For complete Archer coverage throughout the season, including rosters and schedules, go to the Archer page on the Daily Post's prep sports site: www.gwinnettprepsports.com/archer.
Archer’s offense has revolved around the two-headed rushing attack of Sean Fowler and Ernest Alexander. The duo have graduated, but the Tigers will still rely on the run game.
Dillon Singleton is a promising sophomore that will get a bulk of the carries. His older brother Deondre signed with Duke in February.
“He can play,” Archer head coach Andy Dyer said. “He’s a special kid. When you watch him, he’s smooth.”
K.J. Parmer (pictured) is the team’s top returning receiver and will also see time at running back and quarterback. Kyle Davis is another promising sophomore at receiver and Conner Redmond is a highly touted tight end.
“We feel really good at wide recover and running back,” Dyer said.
Gabe Tiller returns at QB after throwing from 1,165 yards and five TDs a year ago.
“He has a good grasp of what we’re doing, but he’s really starting to understand protections,” Dyer said.
The offensive line returns three starters, led by M.J. Couzan, a state champion wrestler and the only senior on the line. Nick Williams is back at center and Mitch Hornsby at tackle.
“Our line is coming, but they have to keep progressing. It’s always a work in progress,” Dyer said.
Archer will have a lot of new faces in its 3-5 defense. The Tigers have just three starters back, led by linebacker Duane Lee. The senior was team’s leading tackler from a year ago with 94 and had 10.5 sacks.
He’s the only one that has secured a spot with the linebackers. There’s nine players battling for the other four linebacker spots.
The defensive line will be led by returning defensive end Robbie Armstrong. He’ll be joined by Korrin Moore and Cal Burton on the line.
The secondary could be the unit’s biggest strength. John Gillis, who made three interceptions last year, returns to anchor the unit. Dillon Singleton also played towards the end of the year.
“I feel good about our secondary because we have some experience back there,” Dyer said.
Archer had its first winning season in the school’s four-year history, but the season still felt like a let down. The Tigers failed to make the playoffs after reaching the postseason in 2011. “Our first goal is make the state playoffs,” Dyer said. “Our second goal is to win a region championship, our ultimate goal is to win a state championship. A 6-4 (record) and no appearance in the playoffs was not good enough.”
Defensive coach Phillip Hale, who previously coach at North Gwinnett and Shiloh, left to take a job at Peachtree Ridge. It’s one of the few coaching changes Archer has had since it opened in 2009. “Ninety-five percent of us have been here for four years, so we’ve developed chemistry with ourselves,” Dyer said. … Archer has 152 players in the program from ninth-grade through 12, including 15 seniors. … Defensive back Gillis and linebacker Duane Lee were elected team captains for the season. … Archer, which is known for its running game, fared well at a couple of 7-on-7 passing tournaments this summer. The Tigers finished among the top teams at North Gwinnett and were runner-up at Jefferson. … Archer had seven players sign college football scholarships in February, including four to Division I programs. “We lost some really good football players and some really good kids,” Dyer said. “We just have to reload with what we have. I feel like we got some guys that can help us on both sides of the ball.” Archer doesn’t have any players with college scholarship offers yet, but several have drawn interest from recruiters. “I feel like we have very good chemistry with this group, which is as important as talent in a lot of regards. Our kids are hungry.”