The ingredient for most football teams is to build around is the quarterback. Brooks County has a good one and that’s one of the reasons why the Trojans are expected to again make a lot of noise in Class AA this fall.
Malkom Parrish is the quarterback for the Trojans and last season threw for 3,001 yards and 24 touchdowns in13 games. That ranks him fifth among the state’s all-time single-season passers for yardage. Parrish (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) has a strong arm and is very quick on his feet. He ran for 1,000 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior. Parrish has started since he was a freshman.
Parrish also starts in the secondary, which is the position he’s expected to play in college. He’s already picked up offers from Georgia and Georgia Tech, with most of the other schools in the region expected to follow. Parrish has been invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, next January.
“He looks good,” said Brooks coach Maurice Freeman. “He’s spunky. He’s having a great time.”
Two of his favorite targets, Deric Herring and Dejuan Miley, are both back at wide receiver. But the search committee is looking for running back candidates this spring to replace all-region runner Brandon Golden.
“Running back is a big concern,” Freeman said. “We’ve got 4-5 guys and we may end up combining them all.”
The offensive line is solid. Darren Anderson, an all-region choice there last year, leads that group.
The defense is equally solid up front with the return of lineman Isaac Reynolds. But Freeman is trying to slide the senior to the inside linebacker slot. If that doesn’t work out, Reynolds will return to the trenches, where he is a college prospect.
Freeman has high hopes for outside linebacker hopefuls Xavier Davis and Michael Reynolds, a pair of big-bodied juniors who could develop into prospects.
Brooks will also continue to focus on the special teams. The Trojans scored eight special-team touchdowns and allowed none in 2012. Freeman said, “We need to get in that 8-9 range and not give up any.”
Overall the spring has just been a chance to go back to work and try to bring home the school’s first state championship since 1994. Brooks won 12 straight games last year, including the historic win over Valdosta, and finished first in rugged Region 1-AA.
“We’re really working hard to find our second-team guys and trying to find that diamond in the rough,” Freeman said. “These guys are doing a good job.”
Brooks County Trojans
2012 record: 12-1, 6-0 in Region 1-AA, lost in quarterfinals to Calhoun
Key players lost: RB Brandon Golden, LB Wayne Silas, DB Dejuan Miley, DL Isaac Reynolds, LB Marquis Gray
Key players returning: QB Malkolm Parrish, WR Deric Herring, WR Xavier Medlock, OL Bobby Christian, OL Darren Anderson, DL Jicarrie Watkins,
Spring practice dates: Through May 17. Spring scrimmage May 17th.
Schedule: Aug. 23 at Clinch County, Aug. 30 at Monroe, Sept. 6 at Valdosta, Sept. 20 Mitchell County, Sept. 27 at Early County, Oct. 4 Thomasville, Oct. 11 at Fitzgerald, Oct. 18 Pelham, Oct. 25 at Cook, Nov. 8 Berrien
Outlook: If Brooks can identify some running backs to complement Parrish, it should again be in the middle of things. The non-conference schedule is difficult (especially that game against extremely annoyed Valdosta) and Region 1-AA is one of the toughest in the classification.