Posted: Monday, August 13th 2012 at 10:19am
Football 2012: Towns Co. hopes experience pays off in wins
By Jeff Hart Staff
HIAWASSEE -- After leading Towns County to its only winning record -- a 7-3 mark in 2008 -- Indians coach Kyle Langford would not commit to saying his 2012 team could produce the program’s second. But, if ever there was a year for another victorious campaign, this could be it.
The Indians return nine starters on offense and eight starters on defense from a squad that went 2-8 in 2011 and Langford said experience could play a key role for them.
“The numbers are up and we are a lot more mature as a team and as players,” he said. “We only had eight guys last year that had lettered at varsity; this year we have nearly two dozen. That makes a big difference out on the field.”
Junior QB Jackson Noblet returns to run the spread offense but the Indians lost their top receiver, Zack Stroud, and top rusher, Noah Calhoun, to graduation. Finding replacements has been a priority during fall practice but the entire offensive line returns from a year ago.
Sophomore Ceasar Bustamante could emerge as placekicker and Chambers said they’re still looking for a punter as of publication time.
On defense the Indians return five or their front seven to anchor what Langford said should be a much-improved group. Senior linebackers Wesley Bloodworth and Joseph Foster along with senior Colton Stroud and juniors Garrett Bradshaw and Dustin Brackett on the line give them an experienced front.
“I like our defense and I think they will keep us in games,” Chambers said. “Injuries, of course, is a big key for us.”
While the Indians have won just seven games since finishing 7-3 in 2008 – their only winning season as a program – Chambers said with hard work and some luck this team has a chance to have a sold year.
“Well, I don’t like making predictions (like having a winning season) because you never know what can happen,” he said. “But, we were competitive last year and we feel good about our team this year. We have a lot of experience coming back and a little more talent. Hopefully all of that can add up to a positive year.”
TOWNS COUNTY: NEED TO KNOW
TEAM COLORS: Blue & White
CURRENT REGION: 8-A (non-region schedule)
HEAD COACH/RECORD AT SCHOOL: Kyle Langford, sixth season, 14-36
2011 RECORD/ ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 2-8
KEY LOSSES: Zack Stroud, leading receiver and in TDs in 2011; Noah Calhoun, leading rusher in 2011
OFFENSIVE STYLE: Spread -- the Indians will look to make the most of junior quarterback Jackson Noblet and Hardaway transfer Joseph Gibson
KEY OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: Return nine starters from 2011, Jr. Jackson Noblet, transfer from Hardaway in Columbus Joseph Gibson, Sr. OL Luke Parker, Jr. OL Jaryd Gurley
DEFENSIVE STYLE: 3-3 stack -- Towns County should be strong against the pass with an experienced line and linebacking unit
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: Return eight starters from 2011, Sr. LB Wesley Bloodworth, Sr. LB Joseph Foster, Sr. DL Colton Stroud, Jr. DL Garrett Bradshaw, Jr. DL Dustin Brackett, Jr. CB Brett Barrett
SPECIAL TEAMS: So. Ceasar Bustamante could emerge as placekicker, still looking for a punter
QUESTION: Replacing top rusher and top two receivers and depth in the secondary will be the focus during the preseason.
KEY GAMES: The Indians again are playing a non-region schedule but two early rivalry games against Hayesville, N.C. and Union County should give them some early excitement. They also play three of their first four games on the road for a tough start. They finish the year with three of their final four games at home.
TRENDING: After winning seven games in 2008, the Indians have managed just seven total wins since then. But with a wealth of experience returning in 2012, the Indians may be poised for a run at their second-ever winning season.
Aug. 24 at Hayesville, N.C.
Aug. 31 vs. Union County
Sept. 7 at Fellowship Christian
Sept. 14 at Rabun County
Sept. 21 vs. Rabun Gap
Sept. 28 at Copper Basin, Tenn.
Oct. 19 vs. North Cobb Christian
Oct. 26 vs. St. Francis
Nov. 2 at Lakeview Academy
Nov. 9 vs. Hebron Christian Academy
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