look for several younger players to get a shot early in the season with more emphasis on a running style. Running backs Trimarcus Cheeks and Omar Joudeh will chew up the yardage while the youngsters get acclimated. WR Jamari King said, “We are all hungry after the results of last season, we are looking to bounce back after that tough loss.”

The first win for the Hampton Hornets this season occurred when they dropped from Class AAAAA to Class AAAA (this is their third region in five seasons) for the upcoming season. Head Coach Chad Ashley hopes to build off of the momentum of their first ever region victory last year (a 17-14 thriller over Woodland) and the new region to continue the push towards the state playoffs.

The Hornets are an option running team and will be led by SR Jacquari Smith, a two-year starter at QB. The young lines will be anchored by SR Zenas Clark and JR Kyle Perry. With a lot of talented but inexperienced kids, look for Hampton to greatly improve on last year’s record and make some noise in the region playoff race. Henry County Warhawks

It will truly be the end of an era as this is the final season of the Henry County Warhawks, who played their first season in 1954 (the school will become the McDonough High School Warhawks next season). Head Coach Morris Starr has the privilege of leading the historic program through its last season and would like nothing more to go out with a playoff appearance. Last year’s squad broke a 22-game losing streak and Coach Morris Starr has a solid nucleus of returning veterans.

They will begin their final season under the leadership of SR All-Region quarterback Jaylon West who has weapons in WRs Emmanuel Vulue and Ivan Snipes. They will need to find a durable running back early in the year to replace last year’s leading rusher, Eddie Battle. On defense, the front is led by Johnathan Douglas and Chris Phillips with Aaron Mason looking to clean up from his LB spot.

Coach Clint Satterfield and the Wildcats are looking forward to rebounding from a disappointing 3-7 season that is far below Locust Grove standards. But optimism abounds as a there is a lot of talent returning, especially on defense and SR quarterback, R.J. McDaniel, who is making noise on the recruiting front. Bolstered by a strong showing in the summer 7-on-7 season, the Wildcats look to return to playoff contention.

Part of the process will be to replace last year’s All-County RB Latrell Murray, but there is a speedster in the wings in Dejon Conway who saw some carries last year and excelled on special teams. Based on the offense, look for him to have a breakout season. He will be joined in the backfield by Evan Stephens who also has experience in running the ball.

Head Coach Jared Zito is ready to put last year in the rear-view mirror. Although many programs would welcome their 5-5 record from the 2017 campaign, the Mustangs feel like they slightly underachieved. Coach Zito said, “We lost a really talented senior class from last year, this year we are going to be an inexperienced group and we need to replace some key positions. We have three defensive starters and just a handful of offense players returning. We have been working hard since the banquet and I am proud of this group, a lot of guys are getting a chance to play varsity for the first time and grow.”

Coach Whitley said, “We are tired of being close, we have had some success, but we want to get to the next level.” With a mix of talented seniors who are getting to prove themselves for the first time a mix of younger players, look for this Tiger edition to be just as explosive and dangerous as we have come to expect from Stockbridge. Union Grove Wolverines

The Wolfpack is only two years removed from a quarterfinal appearance in the state playoffs and finished the season ranked 7 th in the final rankings. After a learning curve last year in Head Coach Bryan Love’s first season, look for the Wolfpack to make strides in the coming months. Coach Love said, “Kids are more familiar with our system; looking forward to the transition as we moved forward.”

SR Dawson Grooms leads a stout offensive line that includes Evan Davis, Royce Mitchell and James Crawford, all who come into the season with significant playing time. Grooms said, “We plan on carrying the load and leading our running game.” With a mix of younger skill players – the Wolfpack is poised to improve and get back into playoff contention.