Class A - Region 1 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class A - Region 1
Some have suggested that Region 1 change its name to the "Clinch County Region" and this year once again the talented Panthers are tabbed for another region championship. As the Panthers seek their fifth consecutive Dome appearance, replacing the bulk of a record setting defense will be the top priority. The cupboard is far from bare in Homerville with defensive tackles Edric Tolbert and Quincey Williams, both All-Area players from 2004, and defensive end Lafiyama Lacey returning to anchor the Panther defense. With successful feeder programs turning out replacements yearly, the Panthers will once again have a stable of quick and athletic players to place into the defensive lineup. Head coach Jim Dickerson was the defensive coordinator before becoming the top Panther last year and will definitely have the defensive Panthers on the prowl as they look to go deep in the playoffs once again. On the offensive side of the ball All-State running back Justin Gainey, who rushed for 1,525 yards and scored 22 TDs in 2004 as a sophomore, returns to lead the Panther ground attack. Fullback Wendell Cobb, who missed time due to injury in 2004, returns to give the Panthers a nice one-two punch in the running game. The quarterback will be Shane Burns and he looks to give the Panthers a little more threat through the air. The offensive line will feature good size with Christopher Davis, Carl Addison, and Jordan Tolle all in excess of 225 pounds. Lafiyama Lacey will also play tight end and with his height he should be an easy target for Burns.

Following on the heels of the Panthers will be Turner County, Miller County, and Seminole County as the favorites to make the playoffs in the other positions. Coach Erik Soliday's Rebels hope Chad Walker can remain healthy at running back as he had 700+ yards before going down with an injury. The Rebels also have a potent air attack that can bedevil any of the teams in Region 1 on a good night. Coach Ronnie McNease will once again have a tough, hard-nosed Pirate squad that must be reckoned with. Quarterback Jeremy Grant, only a freshman in 2004, will return with a year under his belt to guide the Pirate attack. The Seminole County Indians under then first year coach Alan Ingram finished strong with three straight wins to end the 2004 campaign and look to improve.

Atkinson County was hit hard by graduation and could be in for a rebuilding year. The Rebels were hit hard by graduation but have a number of good young athletes and with veteran coach Lloyd McDonald at the helm could be a team that surprises in 2005. Lanier County continues to build a team and seeks to improve and have a winning season in 2005. The Pelham Hornets lost twelve seniors and look to be in a rebuilding situation for 2005.

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