Meadowcreek Mustangs 2011 Football Preview
Norcross Mascot: Mustangs. Coach: Deario Grimmage (0-10 at Meadowcreek, 0-10 overall) Region: 7-AAAAA Last playoff appearance: 1988
Meadowcreek struggled to score points last year and second-year head coach Deario Grimmage is hoping his young and gifted quarterback can change that.
Ridwan Issahaku is a talented basketball player and track runner and Grimmage is hoping his skills will translate on the football field.
"He has a lot of upside in football," Grimmage said.
Issahaku will have a solid group of skill position players around him this year. Debarius Lucas is a transfer from Norcross and Michael Adams was a hurdler on the track team and both will get carries at running back.
Receiver Chandler McCoy is one of two returners on offense, while Kaleb Ross saw some playing time at tight end last year.
The only other returner on offense is lineman Eduardo Moran. The rest of the line is Grimmage's biggest concern due to lack of experience.
Meadowcreek had the lowest-scoring offense in the county last year and was shut out in seven games.
"I think the kids have a better feeling (of the system) and the main thing is they want guidance," Grimmage said. "In Gwinnett County, we're going against great quality coaches."
Meadowcreek has five returners on defense, including its leading tackler, linebacker Daryl DeWindt. The senior, who holds a 3.4 GPA, made 98 stops last season.
The linebacking unit in Meadowcreek's 3-4 defense is the biggest strength. Alex Steele, who is a standout wrestler and holds a 3.99 GPA, is back at the interior spot. Julian Harris (pictured), who posted 55 tackles and two sacks, returns at strong side linebacker. Abel Ordenez saw limited playing time at linebacker last year, but is expected to start this season at weak side LB. Ordenez will also handle the kicking and punting duties.
Cornerback RayQuan Sam highlights the secondary as a three-year starter. Sam made 46 tackles and one interception last year. He's joined by returning starter Keion Rich at safety.
"I really like the back eight on our defense," Grimmage said. "These guys really love the game and have great character."
Aug. 26 at Northview
Sept. 2 Berkmar
Sept. 9 Wheeler
Sept. 16 Peachtree Ridge
Sept. 23 at North Gwinnett
Oct. 7 Mill Creek
Oct. 14 at Duluth
Oct. 21 Norcross
Oct. 28 at Mountain View
Nov. 4 at Collins Hill
2010 Results (0-10)
Northview L 28-15
at Berkmar L 42-0
at Wheeler L 16-0
at P'tree Ridge L 57-0
North Gwinnett L 45-0
at Mill Creek L 47-0
Duluth L 38-7
at Norcross L 34-0
Mountain View L 10-3
Collins Hill L 36-0
Sticking to his mantra
Since Grimmage took over the program last year, he's said he wanted to develop college-ready athletes. Meadowcreek had eight players move on to college football this fall, including Richard Williams to Lenoir-Rhyne. Grimmage has 16 seniors this season and hopes to increase the number of college athletes.
"Just like I said, I feel this is a place that needs to be developed and not utilized," Grimmage said. "I'm here to help build this community."
Meadowcreek will wear a different color helmet this fall. The Mustangs will don a white helmet with a navy blue face mask ... Meadowcreek had 75 players out for fall camp this year and Grimmage feels the program is beginning to get on track. "That's the key, preparation and guidance," Grimmage said. "Even though we're bridging a cultural gap and introducing the game, the kids are here. It's just like anything else, the more you get in preparation, the more confident you are." ... Norcross grad Fidel Taylor has taken over as the Mustangs' strength and conditioning coach. Taylor played football and ran track at Norcross in the early 2000s and has a background in personal training ... Meadowcreek added some decorations to its weight room this summer, posting inspirational quotes and team records in the weight room. ... Meadowcreek went winless last season and is riding a 28-game losing streak. "It was pretty tough," Grimmage said of the losses.
QB Ridwan Issahaku (5-11, 175, Soph.)
RB Debarius Lucas (5-9, 170, Jr.)
FB Ryan Moore (5-10, 185, Soph.)
WR Chandler McCoy (5-11, 170, Sr.)
WR Kaleb Ross (6-0, 190, Sr.)
TE Christopher Herndon (6-3, 215, Soph.)
OT Eric Repine (6-5, 250, Sr.)
OG Eduardo Moran (6-3, 275, Jr.)
C Streling Hendon (5-10, 225, Sr.)
OG Keirdick Freeman (5-10, 210, Sr.)
OT Brandon GoCool (5-11, 220, Jr.)
K Abel Ordenez (5-10, 185, Sr.)
DE Christopher Herndon (6-3, 210, Soph.)
NG Keirdick Freeman (5-10, 210, Sr.)
DE Caleb Ross (6-0, 190, Sr.)
SLB Julian Harris (6-0, 195, Sr.)
WLB Abel Ordenez (5-10, 185, Sr.)
ILB Daryl Dewindt (5-9, 210, Sr.)
ILB Alex Steele (6-1, 200, Sr.)
CB RayQuan Sam (5-11, 180, Sr.)
CB Carlton Conell (5-9, 165, Jr.)
S Keyon Rich (5-10, 175, Jr.)
S Marcus Rouse (5-10, 165, Sr.)
P Abel Ordenez (5-10, 185, Sr.)
1 Ridwan Issahaku QB 10
4 Julian Harris LB 12
6 Patrick Mills QB 9
7 Keyon Rich DB 11
9 Marcus Rouse DB 12
10 Chandler McCoy WR 12
11 John Ngyen WR 11
12 Kaleb Ross TE 12
13 Kashaun Gorham DB 12
16 Dante Bennett RB 12
17 Damion Massey DL 10
18 Landis Evans WR 11
20 Debarius Lucas RB 11
21 Shayne Steele WR 10
23 LaDarrius Cummings RB 11
25 Carlton Conell DB 12
27 Gamond Land DB 11
28 RayQuan Sam DB 12
29 Abel Ordenez LB 12
30 Kalen Taylor LB 10
32 Michael Adams RB 11
35 Daryl Dewindt LB 12
36 Alex Steele LB 12
37 Malik Saunders RB 10
38 Rocky Lewis DB 11
41 Detrix Mays DB 11
42 Emmitt Doe RB 12
45 Adam Fields OL 12
47 Nicholas Celestin LB 10
48 Ryan Moore RB 10
50 Jose Estrada DL 11
51 Harden Ogunlana LB 10
52 Jarvis Willams OL 11
54 Keandra Bell DL 11
55 RaShaun Willams DL 12
56 Brandon GoCool OL 11
57 Napoleon Russel LB 10
61 Eric Repine OL 12
68 Sterling Hendon OL 12
71 Eduardo Moran OL 11
72 Alejano Lucio OL 11
73 Brandon Harrod DL 11
76 Brandon Jones OL 10
77 Keneth Harden OL 11
80 Christopher Herndon TE/DE 10
81 Shayne Steele WR 10
85 Kortez Towels WR 10
86 Anthony Bryant WR 11
87 Cody Swanger DL 11
89 Larry Bateman TE 11
90 Jose Estranda DL 11
97 Keirdick Freeman DL 12