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2021 Sequoyah Chiefs Season Preview

The Sequoyah Chiefs have been on the fringe of the playoffs for the past two seasons. The Chiefs were snubbed of a playoff spot due to region tie-breakers and COVID cancelled games. Sequoyah started the season losing five straight games before finding their stride, and winning four of the last five they played. Throughout the season they found answers at positions that needed help. Although the 2020 Chiefs missed the playoffs, they may have set up this 2021 team for success. It may not have been the most successful season for Coach Teter, but easily one of his most impressive. 

 

Sequoyah will miss the contributions of Jack Blackman, Jaden Mitchell, and Joseph Silva among others, however they will come into 2021 with a strong core returning.  Matthew Traynor solidified himself as a top tier Quarterback, and Peyton Lucas proved he could solidify the backfield The offense for Sequoyah is normally one that is hard to predict due to the Wing-T system. It largely depends on the defense on the other side of the ball and how sure the opponents run defense is. With that being said, Teter has averaged 21.7 points per game over his career at Sequoyah.  

 

The Chiefs defense will be one of the more complete squads to start the season. They will be returning Avery Born and Harrison Hood to the defensive line, Kemar Plummer to the Linebacking core, as well as Ben Sanders and Jackson Hancock to the secondary. They are switching to a 3-4 defense under the guidance of new defensive coordinator Brent Budde, which should allow them to play faster and rally to the ball. 

 

So what should fans expect from the 2021 Chiefs? The playoffs seem like a reasonable goal for Sequoyah in 2021. It’s hard to see them compete for a region title, but they will definitely be in the running for a playoff spot. The key games for Sequoyah will be Creekview, River Ridge, and Johns Creek. If they can defeat one of the three they should claim a playoff spot. If they win two or three of those, the conversation would shift to home playoffs or even a region title. 

 

We see Sequoyah as a 6-4 team. It’s hard to pick them over Cherokee, the games with Cass and Woodstock are about as close to a toss-up as you’ll see and they should be favored in most of the region schedule. 

 

The Chiefs have the opportunity to resolidify themselves as an upper-tier team in North Georgia. Sequoyah has made enough changes in the right places to convince us that they will be one of the sleeper teams coming into the 2021 campaign.

2021 River Ridge Knights Season Preview

The River Ridge Knights surprised everyone in 2020. They not only claimed their first victory against Cherokee County opponents, but beat all four they faced. They not only had their first winning season in 10 years, they were undefeated. They not only made the playoffs for only the second time in school history, they made it all the way to the quarterfinals. They finished as the 5th best team in 6A (AJC) and shocked the state by dominating Rome in the Playoffs before falling to Lee County. 

 

River Ridge ran all over Lassiter to open the season and things only picked up from there. They beat Woodstock and Etowah in back to back weeks before charging into the region schedule. They continued to dominate, with only a few games even being competitive. They relied on the legs of Amehre Morrison, the arm of Carson Lathem, and the hands of Jackson Head and Riley Caines. Amehre finished just a few yards under the 2k mark, Carson tossed 17 touchdowns to only 7 Interceptions, and Andrew Bingham proved to be the ultimate utility player by racking up over 700 yards of all-purpose yards. Most of the skill position players will be returning for the Knights, including Morrison, Lathem, Bingham, and Head. The offensive line will have some new faces, but they will be big. Jonathan Faletra (6’5” 270 lbs), Jack Hall (6’5” 285 lbs), and Matthew Yuschak (6’7” 275lbs) are all names to know. 

 

The River Ridge defense was the most complete unit in the county. They didn’t have much star power, but every starter was above average. The leader of the Defense was Cherokee County defensive player of the year, Brain Bradley with 118 tackles, 19 tackles for loss with 9 sacks. The Knights defense proved to be stout enough to stand up to the best offenses and consistent enough to keep teams under 20 points in 7 games.  Bradley will be back this year to lead a defense with plenty of new faces. Dylon Persad, Hunter Coleman, and Brendon Dye will also be returning. 

 

What can fans expect from the Knights? Expectations will be high on Arnold Mill Road and they should be. There’s no reason to expect anything less than a top two finish in the region. The difference this year is that River Ridge will be getting the best from every team this year. They won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this year. They play a fairly easy schedule when compared to the other teams in the county. Lassiter hasn’t had a winning season since 2017, Etowah and Woodstock could provide a challenge, but with both teams being younger and with new coaches, River Ridge will be favored. The region schedule is the biggest challenge, with teams like Creekview, Johns Creek, and Riverwood gunning for a region championship. 

 

River Ridge is close to another undefeated season, but we’ll give them a 9-1 season. The Creekview game is the only game we see where the Knights won’t be heavy favorites. River Ridge will also face off against Woodstock and Etowah who will be hungry for revenge after last year. The Knights didn’t get a chance to square off against Johns Creek, so that’ll be another game to watch. The Knights have another legitimate shot at a region championship. 

River Ridge broke out in 2020, and while expectations may be a little too high in Woodstock, there is still no reason not to see the Knight in the top two of the region. River Ridge will once again be in the conversation for the best team in Cherokee County. 

2021 Etowah Eagles Season Preview

The Etowah Eagles are coming off of one of the worst years in program history. However, things may not be as bad as they seem. For starters, Etowah suffered the most from the COVID-shortened preseason. Coach Matt Kemper and his staff had to teach the Eagles as they worked through the schedule. Each week they improved as they navigated a schedule with state powers such as Milton, North Cobb, Roswell, and Cherokee. They capped off the season with an upset victory over Alpharetta, giving the Eagles something to build on for the offseason. 

 

Etowah was a young team coming into 2020, and will retain lots of starters from last year. The biggest question mark is at Quarterback as the Eagles only managed 700 yards and 1 touchdown of passing offense. Will Curcio will be moving into his junior year and could reclaim the starting job, although Braden Bohannon took most of the snaps in the spring game against Sprayberry and looked like a bonafide starter.  Etowah is also losing Running back Klivert Many who drove the offense for Etowah in 2020. Luis Martinez and Elijah Washington will look to fill that hole in the lineup. Brock Rechsteiner and Blake Bohannon will be sorely missed on both sides of the ball, but Etowah should have enough talent in reserve to replace them in some capacity. 

 

Etowah slowly found their stride on defense, ending the season by holding Alpharetta to 6. The Eagles defense was anchored by a strong linebacking core, which will have to be replaced this year. They will be returning Frank Mosley IV, Jaiden Maddox, Will Pailthorpe, and Alex Kirby to bolster the young defense. The biggest losses, besides Brock Rechsteiner, are Austin Skinner and Jared Weitkamp. Etowah will have to find their stride quickly as they stare down another loaded schedule in 2021. 

 

So what should fans expect from the 2021 Eagles? The Eagles will face two of the best 6A teams in the state with Creekview and River Ridge. Things don’t get any easier with games against North Forsyth and North Cobb before jumping into the region schedule. The good news is that since the Eagles are in a region with only 6 teams, they can find a playoff spot with just a couple of wins in the region. 

 

Etowah seems to be a 4-6 team to us. It’s hard to see them beating Milton, but we think they could upset Roswell or Cherokee. They should be competitive again this year with Woodstock and Alpharetta to round out the region. While the out of region schedule is tough, we see them picking up a game or two there. Etowah is a fringe playoff team depending on their performances late in the season. 

 

Things on Eagle Drive are looking up. Coach Kemper gets a full offseason and preseason to work with his team, Braden Bohannon looked like a quality QB in the spring game, and they have plenty of returning talent around him. The defense will have to grow as they go but have the experience they need in each position level. There will be plenty of quality football to watch on Eagle Mountain this season. 

2021 Creekview Grizzlies Season Preview

The Creekview Grizzlies are the second youngest program in Cherokee County, yet arguably have had the most success. Through the 15 seasons of Grizzly Football, they have claimed a 104-55 record with 8 playoff appearances. With all of that success, expectations are higher in Macedonia than anywhere else in Cherokee County. The 2020 campaign was really an above average year for the Grizzlies, but with losses to Cherokee and River Ridge, no one really seemed to notice. The season ended with a surprising 34-14 loss to Sprayberry in the first round of the playoffs. The defense carried the Grizzlies last year, allowing only 12.5 points per game. The offense only averaged 18.9 points per game, the fewest points scored since 2010 when Creekview had their worst season in program history, going 3-7. 

 

Creekview will come into 2021 with plenty of new faces on both sides of the ball. The Grizzlies lost crucial offensive pieces like Quarterback Brody Rhodes, Wide Receivers Dawson Curry and Andrew Cloy, as well as pieces such as Chase Wright and Hayden Thompson. Creekview has two solid options to replace Rhodes, with Senior Mason Hicks and Freshman Austin Guest. Creekview is known for their offensive line, and the 2021 crew will have to replace four starters from last year. The Grizzlies will be returning key players like Runningbacks Tyler Stevens and AJ Vaccaro to round out the 2021 offense. 

 

Creekview is coming off of one of the best defensive years in Cherokee County history, largely due to a relentless pass rush. Creekview had 45 team sacks last year in only 10 games. Unfortunately for the 2021 Grizzlies, only 1 player who recorded a sack last year (DE Isaac Hubert with 8.0) will be back. Creekview will also be returning Taylor Cox-Young and Cale Williams. Creekview won’t lack talent but will lack experience. However, never overlook a Trevor Williams coached defense. 

 

So what should fans expect from the 2021 Grizzlies? Creekview is the only team in the county that will have to find a new QB. Creekview is also replacing more starters than any other team in Cherokee County. That leaves a lot of question marks, but there are a few things we do know. Creekview has a tradition of winning, and we don’t see that changing. Creekview also has one of the best youth programs in the area, so just because we don’t know their names yet, there’s no reason to believe the Grizzlies won’t have enough talent to compete.

 

We see Creekview as a 7-3 team with a top two finish in the region. It’s hard to give Creekview an edge over River Ridge in the region, but that game is as close to a toss-up as it gets. Creekview will also be facing three 7A teams in the first three games (Etowah, Woodstock, Cherokee) which is a tough stretch to get through unscathed. We expect Creekview to host yet another playoff game this year, the question is whether they will be a region champion or runner-up. History also backs up this prediction, as the Grizzlies have an all-time 39-11 record against their 10 scheduled opponents. That includes a 9-0 record against Cambridge, a 10-3 record against Sequoyah and a 8-1 record against River Ridge. 

 

Creekview is in a transition period of talent, but has enough continuity in returning players and coaching to keep them in the top of the county. They are always a tough out and seem to be competitive in the few losses they do have. Fans in Macedonia have plenty to be excited about.

2021 Cherokee Warriors Season Preview

The Cherokee Warriors have solidified themselves as the perennial power of Cherokee County with an 8-2 record against inter-county teams since 2018. They also received statewide recognition last year with wins against Carver, Rome, and of course, Cartersville. The Warriors biggest achilles heel has been late season region games. The Warriors have missed a top-two spot in the region by one game in each of the last three years. Because of this the Warriors have only one playoff win to go with the 20-10 record they have racked up since 2018. 

 

Cherokee will enter the 2021 campaign with the core pieces still intact. AJ Swann is coming off of a 2500 yard season with 23 Touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. He also picked up his 4th star and is now ranked as the 13th best Pro-Style Quarterback according to Rivals.com. Adarrius Harshaw has been the target of choice for Swann. He racked up 872 yards on 53 catches with 7 Touchdowns to boot. Harshaw has also received national recognition, now being a 3-star Wide Receiver according to 247sports.com and a 4-star receiver according to ESPN. Cherokee will also enjoy the addition of WR Aidan Moore from Sequoyah, who should add a solid option as a second receiver opposite of Harshaw. Ryan Chandley II and Ben Rice will be responsible for anchoring a Cherokee offensive line that lost Nason Simmons, Derrick Battle, and Steve Hardison. 

 

On defense, The Warriors will have much more talent to replace. With the loss of Braesen Parker, Riley Lyons, and Austin Tremble, Cherokee will have to replace three first-team All County starters. The good news is that Toby Thompson, Tanner Dollyhigh, as well as Chase and Tyler Goddard, will be returning. The biggest question for the defense is who will be patrolling the secondary, especially in a region with QB talent like Devin Farrell and Robbie Roper to contend with. 

 

So what should fans expect from the 2021 Warriors? It’s no secret Cherokee will once again be one of the best teams in Cherokee County, the question is what they can do outside of what they have already accomplished. Cherokee will face all of the same opponents from the 2020 season except for Carver, who will be replaced by Mays in the Corky Kell. Unfortunately for the Warriors, this season will require a much more difficult travel schedule, with road games against Rome, Cartersville, and Milton. The good news is that they will play the majority of their region schedule at Tommy Baker Field. The key for Cherokee will be to convert some of those early season successes to the latter half of the season. 

 

We see Cherokee as an 8-2 team with a top two finish in the region. Milton still seems the easy favorite to win the region, with Roswell and Cherokee battling for second. We still see Cherokee winning in the Corky Kell and against Rome. However, the Cartersville game is close to a toss up. Since the Canes will have home-field advantage, we’ll give the theoretical edge to them. 

 

The time for Cherokee to solidify themselves as a state power with a couple of playoff wins is now. They have all the talent they need, they just need to find their place in the playoffs and pull out a win. 

Pickens County Track Runner Signs with Georgia

Pickens Track Runner Seth White offically signed with the Georgia Bulldogs on Wednesday. He was a 4-star prospect in the 2021 class. 

 

His announcement comes after winning the 800m State Championship for 4A. He posted a 1:53.68 time for the win. 

 

Seth also won Region 7-4A in the 800m, 1600m, 3200m and was part of the winning 4x400m team. 

 

Seth is also a proficient Cross Country runner, winning the Region 4-7A 5K race in 2020. He will also run Cross Country for the Bulldogs after posting a top 5 finish at this years state 4A championship.

 

Seth was awarded with the 2020-2021 David Jones Memorial Male Athlete of the year. 

 

(Picture courtesy of Cana Lutz)

Three local High School Basketball teams make their way to the Final Four

5 local teams found their way into the Elite Eight round of the GHSA High School Girls Basketball playoffs, with 3 of those teams moving on to the Final Four. Congratulations to all the local teams that have made it this far, and good luck to the remaining teams in the tournament. 

 

Cherokee: The Lady Warriors fell to Marietta 54-53. Their season ends with a 24-4 record. 
 

Woodstock: The Lady Wolverines punched their ticket to the Final Four with a solid victory over Newton, 64-39. Woodstock will travel to Brookwood later this week. 

 

River Ridge: The Lady Knights dominated Grovetown 74-57 to advance to the Final Four. They will host Westlake Friday night at 6 P.M. 

 

Pickens: The Nettes fell to Cairo 49-51. Pickens ends thier season with a 22-5 record. 

 

Fannin: The Lady Rebels punched their ticket to the next round with a 66-64 victory over Early County. Fannin will face the winner of Butler/Columbia in the Final Four round. 

2021 High School Basketball Playoff results

Over 10 local teams found their way into the 2021 GHSA Basketball Playoffs. Below are the results from all of the games for teams from Fannin to Cherokee County. Congratulations on a great season to all of the teams that made it, and good luck in the next round to all of the teams that advanced.

 

7A Boys 

#2 Cherokee defeated #3 Peachtree Ridge 68-51. Cherokee will face Berkmar on Saturday at 5:00 P.M at Bermar. 

#3 Etowah fell to #2 Collins Hill 67-75. Etowah ends the season with a 18-8 record. 

 

6A Boys

#3 Sequoyah fell to #2 Wheeler 59-75. Sequoyah ends the season with a 16-13 record.

#4 River Ridge fell to #1 Kell 56-58. River Ridge ends the season with a 15-14 record. 

 

4A Boys

#3 Pickens fell to #2 Stephenson 58-68. Pickens ends the season with a 14-13 record. 

 

 7A Girls

#1 Cherokee defeated #4 Mill Creek 55-19. Cherokee will face Norcross this friday at 6 P.M at home. 

#2 Woodstock defeated #3 North Gwinnett by a score of 65-48. Woodstock will face Archer at 6 P.M on Friday at Archer. 

#4 Etowah fell to Collins Hill 42-71. Etowah ends the season with a 12-10 record. 

 

6A Girls 

#1 River Ridge defeated #4 Kennesaw Mountain 72-39. River Ridge will face Rome on Friday at 6 P.M, at home. 

#2 Sequoyah defeated #3 Pope 68-61. Sequoyah will face Carrollton on Friday at 6 P.M. at Carrollton. 

#4 Creekview fell to #1 Kell 37-51. Creekview ends the season with a 10-19 record. 

 

4A Girls

#1 Pickens defeated #4 Stephenson 62-59. Pickens will face North Oconee on Friday at 7 P.M. at home. 

 

3A Girls

#2 Gilmer defeated #3 Ringgold 67-39. Gilmer will face Greater Atlanta Christian on Friday at 6 P.M. at GACHS. 

 

2A Girls 

#1 Fannin County defeated #4 Lovett 65-47. Fannin will face Heard County on Friday at 6 P.M. at home. 

2021 Playoff Basketball Schedule

The Georgia High School Basketball Playoff Brackets are set and a record number of local teams are in the action. Congratulations to all of the teams in our broadcast area for a sucessful season; and good luck to the remaining teams in the tournament. 

 

BOYS: 

 

2-23 7 P.M: #3 Sequoyah @ #2 Wheeler

2-23 7:30 P.M: #3 Peachtree Ridge @ #2 Cherokee 

2-24 7 P.M: #4 River Ridge @ #1 Kell

2-24 7:30 P.M: #3 Etowah @ #2 Collins Hill 

 

GIRLS: 

 

2-23 6 P.M: #3 Pope @ #2 Sequoyah 

2-23 6 P.M: #4 Kennesaw Mountain @ #1 River Ridge

2-23 6 P.M: #4 Mill Creek @ #1 Cherokee

2-23 6 P.M: #3 North Gwinnett @ #2 Woodstock 

2-23 6 P.M: #4 Lovett @ #1 Fannin County

2-23 6 P.M: #3 Ringgold @ #2 Gilmer County 

2-23 6 P.M: #4 Stephenson @ #1 Pickens County

2-23 7 P.M: #4 Creekview @ #1 Kell

Woodstock hires Troy Hoff as next Head Football Coach

After parting ways with Coach Brent Budde, the Woodstock Wolverines are bringing in Troy Hoff as their next Head Football Coach.

 

Hoff has spent the past 6 season at Eastside (Covington) tallying a 51-17-1 record with 5 straight playoff apperances and a region championship. 

 

He led Eastside to the quarterfinals of the playoffs in 2018 and 2020.

 

The most impressive stat that Coach Hoff brings to the Wolverines is that he has yet to have a losing season, his worst record in a year being 7-4 in 2019 with a playoff apperance. 

 

Coach Hoff will become the 6th Head Coach in the Wolverine Football Program history, a program that started in 1997. 

Gilmer Football Finds Their New Head Football Coach

Gilmer High School is pleased to announce our recommendation of Coach Paul Standard to lead the Bobcat Football Program. After talks and negotiations over the past several weeks, Dr. Downs will recommend to the Gilmer County Board of Education to approve the recommendation at the regular Board meeting this month. 

 

Coach Standard comes to the Bobcats from St. Pius X in Atlanta, where he has served as head coach for the past 20-years, compiling a 174-72 record. Coach Standard has eight region championships, an eighteen year playoff record, and twelve Top 10 state rankings. 

 

Coach Standard and his wife, Cindy, look forward to being part of the Gilmer community.

2020 Cherokee County All-County Football Team

We are proud to announce our Cherokee County All-County team for the 2020 season. This list was made in partnership with Pat O'Shea with the Cherokee Tribune, Arthur Mosley of turdferguson.com, Von Brown with Cedarwood Tavern; and our own Dave Garner and Will Cooper. 

 

Coach of the Year:  Mike Collins, River Ridge

 

Offensive Player of the Year: Amehre Morrison (Jr.), River Ridge  — 265 carries for 1,958 yards (led county) with 7.4 average and 29 touchdowns (led county); 24 receptions for 260 yards (10.8 average).

 

Defensive Player of the Year: Brian Bradley (Jr.), River Ridge — 118 tackles, 19 tackles for loss (led county), nine sacks, one forced fumble.

 

First Team

Offense:

 

QB - A.J. Swann (Jr. Cherokee) - 158-for-262 passing for 2,505 yards (led county, 15.9 avg) with 23 touchdowns and six interceptions; 22 carries for 38 yards (1.7 average).

 

RB - Keith Adams Jr. (Jr. Cherokee) — 218 carries for 1,350 yards (6.2 average) with 14 touchdowns; 17 receptions for 217 yards (12.8 average) with one touchdown.

 

WR - Adarrius Harshaw (Jr. Cherokee) —53 receptions for 872 yards (16.5 average) with seven touchdowns; eight rushes for 65 yards (8.1 average); 247 return yards with one touchdown.

 

WR - Jackson Head (So. River Ridge) — 36 receptions for 657 yards (18.3 average) with seven touchdowns.

 

TE - Riley Caines (Sr. River Ridge) — 37 receptions for 403 with four touchdowns.

 

OL - Nason Simmons (Sr. Cherokee)

 

OL - Anthony Dorr (Sr. Creekview)

 

OL - Cam Cochran (Sr. River Ridge)

 

OL - Telmo Yturralde (Sr. River Ridge)

 

OL - Derrek Battle (Sr. Cherokee)

 

ATH - Jaden Mitchell (Sr. Sequoyah) — 145 carries for 876 yards (6.0) with 11 touchdowns; 19 receptions for 209 yards (11.0 average) with five touchdowns.

 

Defense:

 

DL - Sam Minozzi (Sr. Creekview) — 59 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 11 sacks (led county), 19 quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery.

 

DL - Toby Thompson (Jr. Cherokee) — 86 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two sacks, 21 QB hurries (led county), one forced fumble.    

 

DL - Jared Weitkamp (Sr. Etowah) — 41 tackles, four quarterback pressures, 1.5 sacks, one pass breakup.

 

DL - Isaac Hubert (So. Creekview) — 58 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, eight sacks, 12 quarterback pressures, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one interception, five pass breakups.

 

LB - Braesen Parker (Sr. Cherokee) — 127 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions.

 

LB - Grant Anderson (Sr., Creekview) — 111 Tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, one forced

fumble, two fumble recoveries, nine quarterback pressures.

 

LB - Liam Bruton (Sr. River Ridge) — 116 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks.

 

CB - Riley Lyons (Sr. Cherokee) — 44 tackles, four interceptions (led county), two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, three pass breakups.

 

CB - Austin Trimble (Sr. Cherokee) — 40 tackles, two tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, two interceptions, 11 pass breakups. 

 

S - Scotty Rutherford (Sr. River Ridge) — 154 tackles (led county), two tackles for loss.

 

S - David Daniel (Sr. Woodstock) — 77 tackles, six pass breakups, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one punt block.

 

K - Steven Zurita (Sr. Sequoyah) — 21-for-22 extra points, 8-for-12 field goals (long of 48), 27-for-37 touchbacks (73%).

 

P - Tyson Giles (Sr. Woodstock) —  40 punts for 1,446 yards (36.1 average), long of 57.


 

SECOND TEAM

Offense:

 

QB - Carson Lathem (Jr. River Ridge) — 146-for-234 for 1,789 yards with 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions; 42 carries for 55 yards (1.3 average) with two touchdowns; three receptions for 82 yards (27.3 average).

 

RB - Tyler Stevens (Jr. Creekview) — 192 carries for 886 yards (4.6 average) with nine touchdowns; 28 receptions for 256 yards (9.1 average) with two touchdowns.

 

WR - Brady Bocherer (Sr. Cherokee) — 41 receptions for 638 yards (15.6 average) with seven touchdowns.

 

WR - Wes Bruno (Sr. Woodstock) — 56 receptions (led county) for 519 yards (9.2 average) with four touchdowns.

 

TE - O.J. Dupree (Sr. Woodstock) — 18 receptions for 299 yards (16.6 average) with three touchdowns. 

 

OL - Jack Hall (Jr. River RIdge)

 

OL - Ryan Chandley (Jr. Cherokee)

 

OL - Temitayo Ogundele (Jr. Sequoyah) 

 

OL - Sam Hartley (Sr. Creekview)

 

OL - Tyler Douthit (So. Woodstock)

 

ATH - Andrew Bingham (Jr. River Ridge) — 67 carries for 435 yards (6.5 average) with five touchdowns; 34 receptions for 322 yards (9.5 average) with three touchdowns. 


 

Defense:

 

DL - Avery Born (Jr. Sequoyah) — 45 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles.    

 

DL - Kemar Plummer (Jr. Sequoyah) — 36 tackles, seven sacks, three tackles for loss, one forced fumble.

 

DL - Brett Stefan (Sr. Woodstock) — 38 tackles, eight tackles for loss, one sack.

 

DL - Hunter Deriso (Sr. River Ridge) — 43 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, four sacks, one interception, one fumble recovery.

 

LB - Tyler Goddard (Jr. Cherokee) — 92 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, three sacks. 

 

LB - Lane Cantrell (Sr. Etowah)  — 90 tackles, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one pass breakup, three interceptions.

 

LB - Carson Gray (So. Woodstock) — 59 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, seven sacks.

 

CB - Trevor Fair (Sr. Etowah) — 48 tackles, five pass breakups, one forced fumble, two interceptions.

 

CB - Nick Stewart (Sr. Creekview) — 30 tackles, five pass breakups, two interceptions.

 

S - Connor Gross (Sr. River Ridge) — 126 tackles, two tackles for loss, one fumble recovery.

 

S - Cale Williams (Jr. Creekview) — 87 tackles, one forced fumble, eight pass breakups, one interception.

 

K - Joel Stahl    (Jr. Cherokee) — 38-for-39 extra points, 5-for-6 field goals (long of 33), 25 touchbacks (41%).

 

P - Carson Allen (So. Etowah) —   38 punts for 1,219 yards (32.0 average), long of 55.


 

HONORABLE MENTION

 

Cherokee: Hayden Shockley (WR), Will Ross (LB), Cody Butler (DL), Keegan Baker (DB), Tanner Dolleyhigh (DL), Chase Goddard (DB).

 

Creekview: Brody Rhodes (QB), Peyton Parker (LB), Andrew Cloy (WR), Cole Hasty (DE), A.J. Vacarro (ATH), Dawson Currie (WR), OL Brandon Dabrowa.

 

Etowah: Klivert Many (RB), Carter-Reid Metcalf (OL), Brock Rechsteiner (DB), Jacob Putnam (LS), Tate Nelms (OL), Austin Skinner (LB), Carlos Thornton Jr. (LB), Blake Bohannon (DB).

 

River Ridge: Jack Senay (OL), Aidan Bruton (LB), Dylon Persad (DL), Brendon Dye (DL), Chase Usher (DB). 

 

Sequoyah: Matthew Traynor (QB), Jack Blackman (S) Aidan Moore (RB), Jonah Haney (LB), Joseph Silva (LB), Harrison Hood (DL), Carson Rowland (OL).

 

Woodstock: Dan Comeau (QB), Nate Osorio (LB), Preston Lawrence (ATH), Ryan Comeau, Sebastian Moss (WR), Jarae Foster (DB). 

Final 2020 Cherokee County Power Rankings

The 2020 Football season is winding down and all six Cherokee County Football teams have completed their 2020 campaigns. These rankings are determined by the Cooper Rankings, a system that factors average points for, average points against, and strength of schedule for each team. The “composite rankings” is a simple way to predict a matchup. For example, Woodstock (8.8) would be a 5 point favorite over Etowah (3.8).  

 

6. Etowah

 

(1-9 overall) (0-4 Cherokee County record) 

 

Composite Ranking: 3.8

 

Best game: 14-13 loss to Creekview

 

The Eagles seemed to suffer more from the lack of a preseason than any other Cherokee County team. That is no surprise, especially considering that Head Coach Matt Kemper had to install his offense on the run. The Eagles allowed 25 points per game, and were only able to average 8.3 points per game on offense. The saving grace for the Eagles is that they played the toughest schedule in the county. We expect the Eagles won’t be at the bottom of our rankings next season. 

 

5. Sequoyah

 

(4-6 overall) (0-4 Cherokee County record) 

 

Composite Ranking: 8.4

 

Best game: 28-17 win over Riverwood

 

The Chiefs 2020 season took a complete u-turn after the loss to Creekview. Sequoyah put together 4 wins over their next 5 games, the only loss coming to the region winning River Ridge Knights. Although the Chiefs should have been the 4th team for Region 7-6A in the playoffs, a new bylaw due to a COVID-19 cancellation led to Sequoyah being left out. The biggest knock on the Sequoyah season is that they played the easiest schedule out of all 6 county schools. With some young talent stepping up big for the Chiefs, we are excited to see the 2021 Sequoyah team. 

 

4. Woodstock

 

(3-7 overall) (1-4 Cherokee County Record) 

 

Composite Ranking: 8.8

 

Best game: 42-6 win over Campbell

 

The Wolverines finished 3-7 for the 3rd year in a row, eventually leading to Coach Brent Budde parting ways with the program. The Wolverines had one of the most talented rosters coming into the 2020 season with names like David Daniel, Wes Bruno, and OJ Dupree just to name a few. However, the Wolverines faced the 3rd toughest schedule in the County and came up just short in a number of games. The Wolverines will be one of the biggest question marks moving into 2021, but with young talent like Dan Comeau and Carson Gray, Woodstock should be back in the hunt. 

 

3. Creekview

 

(7-3 overall) (3-2 Cherokee County Record)

 

Composite Ranking: 37.1 

 

Best Game: 24-0 win over Sequoyah 

 

The Grizzlies reclaimed their spot as a top program after a down year in 2019. Creekview relied heavily on their defense, ending the season only allowing 12.3 points per game. The Achilles heel for Creekview was their offense, which only managed to tally 18.7 points per game. Creekview finished 2nd in region 7-6A and faced a physical Sprayberry team in the playoffs that ended their 2020 season. Creekview has consistently been a top program in Cherokee County, and expectations will be high for 2021. 

 

2. River Ridge

 

(11-1 overall) (4-0 Cherokee County Record) 

 

Composite Ranking: 48

 

Best Game: 42-10 win over Rome (Playoffs) 

 

2020 has been a year full of firsts, and the River Ridge 2020 campaign embodies that perfectly. The Knights had not beaten a Cherokee County team in their 11 year history, nor had they won a playoff game. Both of those facts changed this year. The Knights consistently improved and climbed up the rankings. The most impressive game of the season for the Knights, and potentially any Cherokee County team, was the 42-10 domination over Rome in the second round of the playoffs. Despite all of this, the Knights played the 2nd easiest schedule in Cherokee County, pushing them down to the second spot in the rankings. The 2021 Knights will be returning loads of talent, and River Ridge fans have plenty to be excited about moving forward. 

 

1. Cherokee

 

(8-3 overall) (4-0 Cherokee County Record) 

 

Composite Ranking: 58.3

 

Best Game: 14-12 victory over Cartersville

 

The Cherokee Warriors entered the 2020 season with a historic 2019 campaign and an incredibly difficult schedule to deal with. The Warriors faced matchups with state powers like Rome and Cartersville. The Warriors found a way to beat Rome, Creekview, and Cartersville in back to back to back weeks. The Warriors eventually stumbled twice in their region schedule with losses to Roswell and Milton. The Warriors ended their campaign with a loss to North Gwinnett in the first round of the playoffs. The Warriors benefit from the 2nd toughest schedule in Cherokee County, as well as a defense that held teams to 17.2 points per game and an offense that scored an average of 28.1 per game against some of the top programs in the state. 

Coach Jeff Nelson Steps Down as Head Football Coach

After two seasons with Jeff Nelson at the helm, The Pickens Dragons will be looking for another Head Football Coach. 

 

Jeff Nelson took over the Pickens program after Chris Parker moved to the county office to take on the roll as the Athletic Director for the county. 

 

In his two seasons, Coach Nelson holds a 9-11 record, including a playoff apperance in 2019 after a 6-4 season. 

 

This season, the Dragons finished with a 3-6 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013. 

 

Coach Nelson will remain at Pickens and continue to be a part of the program. 

 

Pickens is now the 6th job open in our coverage area, joining Woodstock, Gilmer, Harrison (Kennesaw), Dalton, and South Cobb. 

Gilmer High and Coach Kevin Saunders part ways

After just two season with the Gilmer Bobcats, Kevin Saunders will be looking for a new home. 

 

Coach Saunders led the Bobcats to their first victory in 3 years on August 30th of 2019 with a victory over Towns County.  Gilmer finished that season 4-6, ending up 5th in the region standings. 

 

This season, Coach Saunders led the Bobcats to a 3-6 record after reclassifiying down to 3A, and for the first time in 4 years, Gilmer was in the playoff discussion. 

 

Coach Saunders won the Virgina State Championship in 2011, finishing with a 13-2 record that season. He then found success in Georgia with Pebblebrooke, making the playoffs in three consecutive years from 2016 to 2018 before taking over at Gilmer in 2019. 

 

This will be another vacancy in our coverage area; as Woodstock, Dalton, and South Cobb have all parted ways with their former coaches. 

 

Gilmer will be looking for their 4th coach in 6 years. 

Woodstock and Coach Brent Budde part ways

Head Football Coach Brent Budde and Woodstock High School have parted ways after 11 seasons.  The past three seasons the Wolverines have finished 3-7 and missed the playoffs in each of those seasons. 

 

Budde first took over the Football program at Woodstock back in 2010, where the team finished 7-4 with a playoff apperance. His best two seasons came in 2016 and 2017, where to Wolverines were able to punch into the second round of the playoffs. 

 

Budde leaves the program with a 51-64 record, a 15-16 record against the other Cherokee County teams, three playoff apperances and two playoff wins. He also leaves with the most wins in program history. 

 

Woodstock will move into the offseason, looking to hire the 6th Head Coach in program history since 1997. 

 

 

Cherokee County Football Playoff Picture

The High School Football season is reaching a critical point for most of the Cherokee County Schools. We will be breaking down each teams road to the playoffs and what seeding they will be looking at. 1st and 2nd seed teams get to host a playoff game in the first round while 3rd and 4th seeds are required to be on the road in the first round. 

 

Cherokee:

Current seed - 3 

Projected seed - 2 

 

The Warriors have had one of the most remarkable seasons in school history. Playing in the Corky Kell, beating Rome and Cartersville, and making multiple apperances in the top-10 rankings have all given Warriors fans something to cheer about. The only blemish on the Warriors record this season was a 28-35 loss to Roswell in a crucial region game. That loss has pushed the Warriors back to the 3rd seed currently, however the Warriors have one more game against the Milton Eagles. If Cherokee was able to pull of the upset, the Warriors would be in a 3-way tie for first. 

 

Also, if Roswell lost one of their two final games (Alpharetta and Woodstock) then the Warriors would move to the second seed. There is a chance for the Warriors to claim the region title, however they would need Woodstock to beat Milton this coming Friday and beat Milton themselves. 

 

We see a second Roswell loss the most likely, and predict the Warriors to host a home playoff game. 

 

Creekview: 

Current Seed - Tied for 2

Projected Seed - 2 

 

The Creekview Grizzlies have been a blast from the past with conventional play-calling and an exceptional defense to give them a 6-2 record heading into the final two weeks of the season. The Grizzlies only region loss is to the River Ridge Knights in a 20-17 overtime thriller. With River Ridge boasting an undefeated record, the Grizzlies loss to the Knights looks very good. 

 

The Grizzlies could claim the first seed if the Knights dropped their final two games against Johns Creek and Cambridge, we just don't see that being very likely. 

 

Creekview could also fall out of the top two with a loss to Johns Creek in the final game of the season, that also looks very unlikely. We're hammering the Grizzlies at the two seed. 

 

River Ridge:

Current Seed - 1 

Projected Seed - 1 

 

The River Ridge Knights have been the biggest surpirse of the season. Coming into this season, they had never beaten another Cherokee County School. This season, they are 4-0 against Cherokee County foes and 8-0 overall. All they have to do is beat Johns Creek this Friday to secure the first region title in school history. Even if the Knights lost to Cambridge the following week, they would still have the head to head advantage over Creekview. 

 

What makes the scenario interesting is if the Knights lost to Johns Creek. Johns Creek is tied for second with Creekview and a River Ridge loss to the Gladiators would push them into a tie with Johns Creek. The Knights would then need Creekview to beat Johns Creek to reclaim the region. 

 

We expect the Knights to take care of buisness and cap off a historic season with a region title. River Ridge at 1. 

 

Sequoyah:

Current Seed - 5 

Projected Seed - 4 

 

The Sequoyah Cheifs have shown lots of fight in the back half of the season, upsetting Cambridge and Chattahoochee in back to back weeks. The Cheifs currently sit a game behind the Cambridge Bears, but the final two games on the Cambridge schedule are against Creekview and River Ridge, 

 

Sequoyah will need to win just one more time if Cambridge losses to Creekview and River Ridge, or will have to win both of their final games against Riverwood and winless Centennial if Cambridge pulls out one win.

 

The only way the Cheifs don't make their way in is if the Bears upset both Creekview and River Ridge, or if Sequoyah losses twice. 

 

We don't see either happening, Cheifs at 4. 

 

Woodstock: 

Current Seed - 5 

Projected Seed - 5 

 

The Woodstock Wolverines have had another year of being a middle of the road team. The Wolverines currently sit at the 5th spot with losses to Cherokee and Alpharetta keeping them out of the immedate playoff picture. 

 

However, the Wolverines do have an oppurtunity to steal the final playoff spot from Alpharetta. Woodstock will be facing the top two region teams in the next two weeks, and with a victory over Milton and/or Roswell, the Wolverines would be right back in the conversation. 

 

Alpharetta will face Roswell and Etowah for their final two games, if the Raiders fell to both teams, Woodstock would only need one win to overtake them for the 4th seed. 

 

We just don't see the Wolverines being able to pull off two victories against two top programs, however they do have the athletes to do it. Wolverines at 5. 

Cherokee County Game of the Week 4

Join Dave Garner, Will Cooper, and Von Brown for the Cherokee County game of the week! Our coverage begins at 7 P.M. with the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Pregame show followed by kickoff at 7:30 P.M.

 

This week the crew will head to River Ridge as the undefeated Knights host the Etowah Eagles!

 

You can listen live on WLJA 101.1 FM, WLJAradio.com, and get updates on our Facebook and twitter pages!

Cherokee County Game of the Week 3

Join Dave Garner, Will Cooper, and Von Brown for the Cherokee County game of the week! Our coverage begins at 7 P.M. with the Childrens Heathcare of Atlanta Pregame show and Kickoff at 7:30 P.M.

 

This week the Sequoyah Chiefs will head to Canton to take on the Cherokee Warriors!

 

You can listen live on WLJA 101.1 FM, WLJAradio.com, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Woodstock holds on to victory in shootout with Sequoyah

Both Sequoyah and Woodstock came into 2020 looking to improve on disapointing 2019 campaigns. The Chiefs went 5-5, missing the playoffs just a year after their elite eight appreance in 2018. The Wolverines were only able to claim 3 wins in 2019, despite having one of the most talented rosters in Cherokee County. 

 

Both teams came in with a vengance for the first game of the 2020 season. 

 

Woodstock was led by David Daniel, the 4-star Georgia commit, who made an impact in all three phases of the game. He had a punt block, 4 carries for 66 yards, 1 reception for 11 yards, a 70 yard kick return, and found the endzone once to give the Wolverines the boost they needed to claim the victory. 

 

Sequoyah relied on a Jaden Mitchell to give the Chiefs the offensive firepower they needed to keep up with Woodstock. Mitchell tallied 100 yards on 15 carries. 

 

The Chiefs proved they have the offense to keep up with other teams, scoring 3 times in the final frame of the game. 

 

Woodstock will travel to River Ridge Friday, and Sequoyah will make the trip to Cherokee to battle the Warriors. 

River Ridge runs over Lassiter for the first win of 2020

River Ridge came into 2020 as one of the most underrated teams in the state. With a decisive win over the Lassiter Trojans, everyone has been put on notice.

 

The Knights were led by a familiar name, Amehre Morrison. Morrison racked up over 200 yards and 5 touchdowns on the night, with the first score of the game being a 76 yard run with less than a minute off the clock. 

 

Coach Mike Collins heaped praise on the new Quarterback for the Knights, Carson Lathem. Lathem did not dissapoint, claiming 2 touchdowns on his first start at QB. 

 

Although the Trojans were a struggling team last season, it was good for Knights fans to see that River Ridge was able to handle Lassiter with relative ease. 

 

River Ridge will host Woodstock on Friday, a game that will truly test how good the Knights can be in 2020. 

Creekview edges out Etowah for the first win in the series

Creekview and Etowah had never faced each other going into Friday nights contest, and the first game of the series was one for the books. 

 

Creekview came into the game as heavy favorites, largely due to the return of Brody Rhodes and a large number of defensive starters. 

 

Etowah was under the direction of new head coach Matt Kemper, who relied on two young Quarterbacks to lead the Eagles defense. Braden Bohannon and Will Curcio took turns at the helm of the Eagles offense, which only managed to find the endzone once. 

 

Both teams struggled offensively, neither team could manage more than 200 yards for the entire game, but the defenses were on display. 

 

Rhodes was only able to complete 4 passes on 15 attempts, but the biggest play of the game was a swing pass to our Player of the Game Tyler Stevens for the game tying score. Creekview was able to add the PAT and claimed the victory 14-13 over the Eagles. 

 

Creekview will enjoy a bye week before heading back down to Towne Lake to battle the Woodstock Wolverines.

 

Etowah will travel to Forsyth Central on Friday and try to claim the first win of the Matt Kemper Era. 

Cherokee runs past Carver 38-12 in the Corky Kell

In a night filled with excitement, the Warriors battled through injury to top the Carver Panthers 38-12. 

 

RB Keith Adams Jr. got the night started for the warriors with a 3-yard touchdown run on the opening possesion. The scoring slowed drastically after that, a 21 yard field goal by Joel Stahl gave the Warriors a 10-0 lead heading into the half. 

 

However, the big story of the first half was star QB AJ Swann going down to injury at the end of the first half. He sustained an upper body injury that put him in a sling when the team came on the field for the second half. 

 

Cherokee fans also saw Keith Adams Jr. exit the game with injury multiple times during the game, which later were revealed just to be cramps. 

 

The second half showed the offenses hitting their stride, as Cherokee added two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter alone, giving the Warriors a 24-0 lead heading into the final frame. 

 

Both Adams and Swann returned to the game, although Adams was removed in the 4th quarter as a precaution. 

 

The 4th quarter gave way to the only two carver scores of the night, one of them being a 56 yard pass from Sophomore QB Lorenza Lennon, the other being a 5 yard touchdown run for Adam Sheely.

 

Cherokee answered back with a 67 yard touchdown pass from AJ Swann to Junior WR Adam Fullen, and a punt return for a touchdown by Junior WR Keegan Baker. 

 

Cherokee will get a few extra days rest before hosting the Sequoyah Cheifs on September 11th

Etowah 2020 Football Season Preview

The Etowah Eagles are coming off a 5-5 season with a first round playoff loss to East Coweta. The Eagles will be a very different team this year with Dalton Miller, Jackson Manns, and many other big-time players graduating. Etowah will be led by former Roswell Head Coach Matt Kemper after Coach Sevelah took a position at West Forsyth. The Eagles will be Cherokee County’s biggest question mark. This preview will be very different, as the Eagles have yet to name a starting QB.

 

Players to Watch:

Jr. RB/WR Remington Adams: Adams is poised to have a breakout season this year, with his speed and elusiveness. We expect him to thrive in the new spread system that Coach Kemper uses, where the jet sweep play is common. He is slightly undersized to be a typical running back, but it helps make him an open-field nightmare for the defense.

 

Sr. WR Brock Rechsteiner: The Rechsteiner name is familiar to any Cherokee County football fan, and Brock is another great athlete in the family. Brock was a huge part of the Eagles offense last season, providing a second option for Miller after Jackson Manns. Listed at 6’3” and 205 lbs, Brock is a big target with the ability to bring in highly contested passers. Whoever is named QB, Rechsteiner will be a reliable target for them.

 

Sr. DL Jared Weitkamp: Jared will play a big role in filling the void left by Raymone Devezin and Cole Milavonvic after they both graduated last season. He is able to play anywhere on the defensive line, however his speed makes him a better edge rusher than defensive tackle. Listed at 6’3” 245 lbs, we expect him to be a big part of the Eagles defense.

 

Sr. LB Austin Skinner: Austin tallied over 100 total tackles last season, along with 12 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. Skinner was able to give the Eagles some speed and protection in the flats last season. He will be a key part in a Etowah linebacking core responsible for keeping run plays and underneath passes to short gains.

 

Sr. LB Lane Cantrell: Lane is the one of the other key pieces returning for the Eagles defense for 2020. Lane also has a prototypical build for a linebacker, listed at 6’0” and 190 lbs, he has the size to play the run inside and the speed to cover passes.

 

Sr. DB Trevor Fair: Trevor is slightly undersized, listed at 5’8” 145 lbs. However, if you watch him on film, he is one of the best at making open field tackles. Fair is also a dynamic part of the special teams, using his ability to make open field tackles to good use, and using his speed to return kicks. He will be a leader in the secondary this year for the Eagles, especially in a region that uses spread offenses.

 

Games to Watch: *- denotes games that will be featured on WLJA 101.1 FM as the Cherokee County game of the Week

 

*September 4th: Creekview @ Etowah*: The Eagles will open the season against one of the most promising teams in Cherokee County. The Creekview defense is led by a group of speedy linebackers, which should be a good matchup against the spread offense of Etowah. Etowah will need to rely on Brock Rechsteiner and the receiving core to spread the Creekview defense and use the size of their receivers to their advantage.

 

*September 18th: Etowah @ River Ridge*: River Ridge has made lots of progress over the past two seasons, coming extremely close to winning their first inter-county game last year. The Knights will rely heavily on the running game with Amhere Morrison and the Eagles will need the linebackers to control the run game and limit Morrison.

 

October 23rd: Etowah @ Milton: Milton was the 2018 State Champion for 7A and will be the first new region opponent for the Eagles. Milton is going to be difficult and is easily considered the favorite for region 5-7A, but Etowah has the ability to upset Milton. Milton lost 4 games last season, showing they are far from invincible. Some good news is that Coach Kemper is very familiar with Milton because of his time with Roswell. Etowah will be put to the test and will be a good way to measure how far the Eagles have come in the season.

 

*October 30th: Cherokee @ Etowah: One of the most exciting games in the season last year was this matchup when the Eagles took the victory in overtime. Cherokee is one of the most promising teams in the county, with the likes of A.J. Swann and Keith Adams JR. returning for 2020. The Eagles will have to limit the impact of both of those guys to pull out the win like they did last season.

 

*November 6th: Etowah @ Woodstock:* The Battle of Towne Lake, easily one of the top 3 rivalries in Cherokee County. Etowah won last year but this matchup will be much different this season. This far into the preseason, we still do not know who will be the Quarterback for either of these teams. Both teams do have lots of athletes returning, making this game a bit of a wildcard. When it comes to a rivalry this big, throw out everything you know and enjoy the ride. 

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