Stephenson 14, Parkview 3

For 52 plays, Parkview’s defense and special teams did a tremendous job of shutting down Stephenson’s bevy of college-bound athletes.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Jaguars had the ball in their hands for 54 plays.

Those other two – a reverse-field 79-yard touchdown run from Mike Davis and a 75-yard punt return for a score by Demarcus Sweat – sunk Parkview’s hopes of an upset in No. 6 Stephenson’s 14-3 win.

Both of those plays, along with all 17 of the game’s points, came during a wild third quarter that also featured a controversial kick catch interference call against the Jags, a Parkview turnover that immediately turned into a Stephenson score and a second-and-30 conversion for the Panthers.

But it was the two big Stephenson plays that stood out in the end, the first coming virtue of the legs and vision of Davis.

The play was meant for Davis to go right, but he stopped and cut back to the other side of the field. He got around the corner, then stopped and cut back right to elude one tackler, stumbled ahead, cut back again to the right, broke another tackle, then sprinted to the end zone.

It was a scintillating run, made all the more exciting for the Jags because it erased a 3-0 deficit and gave them their first lead of the game.

“I saw a cutback lane; as soon as I saw it, I had to take it,” said Davis, who finished with a game-high 173 yards on 21 carries. “The team, we were down 3-0. I just wanted to make a big play. It was that time. Coach wanted me to do my thing, and that’s what I did.”

It didn’t take long for his teammate to get in on the act.

At the end of Parkview’s next possession, the Panthers’ punt drove Sweat back to his 25-yard line. He caught it while back pedaling, accelerated between two defenders, then hit the left sideline, following a host of blockers into the end zone for the Jags’ second big play of the quarter.

It was a quick 1-2 blow that belied the intense defensive struggle that stretched for the vast majority of the game. Outside of those two plays, Stephenson rarely made a serious threat to get into the end zone.

Likewise for Parkview, which had just two first downs in the first half but then started the second half with the only sustained drive for either team on the night.

The Panthers went 62 yards in 13 plays but couldn’t punch it into the end zone, settling for a 27-yard field goal that put them in front before Davis busted open two Stephenson possessions later.

Much like last season’s 21-14 double-overtime Jaguar victory, the pregame expectations were for points to be at a premium, and that’s exactly what happened.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game; they’re a very good team, and they do a very good job on defense,” Stephenson coach Ron Gartrell said. “Anyone who came out here expecting a scoring bonanza was going to be disappointed.”

P – Jack Kammer 27 FG

S – Mike Davis 79 run (Wisdom Nzidee kick)

S – Demarcus Sweat 75 punt return (Nzidee kick)

Parkview 0 0 3 0 – 3

Stephenson 0 0 14 0 – 14

57 comments Add your comment


August 26th, 2011
11:24 pm

This was no game to be “celebrated” by Stephenson. In my opinion, they should have dominated with all that talent. But again the opponent was able to hang with the Jags most of the game. Two big plays were the difference. It was a hard fought victory for Stephenson, but truth be told, Parkview played them pretty evenly. I think the Stephenson defense was the big difference, former Parkview Panther Rafael Kirby was a beast. I think these two teams should teams should play every year. Both are excellent programs. I just think with all those D-1 commits, the score should have been lopsided in Stephenson’s favor. Better step it up Jags…Cedar Groves has one hellava QB next week.


August 27th, 2011
12:12 am

So Parkview you said “it’s personal,” oh well you idiots – Stephenson didn’t take it “personal” – it was all business beating you off the field.

jags fan

August 27th, 2011
12:22 am

Stephenson was good last night and so was Parkview! Regardless of the D-1 talent, teams should be expected to come play Stephenson tough. Way go get the win tonight Jaguars!!


August 27th, 2011
1:15 am

stephenson will not b a threat come playoff time if they do not improve, way undercoached. they should have won this game by 5 tds with all the talent they have


August 27th, 2011
6:20 am

Stephenson has good players but they need to hire an offensive coordinator. Stephenson played with 10 men on offense during several offensive plays.


August 27th, 2011
7:18 am

Had a chance to see Stephenson last night. Have a good defense, good running game, but QB play is suspect, as is play calling. One offensive TD, one special teams TD, The RB back had to have close to 200 yds rushing. Jags fan stated that “teams should come to play Stephenson tough”. Parkview had the longestest drive of the 2nd half on offense, 60 yds or so, the D stood up. I know a win is a win. I know the offense will improve as the season moves ahead. Parkview hung tough, so the score is misleading, game way closer than 14-3, a balanced team is going to give Stephenson problems. Congrats on the win, Good game Parkview. Stephenson has a good team, but the talent has not translated to play on the field yet. That talent should be pushing the rest of the team, which would create a great team. The potential is there.

One On One With The Great One

August 27th, 2011
7:52 am

No matter what the score was Stephenson will be criticized. If the score was 49-0, well they should have won like that with all the talent. So the score score was 14-3. Well it look as though it’s going to be a long season for Stephenson with all that D-1 talent if they don’t get it together. PEOPLE SSHUT UP AND LET’S WHAT HAPPENS!! ONLY THE FIRST GAME FOR THE JAGS!

One On One With The Great One

August 27th, 2011
7:57 am

Good win for Stephenson. If you thought for one second that Parkview was going into Hallford staduim and lay down boy you have got to be the dumbest person blogging. Parkview is a good team that will win some good games this year. For those who attended the game saw what happen. No the Jags will not be putting up 30 or 40 points per game, but what the Jags will do is keep the managable and the defense will shut down high powered offense. Very very fast defense that flows to the ball very good.

da real deal

August 27th, 2011
8:29 am

I dont know what game yall was watching. but Stephenson come on. I cant even say you had a bad game when the truth is you guys are not a good football team. Stephenson fans please stop lying to yourselves and tell your team the truth. I actually saw how undercoached your team is


August 27th, 2011
8:45 am

Stephenson’s defense is formidable! They are obviously the strength of the team. But I will say this, I saw much improvement at QB. He looked very timid against Tucker, but looked much improved against Parkview. Great upside potential with #10. If not for a few dropped passes (one in the endzone) and a few others where the receivers quit running, we may well be taking about the QB. But coulda, woulda, shoulda. I’m happy to see the QB gain confidence and put zip on his throws. I think that after he gets a few games under his belt he will be another weapon to reckoned with.

Stephenson Finest

August 27th, 2011
9:24 am

Grayson won a game last week 7-0, but no one said grayson was terrible. Stephenson win 14-3 and the coaches are horriffic. Both teams have alot of D1 talent the difference is Stephenson has more critics. Parkview cross the 50 once and got 3 points Stephenson crossed the 50 4-5 times. Our play calling is simple but simple wins championships. Camden, lowndes brookwood all run the ball. The difference is stephenson has critics. We won and we have room to improve and that speaks volumes of where this team can go. a word to all stephenson’s critics thanks for coming to the game and come again.

FL Fan in GA

August 27th, 2011
9:41 am

I am not a Stephenson fan, but as long as Coach Gartrell can consistently assist his players in receiving schoalrships, I could care less if he wins a state title. I’m not just talking D1. Last year the Jags, had somehwere like 29 kids go to college on scholarships. The coaches at Stephenson apparently do a great job getting their players exposure.

As for coaching and state titles, they bog down offensively against tough competition in the playoffs. Talent on defense will keep them in most every game. Offensively the coaches need to get better in the offseason and change their approach.


August 27th, 2011
9:45 am

@ all the Stephenson Fan’s

Don’t worry about the “hate” you receive, that only mean people want to be like you. If you notice most the people that are hating, their teams don’t have a Championship either. One thing for sure, if they talking about you they are thinking about you.

Stephenson Finest

August 27th, 2011
10:42 am

tiger4life i agree you


August 27th, 2011
11:04 am

Stephenson will be fine! We are very good now but can be nothing less than spectacular going into the post season! Now, i didnt attend the scrimmage game with Tucker but i heard the QB play was HORRIFIC. Well from what i saw last night this kid did a DARN GOOD job of managing the game..he was preety good. The jags could have easily beat Parkview 28 – 3. We missed some big key passes down the field..a few were slightly over thrown. As long as the coaches continue to work with this kid, the same passes he was off target with last night he will hit later. Offensively ,the offense is old school but i thought overall the play calling has gotten better. The O just needs to gel more. Defensively,we may have the best D in the state..they will get better too! Also why are people acting like Parkview are some scrub players?..they have a good team! Last year they played everyone in their region including Grayson, and Brookwood VERY TOUGH. They were in all of those games..Stephenson is the team to beat. One game at a time..Next..Cedar Gove! One last thought..what the heck happen to the size of the band?! I have never seen Stephenson’s band that small..We didnt even make the Traditional superman “S” on the field..


August 27th, 2011
11:21 am

Stephenson might go 10 – 0, moved to # 1 in the Polls at Some Point. They are loaded with Division 1 Talent, but they will not get past Quarter- Finals in the Playoffs.

da real deal

August 27th, 2011
1:40 pm

I hope the Dekalb county teams are good this year. Cant wait to see what MLK does against SG. I cant see Stephenson beating MLK this year though. I had a chance to see MLK VS. Cedar Grove and if MLK had not taken out their defensive starters Cedar Grove would not have scored. Their play calling is much superior. Had some questions about their O-Line though but that can be fixed. They have some dog receivers in #8 and #10. and also I heard that Jordan Moore didnt play and they also have Carnell Boyd from Westlake who didnt play WOW………………………………


August 27th, 2011
2:23 pm

TO ALL YOU STEPHESON HATERS!!! Stephenson played exceptionally well last night considering they had a very young quarterback who showed some growth last night, as fas as, the D1 players they (ALL) did well. Defense wins championships, the coaching last night was superb; hat’s off to coach Gartrell & the entire coaching staff. Take it one game at a time this year Jags; when playoff time comes, this year, make believers out of all those critics. Stephenson has not won a state championship yet but they produce good college bound athletes. Congratulations Jags from a true loyal Stephenson fan…


August 27th, 2011
3:56 pm

Stephensons running back Mike Davis is the truth!..His touchdown was amazing! He is the best rb in ga hands down! His offense is going 2 have 2 help him out


August 27th, 2011
5:14 pm

Attention all Stephenson students and parents, according to the front page of your school’s website, Residency Affidavits needed to be in the office by 8/25. Why would a school need to put that on their site? Just sayin’

da real deal

August 27th, 2011
8:43 pm

whats really funny is. If stephenson had won by 30 the blogs would be full of bloggers from stephenson. This is a tell tale sign that your football team is not good this year. Even the true fans are not blogging today


August 27th, 2011
11:06 pm

Stephenson High has proven themselves as a team to beat year in and year out, so why are there so many haters. These coaches has produced D1 and college bound students since the school open. How many coaches have that record. Stephenson High are always in the rankings at the end of the year. You can talk about they need a new caoch all you want to but those coaches is doing an exceptional job over there. I congrat you Stephenson High football family, for a job well done. :)


August 27th, 2011
11:11 pm

@ da real deal; It doesn’t matter if they won by 30 or 11 they still won the game. I can tell many people don’t follow Stephenson football because, they normally are not a high scoring team (unless the team they are playing are just really bad). Stephenson has always been a defensive team and that is what wins championship! Go Jags…

the truth

August 28th, 2011
1:11 am

We know we’ve not won a State Championship …there are a lot of one hit wonders in Dekalb …SO …Our day will come … SO…We’ll just continue to do what we do best … strike fear in in those who will have to suit-up to play us ….put in special defenses … and worry if after all that they can still STOP us … We promise to continue to be superballers and going on to the next level … PROMISE !!!!

Jag Fan

August 28th, 2011
1:48 am


I believe that is required anytime you move to a new schoo in the state of GA. It should probably be added to all school websites. You are obviously another Stephenson hater. It is pretty SAD that adults act the way they do on this blog anytime Stephenson is mentioned. Parents need to be honest with themselves about athletic ability of the their kids. Not every kid is a football player, basketball or baseball player. Stop forcing your dream of playing sports on your kids while making the life of Stephenson players and others miserable.

Next, clearly with the amount of scholarships the players are awarded, there is a significant amount of time that goes in to getting these kids exposure by the coaches. They attend camps all summer. These young men put in alot of work at these camps in the off season. Parents and fans of other schools should be pissed off at your coaches for not providing that support to your young men especially the PARKVIEW folks.The pay alot of money in fees and on signing day there is little to nothing to show for it. They get camp information. Parents also are to blame because this information is on the internet. It is your responsible to make sure your child has the best opportunity.

Stephenson keep doing what your doing. Let the haters continue to be your motivators!!

Jag Fan

August 28th, 2011
1:53 am

@ the truth.. You are right!! Stephenson will still be great!.


August 28th, 2011
3:00 am

Congrats to Coach Gartrell and to the Stephenson team!!! Yes, pretty impressive win… gotta be feelin’ good… bunch of new recruits makin’ a BIG difference… Coaching staff’s got this thing figured out… Can’t win a state championship with THEIR OWN players, so they go get the best players at other schools to transfer!!! Genius!!!

Here’s the plan… lets take advantage of the fact that Dekalb County academics, to be gentle, are ’somewhat easier” than those of Gwinnett County schools, for example. Kids who were struggling to stay eligible in their home schools are gettin’ B’s and C’s here at Stephenson!!! So, we bring them in – - claim a falsified address as their home residence (or pay someone $100 or so to lie for them), and ca-ching… Stephenson has a new safety/linebacker/etc. The more we bring in, the better it is – - We can count them as one of the players that “we got scholarship offers for” (even though they would have had offers anyway), and use that to brag up our program and convince others to come!!!

Now, as long as we don’t mention the reality – - which is that many of those players signing scholarship papers don’t actually qualify to attend the schools with whom they signed… no one’s the wiser, right??? As long as word doesn’t get out that almost half of those who receive and sign scholarship offers are ineligible to actually attend that school, then we can just continue with the game… So cool!!! As long as nobody actually starts checking to find out that big brother attends Stephenson and little brother/sister is a student at Trickum (say, isn’t Trickum in Gwinnett County???)… we’re good!

Whatcha-all think??? Good plan?

Question for the Stephenson experts on this blog… Any truth to the rumor that Willie Lyles has applied for a spot on the Stephenson coaching staff?

To those who actually attended the Parkview/Stephenson game: I know that before each GHSA football game, the home team announcer is supposed to make an announcement with regard to the GHSA sportsmanship policy. Any truth to the rumor that the banner that the Stephenson cheerleaders unfurled was… to be blunt… classless??? (Okay, I actually heard “classless, but not unexpected”…). If so, I’m all in favor of it. I like a little back-and-forth, a little give-and-go. It’s what makes a good, hard fought game between two powerhouse programs fun, right??? No harm, no foul, right??? Well, if you agree, I’d like some feedback on a few ideas I have for the next time those two teams meet… Tell me what you all think… How about, “My son goes to Stephenson, little sis’ goes to Trickum, and the GHSA don’t know!”. Too wordy??? How about, “My son signed D-1, but decided juco was a better fit.” No? Still too wordy? They could go with, ” ’bout 50% of our signees actually go to college… somewhere.” Come on now… too close to the truth? Okay, I know you are going to like this one… How about, “Be cool, and we’ll let you see what a state championship trophy looks like.” I seriously like that one… Now, you are gonna love this one… “Stephenson… They’re like the Miami Hurricanes – - scandal, without the championships.” Still too long? Here’s a shorter one… “Stephenson graduates clean our halls.” Come on now… remember… it’s all in fun!

parkview folks who know

August 28th, 2011
3:40 am

The fact is that Parkview athletes do receive college scholarship offers. As the parent of a Parkview athlete who did in fact receive a college scholarship, and who does in fact attend a major division one institution on scholarship, there are some facts that need to be straightened out. First, parents need to be realistic as to what their kids are capable of. Not every sophomore defensive back runs a 4.5 in the forty, but to hear some dads talk, dang there’s a bunch who do. Course, I remember watching those same sons struggle to break 12 seconds in the 100 meters during track season, so either those were some mighty slow watches, or those dads need to be called “Pinochio”. Second, if your son can’t cut it academically at Parkview, and because he is flunking four classes isn’t eligible to sign a football scholarship, that’s not the fault of the Parkview coaching staff. That’s your son’s fault, and probably yours. Perhaps you should have transferred to a high school where academics are less important. Third, it is not the responsibility of the coaching staff to make sure your son attends combines or camps, and in fact becomes a liability issue for the school when school officials (coaches) transport athletes to those events. If your son is a quality athlete and does nothing to market himself, then don’t blame the coaching staff. Blame yourself and your son. Earning a college athletic scholarship takes effort on your part, and theirs. I’m well aware of the vast amount of tapes/videos that are sent out by the Parkview staff in support of their players. I’m well aware of the number of letters and phone calls that are made/sent out in support of Parkview athletes. Much more aware than those who choose to take shots.

Finally, there is a hallway at Parkview in which photos of former players who have received football scholarships are displayed. There are 83 photos on display – - all of which were coached by Cecil Flowe and his staff. There are photos of players who signed scholarship papers to Florida State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Texas, Georgia, Clemson, SMU, Georgia Tech, and so on… An important side note is that – - with the exception of two, each player is featured in an actual football uniform – - they actually PLAYED at the school that offered/signed them to a scholarship. BTW, the other two are in dress uniforms for the US Naval Academy.

Parkview doesn’t publicize scholarship offers/signings of players who aren’t going to qualify academically. Parkview doesn’t publicize offers to players to decide they’d rather attend UGA, for example, than attend Concordia College or Fort Valley State on a football scholarship. If you have an axe to grind with Parkview, take a look in the mirror. Chances are the problem lies in one of the issues detailed above. I know some of you. I know some of you have never lifted a finger to help, and that you are users rather than givers. You want to take from the program, and yet you give nothing to the program. I know that some of you have been nothing but a problem for every coach of every team your child has ever played on… I know the place you left is better than the place you went. Best of Luck.

True Blue

August 28th, 2011
3:46 am

Bobchambers I think you have it all wrong because Parkview Is the school that used to and do that. I can remember Parkview paying for housing for King and Lester , they both lived in Dekalb County. Don’t be mad because Kirby and Fleetwood parents felt that Stephenson was a better fit for their son. Then the negative thing you said about they don’t QUALIFY FOR COLLEGE. You got it all wrong Stephenson cares about their Student-athletes . When we knows Parkview use to use our kids athletics ability.

True Blue

August 28th, 2011
3:52 am

Quit hating and try to help your Seniors like Stephenson get expose. So that they can have the opportunity to go to school Free.


August 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Stephenson does a great job of making sure their players get great exposure. I feel if Stephenson were to move to AAAA where they should be in 2012 that would give a better chance to go deeper in the playoffs and possibly win their first championship.


August 28th, 2011
8:44 am

First of all congratulations to Stephenson on the win. Mike Davis is the truth should be AJC Super 11
Stephenson problem is they need to develop depth. U cant win State playing most of ur players both ways. Think about it u play 10 games and playoffs u dont think ur Core players isnt going to get bang up through out the season. Another problem they have learn to spread the field out and pass out of a run formation to keep defense not stacking the line eight men in the box. Also I notice there offensive linemen stand straight up instead of attacking. Finally remember in the playoffs teams are pretty much even in talent so develop that depth, you see how more fresh ur team be in the 4th quarter!!! P.S. Just a thought!!!

The Truth

August 28th, 2011
10:13 am




August 28th, 2011
10:26 am

@GMP the lack of depth is one of the reasons that Stephenson should drop to AAAA. They will have a better shot. Coach G got to put AAAAA ego aside.


August 28th, 2011
11:53 am

@DH-1. They have depth the issue is teaching your underclassmen. Remember football is a team sport. Given your CORE PLAYERS a blow every now and then will help the team and give them (underclassmen) experience.. Remember coaching is teaching and using you talent!!!

Stephenson Finest

August 28th, 2011
12:11 pm

I have a question for bobchambers or any parkview fans that are complaing about thses kids leaving their school. Brad Lester, Caleb King, Scottie Williams, Julian Whitehead what do they have in common. They all played for parkview and lived in dekalb county. yall are very hipocritical to write about these kid now but you didnt complain then. Its all good when you to parkview but they are taking less coming to stephenson. I thought we were past those days. Parkview is still a good program with a great history but you are throwing rocks from a glass house.

Stephenson Finest

August 28th, 2011
12:16 pm

The banner was a little much, but so was the one Mrs. Flowe put up before the game. There were things said months ago leading up to this game that were personal and now everyone feelings are hurt and people are being sensative.


August 28th, 2011
2:26 pm

To BOBCHAMBERSRULES and PARKVIEW FOLKS WHO KNOW, lets set something straight. First, I am a former student athlete, football player, froms Stephenson High School, and I did go to a great college and graduated and is doing very well. This rant that yall all are going on seems to be very funny. When I played football at North Dekalb Park, I was recruited to come and play at Parkview by an associated of Coach Flowe, and no I didnt live in Gwinnett. You all use to have plenty of players that played for yall that didnt live in the district, Brad Lester and Caleb King, just to name a few. So it was all good then when you all had them and you were winning and not losing to that coach on the other side of 78…….

Secondly, I follow our program still today, and the fact that both of you are some how trying to say that a number of our players dont qualify or dont play is outragious. More than 3/4 of our players qualify and play at the next level, but when you have so many kids going to college from a school, of course your gonna get some kids who wont qualify and may not make it in college. Thats part of life. Is it that you see a black program that is beating your program consistently and are putting alot of their kids in college for free? Is it because Parkview is use to all of the publicity and now you all are irrelevant? Im more than sure if you had a number of your players going to college for free you all would be a proud program, like ours is. I understand that you all would like your kids to go to college for free also. So dont bash our kids and our program, or our school because you think most of them dont qualify, maybe its because their all black, becuase you have no hard evidence to prove that most of our kids dont qualify.

Lastly, what makes you think that Parkview’s academics are any harder than Stephenson’s. Did you go to Stephenson High School. No you didnt. Stephenson has great academics, just because its in a black community and your school isnt does not mean your academics are any better. We have very smart students and student athletes who have graduated from Stephenson. I went to a all white university and was one of the smartest on campus, graduating suma cum latta. Get off of yalls mountain and humble yourselves, your community is no better than ours.

Maybe the problem with your community and why you all are on edge now is that for years and even now, you all think that yall are better and more superior than other people. You all cant take a group of people who you all feel is less superior than you, beating you in football and helping their kids win in life. You all cant stand that all the information that comes out of Stephenson High School is positive, and its positive black news. It was all good when all we use to hear about is the number of State championships that Parkviews program has, and thats great im happy for your program. But I would never bash your kids because something great is coming out of your program.

Maybe if your community and your coaching staff wasnt so worried about just winning state championships. and also showed that same passion to come together and help your kids succeed once high school football is done, you wouldnt be in this predicament. Maybe those players whose parents pulled them from your program realizes that. Stop being jealous and show some class and humility, and humble yourselves. If you all want to be better than us, in football and life, then at least at like your better than us when you get your butts handed to yall. By the way, arent we on the other side of 78 supposed to be acting like you all are right now????????????????????


August 28th, 2011
2:41 pm

And yes I did play the race card, because you all use to use our BLACK kids from dekalb coounty when you were winning, Brad Lester and Caleb King are the few that I know becase they were closer to when I was in school, But im more than sure, and willing to put my life on it, that you all have taken more out of Dekalb county for athletic gain. And when they graduated your high school, you probably said the hell with them.


August 28th, 2011
5:34 pm

@bobchambersrules I find your comments about the banner and lack of sportsmanship such a joke. I hope you are not an adult taking the bantering of some adolescent teens so personal. OMG……it really isn’t that serious. I’m wondering if your comments would have been the same had Parkview won? Ofcourse not…… So let me ask a question: Has Parkview ever allowed a student athlete from another county to transfer in? Ofcourse they have……… quite a few keep from good old Stephenson High.

For you and any other negative person that wants to put down and entire school, county or community shame on you. We should be wish all teams much success in their season. Let’s grow up a little.

parkview suckkks

August 28th, 2011
5:43 pm

Stephenson WON & all these Parkview people need to sit down & talk $#!+ to your players , the losing team , not the winning team c’mon now get it together ! Stephenson should be getting compliments right about now .

But its okay , hopefully Stephenson will make the haters motivators .

Keep it up Jaguars !

GOD Fearing

August 28th, 2011
6:37 pm

@bobchambersrule– WOW! Satan wants a fight! But you won’t get one here. Hallelujah! To God be the GLORY!


August 28th, 2011
10:00 pm


August 28th, 2011
10:26 pm

I have been reading these post and i surely hope that these are not coming from parents or overaged kids (Adults0 these are children, high school boys. Stop criticizing these kids and encourage them. They are in school playing HS sports. It’s okay the have spirit and pump up your school but to talk negative about these kids education, community and school system is ludacrist, get a life, grow up and repent!!!

Stephenson Finest

August 29th, 2011
6:59 am

Stephenson High Jaguars keep NFL powerhouse record going

Written by Joshua Smith STONE MOUNTAIN—The Stephenson High School Jaguars have one more reason to be proud. Kelvin Sheppard is the most recent Jaguar to be drafted by the NFL.

L-R: Jermaine Cunningham, Kelvin Sheppard and Perry Riley, all from Stephenson High’s class of 2005, continue to demonstrate their talents as NFL picks.

Sheppard and two other Jaguars from the Class of 2005—Jermaine Cunningham and Perry Riley—got together recently to watch the NFL draft during a barbecue at the Sheppard family’s home.

Tamra Sheppard, executive Metro Pre-School Director of the YMCA, beamed with pride over her son’s induction into the NFL.

“It was very exciting to have our family and friends come together for the celebration, and it was especially nice to have Jermaine and Perry come because they too made the NFL and were all in the same graduating class at Stephenson,” said Tamra Sheppard.

Stephenson’s head coach, Ron Gartrell, doesn’t know what to make of three teammates from the same graduating class making the NFL, but he says he is proud of Stephenson’s track record.

Stephenson has birthed eight Jaguars who have gone on to play on the professional level. Besides the NFL, the Canadian Football League has also picked up some Jags, including Canadian Football League Champion, Sean Lucas.

“I’ve been coaching here since the school’s first game in 1996. It really touches me to see our guys go to the NFL and any professional league because they are making a career off a game they love,” Gartrell said. “But it’s not all about the NFL. You have to appreciate this game and other sports that basically give you a free education into whatever field you are interested in when you get off the football field.”

Sheppard was selected by the Buffalo Bills in the third round as the 68th pick in this year’s draft. While a Jaguar, Sheppard recorded 102 tackles and 10 sacks.

A December graduate of Louisiana State University, Sheppard finished his college career with 311 tackles, ninth in school history and was named All-Southeastern Conference in 2010.

Fellow teammates Cunningham and Riley were drafted last year to the NFL. Riley, who played linebacker with Sheppard at LSU, was selected by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, the 103rd pick overall. Cunningham, who attended University of Florida, was picked by the New England Patriots in the second round (53rd overall) in the 2010 NFL draft.

The three, plus Marcus Ball, were part of a highly talented defensive squad at Stephenson.

As a Jaguar senior, Riley recorded 131 tackles, four interceptions, two sacks, five tackles for loss and one defensive touchdown.

At Stephenson, Cunningham averaged 15 tackles per game, and recorded 25 sacks as a team captain in his senior year.

“They were all great guys and played with respect for our staff. We didn’t just teach them wins and loses, but skills of leadership, communication and responsibility,” Gartrell said. “We want to build the best men we possibly can on and off the field, that goes for all of our players.”


August 29th, 2011
2:27 pm

The funny thing is, Bob Chambers is a little leauge Coach involved with the youth sports progam at Parkview. Not to mention…. he’s african american himself. That’s a shame.

Response to Bob Chambers

August 29th, 2011
2:34 pm

Bob Chambers if in fact you are a little league coach out of Parkview Sports Program, you should be ashamed of yourself. “UNCLE TOM”

By the way Parkview Youth Football recruits Dekalb players all day long. I had a coach calling me sense February of last year begging for my 2 young boys to come play there. I refuse to allow my sons to play there. Parkview is disgraceful, bias and prejudice. That’s real talk. RACISM is alive and breathing, it just has a NEW FACE….

Another Response To Bob Chambers

August 29th, 2011
10:23 pm

It’s a disgrace in 2011 to hear a black man speak so negatively on a thriving black program. Obviously, you have something personal to gain by attacking an entire school program, educators, students, custodians and the personal choices that families make. Who gave you that authority? Stephenson is a community that supports their own and is proud of every student that has a desire to attend college and the ability to make it happen. I hope you get that same support from your beloved Parkview family. Because you must be family! Oh wait…you’re the BLACK sheep! “Yesah masta I’ll tell’em for ya”. All in fun right???? I don’t think so! That’s the problem there’s nothing funny about a slave mentality.

parkview folks who know

August 29th, 2011
10:56 pm

from “true blue”
“Bobchambers I think you have it all wrong because Parkview Is the school that used to and do that. I can remember Parkview paying for housing for King and Lester , they both lived in Dekalb County. Don’t be mad because Kirby and Fleetwood parents felt that Stephenson was a better fit for their son. Then the negative thing you said about they don’t QUALIFY FOR COLLEGE. You got it all wrong Stephenson cares about their Student-athletes . When we knows Parkview use to use our kids athletics ability.”

You can remember Parkview paying for housing for King and Lester? Really? Was that because you were writing the checks? Can you tell me where King lived in the Parkview attendance area? How about Lester? How about now? Since Lester graduated a number of years ago, where do his parents live now? Did they stay in the same house, and just start paying themselves after their son graduated, or is their deal a lifetime housing contract? Or, more accurately, do you just not know what you are talking about, and so you choose to run your mouth???

I’ll give you a hint… Neither Brad Lester’s family or Caleb King’s family chose to move to the Parkview attendance area because of an offer to receive any type of shady benefits from Parkview. No reason for you to slander either family, when your words are lies. And yes, I know that for a fact.

parkview folks who know

August 29th, 2011
11:04 pm

To “Response to Bob Chambers”;
You said, “Bob Chambers if in fact you are a little league coach out of Parkview Sports Program, you should be ashamed of yourself. “UNCLE TOM”

By the way Parkview Youth Football recruits Dekalb players all day long. I had a coach calling me sense February of last year begging for my 2 young boys to come play there. I refuse to allow my sons to play there. Parkview is disgraceful, bias and prejudice. That’s real talk. RACISM is alive and breathing, it just has a NEW FACE….”

Nobody was being racist… it was, in fact, you who brought up the first racist comment when you said, “Uncle Tom.” As for Parkview youth football… It might shock you to learn that Parkview high school and Parkview/Mountain Park youth football are NOT tied at the hip. A number of the coaches at Parkview/MPAA are not from the Parkview attendance area, and a number of the players on the various teams are also not from the Parkview attendance area. Why? Probably for the same reason that many of the players/coaches at Duluth, for example, are from Fulton County. The point is that Parkview/MPAA is in no way in lock step with Parkview. And so, whoever was “begging” your boys to come play, probably was from Dekalb County. And, as for being disgraceful, biased, and prejudiced, you should perhaps look in the mirror.