Class AAA - Region 6 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AAA - Region 6

Two of the state's top football teams - Carrollton and Cartersville - came out of this region last year and went deep into the postseason. That shouldn't change. Once again, this region will be very strong.

Cartersville made it to the semifinals last year and could challenge for the state title. Even though 11 starters graduated, there is enough talent to make a postseason run. If the Hurricanes can replace athletes such as offensive lineman Ian Smith, athlete Anthony Barnes and defensive lineman Mike Fair, Cartersville won't miss a beat. Junior quarterback Lyle Allen (6-2, 175) had a strong sophomore season and is more than capable of leading the offense. The running game will be strong with seniors Terrell Johnson (6-0, 180), Chris McClendon (5-11, 200) and Barret Knapps (5-10, 180) leading the way. If the Hurricanes find some linemen, this offense has the potential to dominate.
A pair of linebackers will lead the defense - senior Darius Benham (6-2, 235) and Brandon Houston (6-1, 195).

Some major holes have to be filled at Carrollton if the Trojans are to repeat as region champions. Twelve starters graduated, including quarterback Blake Caldwell and running back Sanchez Houston on offense. The Trojans also lost All-State offensive lineman Levere Alexander and defensive back Josh Young. The good news is that there is a good nucleus of returnees, including senior offensive lineman Latrampus Crowder (5-9, 175), senior tight end Matt Walton (6-2, 190) and junior wide receiver Jarrod Tarrant (6-1, 175). Coach Rayvan Teague is expecting a strong group of young talent to jockey for starting positions.

Cedartown may be the region's sleeper team depending on how well the players adapt to new coach Matt Hollis, a defensive guru and the backbone of Washington County's success in the 1990s.

After a 21-year absence and only winning a total of five games the previous three seasons, the Cass Colonels made it to the playoffs in 2004 with a 7-4 record. While many of the players responsible have graduated, Coach Rick Casko should have his team challenging for a return trip.

Banneker lost 17 starters but the Trojans are never short on speed and athleticism. If some younger players pull through, Banneker could challenge for a postseason berth.

Central-Carrollton should be improved but not enough to figure into the region race. The Lions will build their team around junior quarterback Kyle Padgett (6-2, 190).

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