(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)
When Chip Walker led Sandy Creek to the Class AAAA state championship last year, he also made some family history.
Chip and his dad, Rodney Walker, are the first father-and-son tandem to each win state titles in Georgia. Rodney’s came in 1984 with West Rome.
One of the Sandy Creek’s preseason scrimmages will be against Mary Persons, coached by Rodney. Maybe that won’t be the last time they play. Due to the GHSA’s realignment, Sandy Creek has moved down to Class AAA, which also has Mary Persons as one of its member schools.
How was the spring for Sandy Creek? How are they looking for this season?
The Patriots lost a lot of talent, but also return a ton of potential all-stars. Alex Chisum (6-2, 185) is one of the Georgia’s top wide receivers and has early offers from Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Indiana. Cornerback Bruce Dukes (5-11, 185) is the team’s best athlete, and holds scholarships from Mississippi State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Indiana.
Defensive tackle Gavin Rocker (6-2, 220) was moved to defensive end during the spring, and has turned heads with his motor. Quarterback Ronnie Bell (6-0, 175) is one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets, passing for 2,003 yards and 17 TDs. Bell will be pushed out of the shadows this year, taking on more of a load after the graduation of all-world RB Rajion Neal. Who will be Sandy Creek’s No. 1 RB? Derrick Alexander and Michael Hilton are the top two candidates.
Team: Sandy Creek Patriots
Spring practice dates: Finished.
Last year’s record: 14-1
Starters lost: 10
Head coach: Chip Walker
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