Malachi Jones, Wesleyan
Wesleyan coach Franklin Pridgen spent last Friday away from football — it was replaced by his daughter Alden’s 8th birthday party — and he encouraged his coaches to do the same on their bye week. It gave them a chance to recharge for the stretch run, and it gave the Wolves’ players much-needed rest.
“It was a good opportunity to get well,” Pridgen said. “Hip flexors, ankle tweaks, things like that.”
WESLEYAN WOLVES (5-A NORTH)
■ Coach: Franklin Pridgen
■ Record: 7-0, 4-0 subregion
■ Last week: Had a bye
PINECREST ACD. PALADINS (5-A NORTH)
■ Coach: Charles Wiggins
■ Record: 2-6, 2-3 region
■ Last week: Beat King’s Ridge 14-7
Undefeated Wesleyan, ranked second in Class A, had things rolling along
prior to the off week. It survived a tough, non-region schedule and a tight game
with Holy Innocents’ before cruising to three straight subregion wins over Fellowship Christian (63-6), Pace Academy (48-14) and King’s Ridge (49-6).
The Wolves look to keep that streak going against Pinecrest, a first-year Georgia High School Association program. The Paladins are experienced in Georgia Independent Schools Association (GISA) play, going 9-1 last year.
“(Pinecrest’s) got an experienced coach, a couple of good wide receivers and a quarterback who slings it around,” Pridgen said. “So we’re expecting to see them throw it a lot against us. They remind me a lot of Pace Academy.”
Today’s challenge for Pinecrest is a huge one with a powerful Wesleyan offense led by versatile running back Kyle Karempelis and quarterback Andrew Frerking. Frerking also has a talented group of receivers, led by Harrison Cheeley and Malachi Jones. Jones has 22 catches, eight going for touchdowns.
“He’s incredible,” Pridgen said of Jones. “He runs well. He’s got huge hands. He runs incredible routes. He’s unbelievable.”
■ Last meeting: First meeting
■ Directions to Pinecrest Academy: From Norcross, go north on Medlock Bridge
Road/Peachtree Parkway into Cumming. School is on the right.