Class AAAAA - Region 6 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AAAAA - Region 6

Graduation took its toll on just about everyone in 6-AAAAA, leaving the Roswell Hornets as an early favorite for the region crown.

Roswell's optimism stems from boasting the region's most explosive returning player, senior running back Randell Bell. The 5-10, 195-pounder is tough to stop. Roswell hopes for a better finish this season after 2004, when a 6-0 start was derailed by three straight region losses.

Don't count out Walton, a perennial Cobb power that is 76-34 in 10 seasons under head coach Ed Dudley. Dudley has to replace graduated running back Justin Forte, who did just about everything last year and rushed for 2,395 yards and 26 TDs. Quarterback Ross Applegate, a lanky 6-5 1/2 athlete, leads the offense after throwing for 960 yards and seven TDs as a junior. He returns his top target in Michael Strickland (41 catches, 576 yards, 5 TDs), but Walton brings back just four starters on defense.

Cherokee also was hurt by graduation, but head coach Brian Dameron's program has been among the state's best in recent years. The Warriors knocked off Gwinnett powers Brookwood and Collins Hill to reach the quarterfinals last year.

A program on the rise is Lassiter, which went 6-4 a year ago with an inexperienced team. The Trojans should be boosted by a strong offense.

The remainder of the region is looking for better results than last season. Kell and Milton were 3-7 a year ago and Pope, Wheeler and Woodstock all went 2-8. Despite the loss of some top Division I recruits, don't be surprised if Wheeler betters last year's mark behind playmaker Tay Robinson and a solid defense.

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