(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)
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?