(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)
St. Pius has one of the Georgia’s top cornerbacks in Geno Smith, a rising junior who already holds an early scholarship offer from Auburn.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound is considered a “true cover corner” and an impact player on the St. Pius defense, which heavily contributed to the team’s 12-1 record last year — which tied for the most wins in a season in school history.
Smith had 44 tackles, along with 2 interceptions and 7 pass breakups, as he was rarely challenged by opposing quarterbacks. Along with Auburn, Smith also has early offers from Louisville and Virginia Tech. He is also under consideration from numerous other SEC and ACC schools.
How was spring practice at St. Pius? The Golden Lions were one of the state’s first teams to go through it, so early that you could call it “winter” practice. It was held in January because of a lack of field space due to the impending spring sports.
St. Pius has to replace four offensive lineman, both defensive ends, and two running backs. Here are some of the top returning players:
Jack Marsau, LB: 89 tackles last years.
Kip Bray, OL: Will move from center to tackle.
George Kennedy: Only returning RB, will also play some DB.
Collier Williams, OL: Moving from guard to tackle.
Trey White, QB: Big surprise as sophomore last year, with 134 carries for 938 yards and 10 TDs, along with completing 39 of 68 passes for 663 yards and 9 TDs.
Alex Avant, FS: Another member of stellar defensive secondary.
Selwyn Mallah, SS: Hard hitter had 24 tackles last year.
“If the (offensive and defensive line positions) come together and we find that guy who can take the fullback position, I believe we can make another run at the region championship,” St. Pius coach Paul Standard said.
Team: St. Pius Golden Lions
Last year’s record: 12-1
Starters lost: 11
Head coach: Paul Standard
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.