With All-State RB Charles Perkins at Georgia Tech, Collins Hill searches for new football identity

(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)

Collins Hill High completed spring practice without two of its biggest names from last year. All-State running back Charles Perkins enrolled at Georgia Tech in January, while coach Billy Wells left to oversee the new football program at Lanier High.

Kevin Reach, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator the past two years, was promoted to the top spot —  head coach for the first time after 22 years as an assistant. Reach is an 1985 graduate of Clarkston High School.

What about spring practice? It was very productive for Collins Hill, allowing the players to get familiar with Reach, who decided to keep the same offensive and defensive schemes for this year. Reach is looking for another workhorse like Perkins at tailback, along with two offensive tackles and new starters along the entire defensive line.

Who will fill the shoes of Perkins? Most of the offensive load will be picked up by QB Taylor Heinicke (6-1, 185), who threw for nearly 1,800 yards last year. Linebacker Travis Parker (6-1, 215) is the team’s defensive leader, but will also play some tailback again, seeing more carries than last year. Wide receiver Jeff Glover (6-3, 180) is known for his physical style of play, while also has “great hands,” according to his coach.

Collins Hill LB Travis Parker (No. 30, chasing fumble) is one of the Georgia's best-kept secrets (AJC)

Collins Hill LB Travis Parker (No. 30, chasing fumble) is one of the Georgia's best-kept secrets (AJC)

Cornerback Keldrick Ross (5-11, 180) is the leader of the defensive secondary, while center Danny Jaspers (6-1, 250) is one of the team’s strongest players.

While Collins Hill lost 11 players to graduation, it has plenty of young talent waiting for opportunity. Junior WR/DE Andrew Everett (6-4, 210) was a standout on special teams last year, and may start both ways. Junior RB/SS Nick England (6-0, 165) was a playmaker on last year’s junior varsity, while junior DE/OL Sam Batiste (6-4, 225) has had a growth spurt since the fall.

Collins Hill has one of toughest non-region schedules for a metro school, with games against Brookwood, Roswell and M.L. King.

Team: Collins Hill Eagles

Spring practice dates: Finished

Last year’s record: 8-3

Starters lost: 11

Head coach: Kevin Reach

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15 comments Add your comment

Dekalb County FAN

May 26th, 2010
8:47 am

Yes they do have a tough non region schedule, but i don’t think anyone has a tougher non region schedule than M L KING: South Gwinnett, Collins Hill and Valdosta. M L KING will be ready!!!!


May 26th, 2010
9:33 am

How about NG Bulldogs schedule? Grayson, Lassiter in the Corky Kell, Bob Jones AL in the National Football Challenge, and Crenshaw CA on ESPN. Thats a pretty daunting start to the season.

On CHHS I don’t see them having the year they did last. Perkins is not there and he single handedly won them a few games, a real workhorse of a back. Maybe them come together as a team, but they aren’t gonna leap NG or the ridge. That leaves them fighting with Norcross and Mill Creek for a berth in the playoffs.

Delbert D.

May 26th, 2010
9:50 am

These young men should all be playing and practicing in domed stadiums. It is terribly hot in August, and by October the temperature might drop to uncomfortable temperatures. It can rain at any time. This is a horrible situation.


May 26th, 2010
1:06 pm

Delbert D…very wise of you to spot these hardships. A couple of solution; don’t practice and play the games Sat. am at first light. Drop football and form a hugh chess club with cheerleaders. Or dodgeball! Oh, can;t do that someone might get hurt or offended. Sorry my bad.

TarHeelBred bleeds TarHeelBlue

May 27th, 2010
5:47 am

With star running back Perkins, Collins Hill still only advanced to the first round of the playoffs in ‘08 and ‘09. Collins Hill has some talent coming up to varsity, but I don’t know if it’s enough to replace Perkins. I don’t know if anything is enough to replace Perkins at this point unless someone steps up big time to fill his shoes because Perkins was a special player at running back for the Eagles over the last two seasons. The Eagles won’t contend late into the season for the 7-AAAAA title like they’ve done the past two seasons with Perkins in the backfield, but they still look to have a shot at the playoffs because of the very heavy losses to graduation P’tree Ridge suffered which makes North Gwinnett the only sure-shot contender for the region title at this point. Outside of NG, the status of the rest of the region’s playoff contenders is somewhat unsettled except for Mountain View and, of course, Duluth and, especially Meadowcreek, three teams that you can infer won’t be in the playoff hunt, though I don’t except Mountain View to be your typical expansion pushovers.


May 27th, 2010
10:04 am

Kevin Reach – Hows your big brother Joey doing? CHS 1980.

CHHS Master

May 28th, 2010
10:02 am

Hey Brian! Sounds like wishful thinking on your part about CHHS! Perkins is one person, and he did make great plays – without a doubt, but he’s not the team! We’ve got unbelievable talent coming back for their Senior year, and we got more coming in! We’ll see what happens on the field, buddy!! We’ve got Nick England, Taylor Heinecke, Jeff Glover, Danny Jaspers! Let’s revisit at the end of the season, and see where NG or the ‘Ridge ends up! Have a great summer!!!

Michael Carvell

May 28th, 2010
12:23 pm

@CHHS, Charles Perkins looked like the whole team to me. But this year is a new year.

a CH football player

May 30th, 2010
10:11 pm

@Michael Carvell and the rest of the doubters…
We are a family on and off the field. with or without Perkins we will find a way to win. Never under estimate a team because of one player. A team is a team, Perkins did NOT win games on his own, he had a great line and a TEAM to help him.


May 31st, 2010
7:56 am

a CH football player – Is DL Dillon Brefka back for CHHS in 2010? Was very impressed with his play last year, but didn’t see him in Spring Scrimmage. Thought he was a Jr. last year. Also…Jeremy Banta is another player with talent at FB and DE. Heard he was hurt in the spring. Hopefully, he’s going to be ready for Fall. Is his shoulder going to be OK? If he can play, is going to focus on DE or will he be playing FB also? He and Parker @ FB & TB could do a lot of damage for the Eagles and take the pressure off of Taylor.

CH football player

May 31st, 2010
1:22 pm

@ GwinSect- Yes Jake Banta is his name and he will be back, he has near 7 more weeks or so to recover from his injury. Dillon Brefka of course will be there lighting people up . They both did not participate in spring. Im thinking Banta will focus on defense and so will Travis, so i dont think Travis will be taking the whole load of TB. What people do not k now is we are changing are offesne from 60/40 run with Perkins to about 60/40 pass with Heinicke. With unmentioned recievers like WR Zay Howard ( 6″1, 185 ) , Jake Star TE (6′4, 200) Brian Macie WR ( 6′2, 175) and Trey Marksberry WR,TE (6′2,195).. at defense Dakota Conn SS wasnt mentioned , and he replaced Timmy Quinones as he was injured for the last few remaining games . he will also play a huge roll in our defense. We have many athletes that are under the radar, and our team is ready to make things happen.


June 2nd, 2010
11:18 pm

No one mention highly recruited Connor Deneau. I heard he is going to Florida

Carrero GOES HAM (to do well in football)

June 2nd, 2010
11:24 pm

And Senior Jonathan Carrero and Junior Thomas Lewis are going to dominate the run and pass game. Carrero runs a 4.5 and has a fight record of 38-1. Thomas Lewis has the hands of Wes Welker and the athleticism of Randy Moss. They should start getting recruited soon.

Brew Crew

June 2nd, 2010
11:31 pm

RE: CHHS fan and Carrero goes ham

Connor Deneau (6 foot 8, 210) is a very good player. He is only a junior and probably the best lineman in the country. Also, Jonathan Carrero is a monster. He is also great at baseball. He can throw a 90 mph fastball and was drafted by the Yankees last year. He declined because of his seriousness towards football. He is also a very good dancer. There are stories of locker room dance offs where he can jerk like no body else


June 3rd, 2010
11:33 am