The high school football season is quickly approaching (the scrimmages will be held Friday, August 16th), which means it’s a perfect time to take an in-depth look at the Fannin Rebels, the Gilmer Bobcats, and the Pickens Dragons and what their seasons may very well hold in store. With that being said, let’s get started with the Fannin Rebels:Fannin Rebels
2013 Record: 1-9 (1-6 in Region)
Breakdown: Last season the Rebels had the misfortune of landing in a region with powerhouses like Buford and North Hall, which led to a rough year that saw the team’s 31-8 victory over West Hall on September 28th serve as the squad’s lone victory on the season. With a year of growing pains now under their belt, the Rebels will look to continue rebuilding and make some noise in the region.
Biggest Concern: Depth. Fannin has a considerable amount of talent, especially on offense with senior quarterback Trevor Stone, running back Peyton Satterfield, and junior wide receiver Hunter O’Neal, but the question is whether or not the team has enough behind their starters to keep up with other teams through four quarters of football. With fifty-three players currently on their roster, it looks as if Fannin should be alright as far as having the quantity needed to sustain a competitive team; the only question is whether or not the drop-off between the starters and the subs will wreck the Rebels’ chances.
Projections: The Rebels will make strides in their second season in Region 7-AAA, although a winning record may still be a year or two away. Here is how I see Fannin’s season playing out:
August 30th vs Gilmer (Loss)
September 6th vs Union (Loss)
September 13th @ White (Win)
September 20th @ Murphy, NC (Loss)
September 27th vs West Hall (Win)
October 11th vs North Hall (Loss)
October 18th @ Banks (Win)
October 25th vs Buford (Loss)
November 1st @ Dawson (Loss)
November 8th @ East Hall (Loss)
Final Record: 3-6
2013 Record: 8-3 (3-1)
Breakdown: The Bobcats had an outstanding 2013 season, coming within ten points of an undefeated regular season and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Despite the loss of several key players from last season’s squad, Gilmer looks prepared to pounce on their 7-AAAA opponents once again in hopes of going to the playoffs back-to-back seasons, something that the Bobcats have not done in sixteen years.
Biggest Concern: Passing Game. Although Gilmer works out of the option, the team doesn’t stray from throwing the ball when it is necessary, so the loss of quarterback Marlen Hensley as well as wide receiver Connor Webber (both have graduated) puts some uncertainty in the air. Gilmer will be looking to replace these two game-changers with junior quarterback Chris James and a trio of senior wide receivers in Nick Cobb, Corey Waters, and Bryan Bremm, so keep an eye on how head coach Wesley Tankersley calls his offense as these new starters settle in.
Projections: Coach Tankersley will have the Bobcats battling for the region title once again, and while the win-loss record may not be quite as impressive as last season, Gilmer should very well plan on playing an eleventh game once again.
August 30th @ Fannin (Win)
September 6th vs Sonoraville (Win)
September 13th vs Southeast Whitfield (Win)
September 20th @ Dalton (Loss)
September 27th vs LaFayette (Win)
October 11th @ Cass (Loss)
October 18th vs Pickens (Loss)
October 25th vs Cass (Win)
November 11th @ Cedartown (Win)
Final Record: 6-3
2013 Record: 5-5 (3-2)
Breakdown: The Dragons had a very good season in the team’s first under the leadership of head coach Chris Parker, as the team posted its first non-losing season since 2006 and was a win away in the region play-in game from making the state playoffs for the first time in eight years. Now with a year of experience running Coach Parker’s spread offense, Pickens appears ready to take the next step in becoming an annual contender in a very strong region that features the strong teams of Gilmer, Dalton, and Northwest Whitfield.
Biggest Concern: Offensive Line. Pickens has one of the best quarterback-running back tandems in North Georgia in senior quarterback Tanner Brumby and junior running back Shannon Brooks, but the only question is whether or not the line in front of them will be capable of opening up holes for them to run through. As Coach Parker previously explained, the line that the Dragons will have this season is strong but inexperienced, which could cause the first few games of the year to serve as a huge learning experience for the men up front.
Projections: The Dragons will see Brumby and Brooks rack up yards throughout the season and the experienced Dragons’ defense, led by senior linebacker Thomas Howard, will stand tall in a year that will see Pickens play well throughout, beat the Bobcats for the first time since 2008, and finally snap their long playoff drought.
August 30th vs Sonoraville (Win)
September 13th @ Northwest Whitfield (Loss)
September 20th vs Heritage (Win)
September 27th @ Ridgeland (Loss)
October 4th vs Cass (Win)
October 11th vs Cedartown (Win)
October 18th @ Gilmer (Win)
October 25th @ Johnson (Win)
November 11th @ River Ridge (Win)
Final Record: 7-2
A special thanks to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association for multiple statistics and records utilized in this preview. For all high school football stats, GHSFHA’s website is the place to go.
Disagree with these predictions? Leave a comment and let us hear how you believe your favorite team’s season will be