Georgia High School Football Spring Preview AJC 30 In 30 Series: Stone Mountain Pirates

(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. Click here for a master list. Hey AJC, what about spring sports? You know, the non-football sports? Go here)

Perhaps no team wants the football season to kick off more than Stone Mountain.

Last year was the best and worst of times for the Pirates. The DeKalb school was on brink of making the state playoffs for the first time since 2004 under first-year coach Dante Ferguson. However, the GHSA determined on Nov. 5 that Stone Mountain (along with Lithonia) had used an ineligible player and ruled that the Pirates had to forfeit five wins. Stone Mountain’s record was switched from 6-3 to 1-8, which was a devastating turn of events for the team.

pirate_logo_08-09

However, Ferguson had Stone Mountain looking forward at spring practice, which ended last week.

What did the Pirates accomplish this spring?

For starters. the offensive line lost three starters to graduation. Junior Skip Jackson is projected to start at right guard, while Micah “Snacks” Anderson is penciled in at right tackle. Several talented youngsters are contending for No. 1 left tackle.

At wide receiver, Stone Mountain is stocked with Tamarick Johnson and Fred Scott — who both start in the defensive secondary, too. Octavious Andrews (27 catches for 604 yards, 3 YDs) may be the team’s most talented WR, while Quantavious Metts and Lashae Walls provide depth.

On defense, juniors Timothy Webster and Marcus Eligwe will likely form the linebacker tandem. Sophomore sensation Keyunta Watkins will be the only new starter in Stone Mountain’s veteran secondary.

Who are the team’s all-star candidates?

Michael Gilbert, RB: The senior had 1,035 all-purpose yards and will be starting for a third straight year.

Jhyree Harris, QB: He completed 88 passes for 1,615 yards and 13 TDs with 7 interceptions. He is also a threat to run, rushing for 305 yards and 3 TDs.

Team: Stone Mountain Pirates

Spring Game: Finished

Spring practice dates: Ended

Last year’s record: 1-9

Starters lost: 10

Head coach: Dante Ferguson

Follow AJC Prep Zone on FACEBOOK … and Twitter

Note: This blog will cover topics and issues that have proven to be most important to our readers. For the AJC’s complete high school coverage, go here to read articles on all sports.

6 comments Add your comment

cith slicker

May 15th, 2010
5:10 am

good luck pirates

shibbermetimbers

May 15th, 2010
7:26 am

Coach Ferguson and his staff should be commended for the excellent job they have done in just one season. They have transformed the mentality in the players showing them that they can win and are winners. It was unfortunate that they had to forfeit those games. I don’t care what the GHSA did, the team won six games on the field. Ask Miller Grove(18-6), Lakeside(27-7), Lithonia(18-15), Forsyth Central(34-7), and North Springs(39-7) about the Pirates last season. The games were played on the field, not on someone’s desk. Some people may say that Stone Mountain cheated. If that was true, their coaching staff would have been fired. But they weren’t. And they were not fined by GHSA. They didn’t hire private investigators to follow KIDS around. They didn’t play fifth year seniors either.
I saw their spring game. They are loaded. 5AAA better be on the look out for the new addition to the family.

harold

May 15th, 2010
7:05 pm

ONE DAY THESE GUYS MIGHT GET THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME. AND THAT WOULD BE TO PLAY FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM LIKE ALABAMA OR A FLORIDA. NICK SABAN AND URBAN MEYER HAVE PROVED THEIR WORTH AS NATIONAL CHMPIONSHIP COACHES. RICHT AND GEORGIA ARE AVERAGE AT BEST!

Pope UGA XXIII

May 15th, 2010
9:10 pm

Thanks, Harold for a really “relevant” comment about Stone
Mountain High’s upcoming football season.
As Lewis Grizzard once said about Boy George …….
“Don’t you know his Mama and Daddy are proud of him?”
The same probably applies to you, clown.

REGION 5AAA

May 21st, 2010
11:03 am

I am very excited about whats going to happen this season with the Stone Mountain program. The coaches are still in a struggle with a few kids buying in, but they are working to deepen the depth chart to create a more competitive atmosphere on the practice field. I think the sky is the limit for this program. The kids must sell out to the idea of being champions and understand the secret to success is hard work and dedication; nothing more, nothing less. This team is very talented with a chemistry and buzz around the county that hasnt been seen in the last decade. That buzz will silence if they dont live up to expectations. Not to put pressure on the Pirates, but in the words of Nick Saban “How good do you want to be?” Talent will only get them so far, but fit hard work into the equation and you got a very dangerous club.

Mister Johnson

May 22nd, 2010
1:05 pm

Luckily for Stone Mountain, all of the coaches from Towers have left…. With the talent they have returning there was no second guessing who would be top dog in that particular sub-region….. But still be on the lookout for the Titans of Towers.