BREAKDOWN: Lanier vs. Hapeville Charter

Hapeville Charter Hornets (9-A)

• Coach: Winston Gordon

• Record: 0-1

• Last week: Lost to B.E.S.T. Academy 21-8

Lanier Longhorns (8-AAA)

• Coach: Billy Wells

• Record: 0-0

• Last week: Did not play

In the opener of its five varsity games in its second season as a program, Lanier faces a program much like itself in Hapeville Charter — a fledgling program looking for direction and identity. While the Longhorns will be kicking off the season later than most schools, the visiting Hornets already have a game under their belts, but that doesn’t concern Wells.

“That’s actually been a blessing,” Wells said of the late start. “We’ve been a little banged up (in preseason practice), and we’ve got a couple guys back healthy who might not have been able to play if we had to go last week.”

While Wells knows only a little about the Hornets in scouting them — some explosive speed on both sides of the ball — he says the Longhorns’ attention is more inwardly focused this week.

“To be honest, we’ve spent more time talking about us than about (Hapeville Charter),” Wells said. “In Year 2, it’s still about how much we’ve improved and what we’ve got to do to get better as a program.”

One of the things the Longhorns must do is find some leadership, which Wells says is beginning to happen, especially from the likes of junior linebacker Isidore Sam and several offensive linemen.

“(Sam has) made the most of his offseason time,” Wells said. “He’s improved his stature physically and our expectations have risen for him. We’re also looking to our offensive line to mature and jell together.”

• Last meeting: First meeting

• Directions to Lanier High School: From I-85, go west on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road and turn right onto Buford Highway. School is ahead on the left.