Defensive players are being sought at Peach County. With only two defensive starters back from last year’s 11-win team, coach Chad Campbell has the “Help Wanted” sign ready to put in the window of his office in Fort Valley.
The Trojans have some serious questions to answer on defense. If they can come up with some solutions there, the offense has enough weapons to keep the program among the most recognized in the state.
“This is an opportunity for some young kids to have a chance to play,” Campbell said. “It will be interesting to see who shows up this spring. I think we’re going to play some young kids. They’re going to get some playing time.”
The only defensive players returning are cornerbacks Daniel Walton and Mictavious Gibson.
“The rest of them are gone,” Campbell said. “It’s open season for kids hoping to be able to play. It will be fun to see kids continue to improve.”
Peach County was an average defensive team last year. The Trojans did have three shutouts, but they allowed North Hall to score 52 points in the quarterfinals.
“We don’t really have defensive-minded kids right now,” Campbell said. “We’re just going through that cycle right now.”
Offense is a different story. There are enough weapons over there to allow the Trojans to remain in contention in Region 2-AA. They will definitely miss all-state receiver Demarcus Robinson, who had 42 catches for 808 yards (19.2 per catch) and 12 touchdowns. He signed with Florida. But there are plenty of returnees that have the potential to make this an explosive offense.
It begins with quarterback Greg Williams. He bounced back from an ACL tear to have an outstanding season. Williams threw for 2,010 yards and 22 touchdowns and rushed for 176 and three scores as a junior.
The back is led by 5-foot-6 Keyshawn Lowe, earned the nickname “The Workhorse” during his junior year. He carried 150 times for 1,078 yards and 11 touchdowns, despite missing three games with a high ankle sprain.
Saire Davis will get a chance to step up in the spotlight vacated by Robinson. He caught 28 passes, six for touchdowns, in 2012 and Campbell said Davis, a 6-1, 170-pound junior, did not drop a pass thrown in his direction.
The offensive line is anchored by Chavis Dickey (6-4, 295), an all-state right tackle who has already received offers from the Cincinnati, Central Florida and Middle Tennessee.
Peach County Trojans
2012 record: 11-2, 5-1 in Region 2-AAA, lost in quarterfinals to North Hall
Starters returning: 4 offense, 2 defense
Key players lost: WR Demarcus Robinson, LB Chris Jackson, DE A.J. Zanders
Key players returning: OL Chavis Dickey, RB Keyshawn Lowe, QB Greg Williams
Spring practice dates: May 13-24. Spring game TBD.
Schedule: Aug. 30 Perry, Sept. 6 at Baldwin, Sept. 13 at Warner Robins, Sept. 20 Macon County, Oct. 4 Henry County, Oct. 11 Jackson, Oct. 18 at Central Macon, Oct. 25 Pike County, Nov. 1 at Carver Columbus, Nov. 8 at Southwest Macon.
Outlook: This will be one of the youngest Peach County teams in years, particularly on defense. The Trojans should be able to score plenty of points. But can they stop enough people to be a contender again.