50 in 50: Parkview football hopes to build on revival of 2012

Parkview coach Cecil Flowe will be in his 21st season. ((Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC)

Parkview coach Cecil Flowe will be in his 21st season. ((Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC)

For the next 50 weekdays, AJC.com will report on 50 of the most intriguing football programs in Georgia as teams prepare for spring practice.

Here is the schedule of teams for this week:

Monday – Parkview

Tuesday – Lovett

Wednesday – Buford

Thursday – Burke County

Friday – Mays

Parkview Panthers

2012 record: 9-4, 6-2 in Region 8-AAAAAA, lost in quarterfinals to Colquitt County 31-15.
Starters returning: 5 offense, 5 defense.

Key players lost: QB Rob Youngblood, RB Chris Carson, LB Kyle Williams (Air Force)

Key players returning: LB John Patterson, OL Trey Derouen, RB Justis Rosser, CB Turshard Kimble-Brinson, CB Bryce Lewis (Vanderbilt)

Spring practice dates: May 7-18

Outlook: A significant core returns from a team that put Parkview in the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2005. Finding a new quarterback for the pistol offense will be a priority this spring. There is no single running back at the level of graduated 1,000-yard rusher Chris Carson. If the defense remains one of the better ones in Gwinnett County, Parkview will be a region title contender.

8/30 at Peachtree Ridge

9/6 vs. Norcross

9/13 at Grayson

9/20 vs. Archer

9/27 at Brookwood

10/11 vs. Dacula

10/18 at Shiloh

10/25 vs. Central Gwinnett

11/1 at Berkmar

11/8 vs. South Gwinnett
The 2012 season was a historic up-and-down ride for Parkview. The Panthers stunned No. 1-ranked Grayson in September, blew what should’ve been their first region title since 2004  in October and then won two overtime playoff games in November to make the Class AAAAAA quarterfinals.

That came on the heels of a 4-6 season (worst for Parkview in 20 years) and returned the program to genuine statewide relevance for the first time since 2005.

‘’It was a fun year, and I think we can build on it,’’ said Parkview coach Cecil Flowe, who will be in his 21st season. “We lose some really good seniors, but our chemistry is good. I have high expectations, and I think the kids do to.’’

Spring practice, which begins May 7, will be see 10 of 22 starters back. The main competition will come at quarterback. The 2012 starter, Rob Youngblood, was injured late in the season and returned only to play defense in the playoffs.

When Youngblood went down, Parkview shifted to an Oregon-style pistol offense that Flowe plans to retain this fall. The quarterback needs to be mobile as Parkview passed fewer than 10 times per game last season. The contenders are juniors Kalu Onumah (6-foot-3, throws a nice ball) and Estifanos Lulsegard (5-11, scrappy, will play elsewhere if not QB) and sophomore Tyler Fleetwood (perfectly suited for the position athletically, inexperienced).

‘’Fleetwood shows great promise and could win the job,’’ Flowe said, ‘’but he’s going to have to fight for it.’’

Chris Carson, the 1,100-yard running back who was lost twice to injuries in 2012, has graduated, and there will be no feature back this season, but expect A-back Justis Rosser (91 yards rushing in Walton playoff win) to be a key piece on offense. There is more talent up from the JV team.

Perhaps what Parkview has missed most since the glory days (state titles in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002) is a dominant offensive line. It was a strength in 2012 and can be again. Parkview loses three-year starting tackle Ronnie Bailey, but Flowe is optimistic. “We have lineman again that we haven’t in a while,’’ he said. ”We’ll have some people that can do the job.’’

Linebacker John Patterson (second on team with 99 tackles in ’12) and cornerback Bryce Lewis (committed to Vanderbilt) are standouts on a defense will be a little bigger up front but still built for speed with three on the line and six in the box. Long gone is the old 4-3 defense that Flowe employed to win state titles a decade ago.

Flowe hopes the confidence from last year’s success will carry over.

‘’Winning the [Grayson] game when nobody gave us a chance was a huge shot in the arm for us,’’ he said. “Then we were rolling along, and we lose Rob [Youngblood] and then Chris [Carson to injury], and the whole team goes ‘uh, oh.’ Then it’s the job of the coaches to say, ‘We’ll find a way, trust us.’ And they did. We beat Walton, we beat West Forsyth [in the playoffs, both in overtime].

”But we won’t win a game off last year. We can’t wait to get the pads on them in spring and get into summer to mold the team.”

31 comments Add your comment

only a matter of time

March 25th, 2013
10:11 am

Wow, on paper it looks like a pretty tough September.


March 25th, 2013
10:44 am

That is a huge undertaking Todd. I look forward to reading it. Marist will be #1 right? :-)

Go Broncos

March 25th, 2013
11:24 am

Scrubs, all of them. Mark it down. 9/27 is a big huge loss for pukeview.


March 25th, 2013
11:35 am

Todd is giving 50 days of coverage for high school football in a major newspaper? Hope he does a hundred days on middle school kick ball after this.

Todd Holcomb

March 25th, 2013
1:09 pm

Thanks for the faith you guys have in me, but I’m reporting just one team a week. :) Chip Saye, Stan Awtrey, Jay Stone and S. Thomas Coleman will be doing the same in hopes of getting us to 50 by the end of the school year. Never too soon to talk football around here. And yes, Marist is on the list of 50.

And finally, kickball was my favorite middle school sport, especially when we had a good a soccer ball and not one of those maroon mush balls. This was about when soccer style kicking was coming into vogue. It was a real game-changer.

Cold Hard Facts

March 25th, 2013
2:00 pm

Todd, Will you be doing any coverage of Single A football in this 50 day report?

Todd Holcomb

March 25th, 2013
3:14 pm

Yes, there will be Class A schools featured. In no order …

George Walton Academy
Prince Avenue Christian
Emanuel County Institute
Lincoln County
Dooly County
Eagle’s Landing Christian


March 25th, 2013
3:18 pm

I don’t like Clemson or anybody who dresses like them.

Cold Hard Facts

March 25th, 2013
3:26 pm

How about a report on Landmark Christian? They were 1 win away from going to the state championship. Also Walker had a great year that no one saw coming. We would like to see a report on these 2 schools as well…..


March 25th, 2013
4:52 pm

What about Elbert Co?


March 25th, 2013
7:20 pm

FootballTopFan(c) would like to wish the Parkview Panthers and Coach Cecil Flowe the best of luck and success in the upcoming high school football season !!!

We love high school football.

Watching from the Sidelines

March 25th, 2013
8:32 pm

There are definitely some intriguing programs in South Fulton starting with Langston Hughes winning its first region title, can it repeat? Creekside two words – Berry Boys and a new coach. Tri-Cities can Miller bring his alma mater back to glory? Finally Westlake after 0-10 everyone is intrigued about how Bryan Love plans to turn it around?

Gwinnett's Finest

March 25th, 2013
9:18 pm

Go Broncos, Maybe you can hold the QB to under 100 yds. rushing on 5 carries this year. And keep one back from going 260+. The Panthers donkey-kicked your ass last year.

Real Talk

March 25th, 2013
9:35 pm

will you cover creekview??


March 25th, 2013
9:45 pm

Hey, Todd. Thanks for high school football Spring fix. What 6A teams did you include on the list? If say Lowndes, and the Valdosta Wildcats, I’ll be uuuupset! :-)


March 25th, 2013
9:46 pm

Oops, that should be “and not the Valdosta Wildcats….”


March 26th, 2013
1:15 am

Carver Atlanta beat Mays and return 15 players this year were is the love

Swamp Lizard

March 26th, 2013
7:04 am

AJC GUYS …. thank you for feeding my football “soul” …. spring practice around the corner, summer workouts, & the start of a new season. On Class A schools …… just because their small, doesn’t mean they’re not one of the best programs in the state. Matter of fact, I think some of the best programs in the state are Class A schools. I know y’all have your hands full picking 50 …. look forward to everyone of them. THANKS !!

Todd Holcomb

March 26th, 2013
7:56 am

Valdosta and Lowndes are definitely on the list.

There are a lot more than 50 teams that people are interested in. If there is a lot of clamor for a particular school, maybe we’ll find a way to check in them, too.

Thats not what she said

March 26th, 2013
9:14 am

I Bleed Orange

March 26th, 2013
10:46 am

Go Broncos should check the scoreboard from last year!!! Brookwood Where You At????

Gus Hall

March 26th, 2013
11:42 am

After this 50 in 50 is complete how about some coverage on the schools around the state who have horrible athletics and take a deeper look into why they are terrible.

Is it bad coaching? Lack of community support? Lack of funding? Lack of parental support? Far from athletic kids?

This would be more interesting to me…..

Orange and Blue

March 26th, 2013
3:22 pm

Go Broncos, yea thats why you got your butts kicked. Buck the Froncos!!!

blu eagle

March 26th, 2013
5:34 pm

Hey Todd, Thanks for helping with our addiction to high school football even in the off season.You guys really do a good job! As for my NSWR Eagles could be a down year for the first time in a long while, as they lost a lot, still a good qb and offensive line though, so we will see!

Panthers Rule

March 26th, 2013
6:07 pm

@go Broncos, Brookwood should field a hockey team. The way your linebackers go backwards like they’re on skates, you would kick butt.

Panthers Rule

March 26th, 2013
6:09 pm

Maybe Brookwood will be watching for the bootleg this season. Last year they watched a 90+ yard bootleg.

Panthers Rule

March 26th, 2013
6:12 pm

“Scrubs, all of them. Mark it down. 9/27 is a big huge loss for pukeview.”

Weren’t you at the Punchline last week.


March 27th, 2013
7:20 am

Feel the passion in March for high school football. Ain’t it great !

Talk Is Cheap

March 29th, 2013
2:11 pm

@Gus Hall —- very interesting! I would definitely like to see a story on the why’s of failing programs covered.


April 1st, 2013
8:02 am

Thank you Todd for the excellent job you do on covering High School football across the State. Don’t always agree with you but you are always fair and objective, mostly. :-)

Valdosta is optimistic this year….should be better than last year.