(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)
Will Mill Creek’s football team be a contender for a berth in the state playoffs?
That’s the type of confidence and excitement I was hearing a few weeks ago when attending a few games of the wonderful Mill Creek baseball season (which ended in the state quarterfinals).
Some people say that Mill Creek’s football program is a sleeping giant among the Gwinnett County powerhouses. In the team’s six-year history, they have only playoff appearance. Could it happen again in 2010?
Where’s the root for this enthusiasm? It kicks of with 14 returning starters, including every one of Mill Creek’s skills players. The team’s best player may be fullback Tyler Cierski, who had 82 carries for 329 yards and four TDs. The 6-foot, 245-pounder has committed early to Maryland.
Wide receiver Brandon Hayman (6-3, 185) had 55 catches for 724 yards and four touchdowns last year as a junior. Austin Hagan (6-0, 250) may be Gwinnett County’s best “player” — not college prospect — along the offensive line, finishing with a stunning 45 pancake blocks last year.
Mill Creek coach Shannon Jarvis is also excited about TE/LB Cody Rediger, LB Taylor Coleman, QB John Russ, and DL Kelsey Griffin. Track star Devonte Lewis (5-9, 160), one of the Georgia’s fastest players, is poised to have a breakout season at RB.
North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge are the favorites for the Region 7-AAAAA championship. Collins Hill, Norcross and Mill Creek are expected to battle it out for the region’s final two playoff spots.
Team: Mill Creek Hawks
Spring Game: 4 p.m. Friday
Spring practice dates: Ends May 21
Last year’s record: 5-5
Starters lost: 8
Head coach: Shannon Jarvis
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