Georgia High School Football Spring Preview AJC 30 In 30 Series: Norcross Blue Devils

(This is part of the AJC’s “30 in 30″ series — with quick hits on top high school football teams across the metro area and state during spring football practice. We’re doing 30 football teams in 30 days. What about spring sports? Click here)

Keith Maloof (right) will have one of the most experienced and talented teams in Region 7-AAAAA (AJC)

Keith Maloof (right) will have one of the most experienced and talented teams in Region 7-AAAAA (AJC)

Norcross High, which has had only two 10-win seasons in the last 15 years, could be one of the darkhorses in Class AAAAA next year.

Norcross will be in an all-Gwinnett region, along with powerhouses Peachtree Ridge and North Gwinnett, and returns lots of talent.

The Blue Devils will have one of the metro’s top defensive lines — anchored by Ben Bradley (6-foot-1, 270 lbs.), who has an early offer from South Carolina, and end Demetrius Alston (6-3, 230), who holds scholarship papers from Mississippi State.

Maybe the best news is the return of quarterback Matt Poole, who suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in last year’s opener. He will be joined in the backfield by tailback Kenny Huitt (rushed more than 700 yards despite sharing carries) and bruising fullback Seth Hinsley (finished among Gwinnett’s top five tacklers while also starting at LB).

The biggest need for Norcross is along the offensive line, which lost four starters. The Blue Devils have a lot of talented youngsters competing for spots — including Montorois Broughton, Danny Danh, Hampton Floyd, and Kristopher Beaucamp.

At wide receiver, Jamal Jenkins and Jason Croom will be asked to take on bigger roles.

Hinsely needs some partners at linebacker, with Burke Cobble, Tanner Maloof and Markell Brooks the top candidates.

Team: Norcross Blue Devils

Spring Game: 6 p.m., May 14

Spring practice dates: May 3-14

Last year’s record: 5-5

Starters lost: 10

Head coach: Keith Maloof

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Who is your pick for the Region 7-AAAAA championship and why?

20 comments Add your comment

nfraiders

May 6th, 2010
9:43 am

When are we gonna see and article on North Forsyth. This team will be very good in 2010 as they drop from region 7-AAAAA to region 6-AAAAA. They lost 6 starters but all these positons have great back-ups that will be able to fill in and posiibly help the Raiders to a region championship.

nfraiders

May 6th, 2010
9:44 am

…and the fact that they beat Norcross.

Mikey Falluer

May 6th, 2010
10:51 am

The most underacheiving team in high school football. Poor coaching!!

Slinger

May 6th, 2010
11:17 am

Peachtree Ridge will be the 1, North Gwinnett the 2, Norcross at 3 and Collins Hill in the 4 slot for playoff seedings….you read it here first.

Hawk

May 6th, 2010
12:33 pm

Slinger you are wrong on the seeding. Collins hill will not make the playoffs this year. They lost too much from last year. I am telling everyone to keep their eye on mill creek to make the playoffs this year. They have a very favorable schedule and they have all the skill positions returning and most of the defense.
North will get the 1 seed, P’tree ridge will get the 2 seed and then norcross and mill creek will fight it out for the 3 and 4 seed.

nfraiders you are so wrong. North Forsyth has a sorry team. I worked a few or their games last year and if you have any sort of speed you will win or if you have good line play you win. the only way NF wins is when they play other sorry teams.

SportsFan31313

May 6th, 2010
3:00 pm

This will be a exciting year in this Region. Probably pay back for some teams comming of a down year. Buckle up, and hold on tight…. :-)

TarHeelBred bleeds TarHeelBlue

May 6th, 2010
7:09 pm

nfraiders, Hawk: Being switched from perennially brutal 7-AAAAA to a nowhere nearly as rugged 6-AAAAA might help aid North Forsyth as they try to improve. I don’t know if they can continue to build off of last year’s success, but getting out of Region 7-AAAAA can only help. There’s a big difference between playing a region schedule of Alpharetta, Centennial, Milton, Roswell, Northview and West Forsyth and one that includes North Gwinnett, Peachtree Ridge, Collins Hill, Mill Creek, Norcross, Mountain View (which isn’t quite your father’s second-year expansion team if last year’s out-of-region first-year successes prove to be real), etc. Don’t get me wrong, teams like Alpharetta, Milton, West Forsyth and, especially, Roswell, ain’t exactly pushovers, but overall, teams in 6-AAAAA aren’t nearly as overloaded with pure athletes as teams in 7-AAAAA perennially are.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but North Forsyth also runs that triple-option spread offense (the Veer offense), doesn’t it? Running that Veer-option helps NF compete with teams that have alot more overall talent. I can’t recall that coach’s name, but he’s did a helluva job in getting a perennially overmatched NF team to a winning record at 7-4 and a playoff berth in a region as tough as 7-AAAAA.

As for Norcross, the reason why they didn’t make the playoffs last year wasn’t for lack of talent as the Devils were loaded at many positions many times over, especially the skill positions, but because of somewhat sour chemistry and bad karma amongst the some of the team’s seniors and their parents who had come up in the program. That class of seniors had problems back into middle school and Pop Warner as sometimes their coaches couldn’t always quite communicate and lead for all of the bickering and arguing amongst players, parents, etc in that particular group. The bad chemistry manifested itself in the team’s poor special teams play early on as the Devils struggled to catch punts and kicks which put the defense in bad field position situations many times over during their 1-3 start.

With that group of players graduated, I look for Norcross to get back into the playoff hunt, though the O-line could be a problem if it doesn’t jell into a cohesive unit early on as needed.

Gwinnett Fan

May 7th, 2010
7:50 am

Preachtree Ridge Fans are predicting a donwn year. 5-5 with a little luck. They may struggle to get the fourth seed. Look for North followed by Norcross, with Collins Hills, PR and Mill Creek fighting it out for the last two spots.

Non region schedules for PR an CH are very difficult this year and could hurt the confidence of a young team.

Mutt Ross

May 7th, 2010
9:18 am

The ‘Cross is Boss ..where’s my whellbarrow?

JUstafan

May 7th, 2010
11:19 am

North Forsyth got it up the ass from lassiter… Gwinnett cant play football

SportsFan31313

May 7th, 2010
1:42 pm

Region 1-AAAAA Colquitt County is the team to watch closely this upcoming football season. I can see them being the Region 1-AAAAA Champions this year.

SportsFan31313

May 7th, 2010
1:47 pm

Class AAAA is loaded with some great Football teams this year as of the New Re Classification. Defending State Campions Sandy Creek had better watchout. This will be one of the toughest Post Season Playoffs in Class AAAA since the 80’s when there no AAAAA classfication.

WILDCAT FAN

May 7th, 2010
5:16 pm

Go Wildcats,,

Norcrossgrad

May 7th, 2010
5:31 pm

Hopefully Maloof can get out of the way enough to get these boys to play up to their potential

SouthGARules

May 8th, 2010
9:34 pm

For those that are selling Collins Hill short, they are still Mill Creek’s daddy, no matter the sport.

ATLien052

May 9th, 2010
8:53 pm

I graduated from Norcross and have to agree that Norcross has always underachieved. However, Coach Maloof is certainly not to blame. The Devils underachievement started long before he arrived. I wish Coach Maloof and this year’s crop of Blue Devils the best of luck.

WILDCAT FAN

May 14th, 2010
7:42 pm

Can anyone say 3-PEAT

WILDCAT FAN

May 14th, 2010
7:54 pm

Most of the starters on this team would back, for the 2011 and 2012 season also. Our QB in waiting, Brice Ramsey will play in the SEC trust me only a sophmore and he is ready to play. The Coaching staff is developing and getting our young very talented players ready with good significate playing time. So when its thier time, they’re ready to step in and play. Those kids played good minutes during our last two Championship seasons, you get mad sometimes as a fan, because our kids dont get the stats, because some are only playing a half or in close games they’re getting shuffled in and out, but the staff is preparing for the next season at the same time, and it really shows.

Quinn of the Ridge

May 17th, 2010
4:20 pm

Gwinnett Fan, 5-5 with a little luck? We are a much better team than that, may I suggest you come and see the spring game this Saturday?

Jay Jay

May 18th, 2010
4:19 pm

The article on Norcross must have been written by one of the Mom’s. Besides the extremely talented names mentioned the following were overlooked-McWilliams Linebacker/fullback, Coleman Receiver and Earhardt d end and d tackle. All college bound. Norcross wil prevail this year