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South Gwinnett Comets 2011 Football Preview

South Gwinnett Comets 2011 Football Preview

— Mascot: Comets. Coach: John Small (37-28 at South, 37-28 overall) Region: 8-AAAAA Last playoff appearance: 2010

Offense

South Gwinnett had one of the county's top scoring offenses last season, averaging 40 points a game. That kind of production will be hard to duplicate this season. The Comets lost their leading passer (Kent Rollins), leading rusher (Aaron Wimberly) and leading receiver (Kevin Gary).

Jordan Ramey was expected to take the reins at QB, but the junior broke his arm in last week's scrimmage against Mill Creek and is out for the season. Mason Hart, who worked his way into a starting role in the secondary, will now be the quarterback.

"We'll be fine at quarterback," South head coach John Small said. "He's a good player."

Hart has a strong group of talented skill players around him. L.J. Gainey is the Comets' top returning receiver, while Coray Keel and Mark Watts also saw significant playing time last year.

"We've got guys that can catch the football," Small said. "There's guys with big play ability."

Wimberly was third in the county in rushing last year, but South may rely on as many as six different running backs to try and duplicate his production. Travon Davis and Spencer Williams lead the group coming out of preseason practice.

"Our running back core is pretty solid," Small said.

South's biggest concern on offense is developing the offensive line. Austin Clark and Darren Russell (pictured) are three-year starters on the left side. Two-year starter Dennis Edwards moved to center, but the Comets need to build depth on the right side.

"Our offensive line has guys that can play, they just don't have playing experience," Small said.

Amar Salihic, a soccer player who joined the team, will handle the kicking duties and has been impressive during practice.

Defense

South's defense only has four returning starters, but that might be a good thing. Last year's unit had a problem allowing the big play and gave up 26 points a game. To help that, the Comets have moved from a 3-4 defense to a 3-5 this year.

"I think we'll be able to fly around better on defense," Small said. "I think we can be a whole lot better."

South has a lot of depth at linebacker and the secondary. Azziz Higgins is back at linebacker, while Reginald Carter should make an impact. The 6-2, 225-pound Carter made 73 tackles and 10.5 sacks as a sophomore at Stephenson last year and has nearly a dozen major scholarship offers. Brandon Bazueye and Nick Hylton return in the secondary.

Arlando Griffin is the only starter back on the defensive line and the unit is the biggest concern coming out of preseason camp.

2011 Schedule

Aug. 19 Lowndes

Sept. 1 at M.L. King

Sept. 9 Shiloh

Sept. 17 Central^

Sept. 23 Parkview

Sept. 30 at Brookwood

Oct. 7 Berkmar

Oct. 14 Dacula

Oct. 21 at Grayson

Nov. 4 at Archer

2010 Results (9-3)

at Lowndes L 34-26

M.L. King W 44-41

at Shiloh W 45-12

Central Gwinnett W 62-27

at Parkview W 37-16

Brookwood L 42-21

at Berkmar W 54-27

at Dacula W 42-35

Grayson W 24-22

Archer W 60-9

West Forsyth W 31-7

Mill Creek L 49-34

^at Georgia Dome

Fun schedule

South Gwinnett's early season schedule features a state power, a game on TV and a rivalry matchup on the biggest stage.

The Comets opened the season on Friday by hosting South Georgia juggernaut Lowndes. The Vikings won three state titles in a four-year span in the mid-00's and reached the quarterfinals last year.

South's second non-region game is Thursday at M.L. King in a game that will be televised on Georgia Public Broadcasting.

The Comets will make their Georgia Dome debut on Sept. 17 when they play Central Gwinnett in the Great American Football Festival. It's the county's oldest rivalry and the first time it will be played at a neutral site.

"I think we have a great schedule for our kids to experience," Small said.

Those three games are in addition to playing at defending state champion Brookwood and at nationally ranked Grayson this year.

South has risen

This is Small's seventh season as South's head coach and he's built the program to one of the best in the county. The Comets have made the playoffs three of the last four years and their 19-5 record over the last two seasons is the second-best in the 50-plus year history of the school.

"Our expectations used to be just get to the playoffs. Our expectations now is our kids expect to win," Small said. "Four years ago we would say this has to happen, this has to happen for us to have a chance. Now the last couple of years we expect to win the game no matter what."

South has 185 players in the program from ninth to 12th grade, including 26 seniors.

-Brandon Brigman

PROBABLE STARTERS

Offense

nQB Mason Hart (5-10, 160, Jr.)

RB Jourdin Shiloh (5-10, 190, Jr.)

WR L.J. Gainey (5-11, 147, Jr.)

WR Mark Watts (5-11, 160, Sr.)

WR Coray Keel (6-1, 175, Soph.)

WR Tyrone Atchison (5-11, 175, Jr.)

LT Austin Clark (6-1, 256, Sr.)

LG Darren Russel (5-10, 260, Sr.)

C Dennis Edwards (6-1, 260, Soph.)

RG Chris Weekes (5-11, 251, Sr.)

RT Daniel Ziegler (6-3, 200, Jr.)

K Amar Salihic (5-11, 173, Jr.)

Defense

DE Arlando Griffin (6-2, 190, Sr.)

NG Sean Samuel (6-0, 289, Sr.)

DE Donavan Kelly (6-0, 200, Soph.)

SLB Azizz Higgins (6-2, 182, Sr.)

MLB Reginald Carter (6-2, 225, Jr.)

WLB Anthony Beck (5-11, 200, Jr.)

OLB Jareyl Slate (5-10, 175, Sr.)

OLB Marquis Parker (6-1, 195, Jr.)

S Jordan Daniels (5-10, 170, Jr.)

CB Brandon Bazueye (6-2, 170, Jr.)

CB Nick Hylton (5-11, 175, Jr.)

P Amar Salihic (5-11, 173, Jr.)

South Gwinnett Roster

1 Mark Watts WR/DB 12

2 Jordan Ramey QB 11

3 L.J. Gainey WR/DB 11

4 Blake Brown RB/DB 12

5 Spencer Williams RB/DB 11

6 Colton Nash WR/DB 11

7 Reginald Carter LB/TE 11

8 Josh Boyd RB/DB 10

9 Nicholas Hylton WR/DB 11

10 Coray Keel WR/DB 10

11 Tyrone Atchison WR/DB 11

12 Travon Davis RB/DB 11

13 Jordan Daniels WR/DB 11

14 Mason Hart QB/FS 11

16 Malik Brown QB 10

17 Deonte Davis WR/DB 11

18 Marquis Palmer WR/LB 11

19 Devonte Lawrence-Spivey WR/DB 11

20 Quan Martin WR/DB 12

21 Fred Langston WR/DB 10

22 Richard Walker RB/LB 10

23 Isadore Davis RB/DB 11

24 Jourdin Shiloh RB/LB 11

25 Phillip Love RB/LB 12

25 Eric Latham WR/DB 10

26 Jareyl Slate DB 12

27 Shaquille Hall WR/DB 12

28 Corey Cooper WR/DB 12

29 Brandon Bazueye WR/DB 11

30 Alex M'Bambi RB/LB 11

31 Weston Simmons TE/DE 11

32 Reggie Moore WR/DB 11

33 Ryan Forston RB/DB 12

34 Bronconie Hall WR/DB 12

35 Bernard Morrison RB/DB 11

36 Tyree Ware RB/DB 11

37 Winston Cameron WR/DB 11

38 Marquavious Hyman WR/LB 12

38 Jamell Isaac WR/DB 10

39 Wayne Green WR/DB 11

41 Shawn Gray WR/DB 12

42 Rashaad Hunter QB/DB 10

43 Travis Jones WR/DB 12

43 George Dawson RB/LB 10

44 Azziz Higgins LB/TE 12

45 Marquel Green RB 11

46 Justin Williams WR/LB 12

47 Devin Boone WR/DB 12

48 Josh Stebell DL 12

48 Christian Henry WR/LB 10

49 Chauncey Kilby RB/DB 10

50 Katrazus Thompson OL/DL 12

51 Ben Baum OL/DL 10

52 Zack Bosworth OL/LB 10

53 Anthony Beck OL/LB 11

54 Austin Oni OL/LB 11

55 Chris Perez OL/LB 10

56 Mike Bosworth OL/LB 10

57 Gibson Ziah OL/LB 10

58 Donavan Kelly OL/DL 10

59 Jason Collins DL/OL 10

60 Darren Russell OL/DL 12

61 Malcolm Brown OL/DL 10

62 Christopher Weekes OL/DL 12

62 Gibran Williams OL/DL 10

63 Matthew Rouse OL/DL 11

64 Augustine Peets OL/DL 11

65 Grant Wentz OL/LB 10

66 Corey Lumsden OL/DL 10

67 Austin Keosavang OL/LB 11

68 Elijah Hall OL/DL 12

68 Johnathan Chockbenbong OL/DL 11

69 Daniel Dawson OL/DL 11

70 Corey Taite OL/DL 11

71 Mikel Harrison OL/DL 10

72 Dennis Edwards OL/DL 10

73 Desean Smith OL/DL 12

74 Daniel Ziegler OL/DL 11

75 Tavious Cost OL/DL 10

76 Sean Samuel OL/DL 12

77 Arlando Griffin OL/DL 12

78 Austin Clark Ol/DL 12

79 Ansumana Massaquoi OL/LB 11

80 Dominique Robinson WR/DB 10

81 Dalton Eloi WR/DB 12

81 Corde May WR/DB 10

82 Kenneth Griffin WR/DB 11

83 Ian Killan WR/DB 10

85 Solomon Hedd-Williams WR 12

86 Luis Granillo WR/DB 11

87 Donte Maloney WR/DL 10

88 Devon Jenkins WR/DB 10

89 Najee Morrison WR/DB 11

90 Sintrell Bryant WR/DB 10

91 Kendall Lawrence TE/DL 12

92 Kevon Monroe WR/DB 10

93 Amar Salihic K 11

94 Tayvaughn Hayes RB/DB 10

95 Abbas Ali WR/DB 10

96 Kenneth Knowles WR/DB 10

97 Donald Onyeanula WR/DB 10

98 Hakim Maurice WR/LB 11

99 Kariem Harding WR/DB 11