This is the measure of a strong program: In what was by most accounts a rebuilding year in 2012, Carrollton went 8-4 and was one play away from being in the state quarterfinals – they were eliminated in one of the state’s best games in 2012, a five-overtime loss to Marist — with a team completely devoid of returning skilled players.
Fast-forward to 2013, and the Trojans’ prospects look bright. With nine starters back from an offense that scored 467 points, the main questions on that side of the ball are who will fill two spots on the offensive line and which quarterback – Will Garrett or Will Hesterlee – will see more time.
There are questions on defense, where the Trojans lost six starters, but the offense has enough talent and experience returning to mitigate any defensive struggles.
Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague, who finished 2012 with 207 career coaching wins, is unconcerned about the two-quarterback system.
“Through my years, some of my best teams have had two quarterbacks,” Teague said. “We Started it in Swainsboro. Went 12-1 with two kids that interchanged. This is probably the fourth time since I’ve been here I’ve had two quarterbacks. Both of them are going to have a lot of confidence and I won’t hesitate when I put them out there.”
The presence of Trey Chivers and Jarvis Terrell could make most other offensive decisions moot. Chivers was the Trojans’ most productive offensive player in 2012, rushing for 816 yards and leading the team in receiving with 23 catches for 512 yards, scoring a combined 17 touchdowns.
And then there’s Terrell, who as a freshman last fall gave glimpses of electrifying talent, including a 24–yard, two-touchdown performance against LaGrange in the regular-season finale.
“A freshman’s a freshman,” said Teague. “It took him a while to get his feet wet.”
Though Terrell got the bulk of his carries in the latter stages of the season, he finished with 695 yards and eight touchdowns, and has taken his ability to the track this spring, where Teague says he has already run the fastest 100-meter dash (10.71) in school history. Let that sink in: Carrollton has one of the preeminent track programs in state history, and Terrell has already put his name in the school record books.
2012 record: 8-4, 6-1 Region 5-AAAA. Lost in second round to Marist in five overtimes.
Starters returning: 9 offense; 5 defense
Key players lost: FB Dan Harris, DE Armani Phillips, DE B.J. Addison, LB Turner Martin
Key players returning: RB Trey Chivers, RB Jarvis Terrell, QB Will Garrett, QB Will Heterlee, K Tyler Newsome
Spring practice dates: May 13 – May 22
Schedule: Aug. 30 at Oxford (Ala.), Sept. 6 Chapel Hill, Sept. 13 Calhoun, Sept. 27 Columbus, Oct. 4 Fayette County, Oct. 10 at Troup County, Oct. 18 Shaw, Oct. 25 at Alexander, Nov. 1 Sandy Creek, Nov. 8 LaGrange.
Outlook: The Trojans return virtually all of their skilled players from last year, and if they shore up some key losses on defense another deep playoff run seems likely.