(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.
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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