Holy Innocents' at Wesleyan preview

Wesleyan’s Stuart Johnson

Wesleyan’s Stuart Johnson

Holy Innocents’ Golden Bears (5-A)

Coach: Ryan Livezey

Record: 1-0

Last week: Beat Lakeside 28-14

Wesleyan Wolves (6-AA)

Coach: Franklin Pridgen

2012 Record: 4-7

Last week: Did not play

These two teams typically play early-season matchups, and they usually end up close. Last year was a great example, as the Golden Bears pulled out a one-point victory.

“It seems like every year it’s a really close, four-quarter game with them,” Pridgen said.

Both teams have different looks this season, in different ways. Wesleyan lost a number of its skill players off last year’s team, while most of Holy Innocents’ losses were on the lines. The Wolves hope that edge in line experience helps against Holy Innocents’.

“We have a very small senior class, the smallest we’ve ever had,” Pridgen said. “But four of the five kids on the offensive line are seniors and our juniors (on the line) are very capable, too.”

Three-year starter Stuart Johnson and fellow seniors Heath Middlebrooks, Hank Masters and Ryan Brennan are included in the group up front. Johnson is the unit’s biggest prospect and is an important leader.

“Stuart’s our most experienced lineman and our most accomplished college prospect with 10 offers now,” Pridgen said. “He’s doing a great job of leadership. He’s more vocal this year, getting kids in the right place and being a leader.”

Last meeting: Holy Innocents’ won 10-9 last year

Directions to the Wesleyan School: From I-85, take I-285 west to Peachtree Industrial Blvd./Ga. Highway 141 north exit. Veer to the left on Peachtree Parkway/Ga. 141 Highway and turn right on Spalding Drive. School is on the left.