Posted: Thursday, August 15th 2013 at 10:19am
Football 2013: New-look North Forsyth ready to make noise
By Jeff Hart Staff
NORTH FORSYTH: NEED TO KNOW
TEAM COLORS: Black, Silver, & Purple
CURRENT REGION: 6-AAAAAA
HEAD COACH/RECORD AT SCHOOL: Jason Galt, first season
2012 RECORD/ ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 3-7
KEY LOSSES: OL Colby Gossett, OL Tanner Short
OFFENSIVE STYLE: Double-wing -- The Raiders will use a power running attack that looks like an inverted wishbone with two tight ends -- smash-mouth football.
KEY OFFENSIVE PLAYERS: Return 4 starters -- Sr. QB Harris Roberts (three-year starter), Sr. OL Michael Carter, Sr. OL Clayton Barton, Sr. OL Blake Hodges, Jr. RB Jamal Davenport, Sr. RB Luke Slaton, Sr. FB Trey Wagner, Jr. WR Colton MillerJr. QB Harris Roberts, Sr. OL Colby Gossett, Sr. OL Tanner Short
DEFENSIVE STYLE: 4-3 -- North Forsyth will blitz and early and often; the Raiders want to attack as much as possible
KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: Return 3 starters -- Sr. LB Jerret Paige, Sr. DL Payton Holbrooks, Sr. S Kansas Mullins, Sr. CB Luke Slaton, Sr. CB Trey Smith
SPECIAL TEAMS: Sr. P Dakota Gottberg (an FBS prospect), place-kicking duties are undecided as of publication time
STRENGTH: Offensive line/defensive secondary -- The OL and secondary should be very strong, and Roberts should prosper in the new offense. Speed and size in the backfield could be a factor for a solid ground attack.
QUESTION: Depth on the D-line -- It could be a concern. Finding a place-kicker is also a priority
KEY GAMES: Four of final six region games are on the road, including season finale at rival South Forsyth.
TRENDING: The Raiders have not had a winning season since 2009 and are on their third head coach in four years. But Galt said he does not expect a turnaround to take long.
Aug. 16 at Riverwood
Aug. 30 vs. Forsyth Central
Sept. 6 vs. Dawson County
Sept. 13 at Cherokee
Sept. 20 at Chattahoochee
Sept. 27 vs. Lambert
Oct. 11 vs. Alpharetta
Oct. 18 at West Forsyth
Oct. 25 vs. Centennial
Nov. 1 at Johns Creek
Nov. 8 vs. South Forsyth
COAL MOUNTAIN -- North Forsyth coach Jason Galt said he wasn’t looking to leave Dutchtown High School in Henry County. But when the opportunity to take over struggling North Forsyth came open, he said the choice was simple.
“They made a good offer, and it’s a place where my family could grow up and prosper so we decided to do it,” Galt said. “I was comfortable at Dutchtown and we had a good system in place. But I also like a challenge.”
Galt had just one non-winning season in his six years at Dutchtown -- his first -- and he said North Forsyth can duplicate the success at Dutchtown.
“I took over there when they were down and within two years we were .500,” Galt said. “We have five goals every year: Win more than we lose, beat all in-county opponents, make the playoffs, win a region championship, win a state championship.
“We just focus on those goals. I feel like we can have success right now. We have a good line and a good backfield. Our style is different and catches a lot of teams off guard.”
Galt and his staff utilize a unique double-wing, power running attack that is an inverted wishbone with two tight ends. The Raiders believe they have the personnel to make it work right now in senior quarterback Harris Roberts, a three-year starter, and a stable of running backs in junior Jamal Davenport, senior Luke Slaton, and senior Trey Wagner.
“No one in Georgia runs it (North Forsyth's system), and we always catch teams off-guard,” Galt said.”It’s old-school, smash-mouth football and hard to stop. I expect to have a lot of success with it. We have size and speed in the backfield. I’m excited about getting started.”
The defense will be led by a good group in the secondary. Seniors Kansas Mullins (safety), Slaton (cornerback), and Trey Smith (cornerback) bring speed and experience. Senior Jerret Paige will anchor the linebackers and senior Payton Holbrooks leads the line.
Galt said getting off to a good start is important but is looking for improvement leading up to their Region 6-AAAAAA opener against Chattahoochee.
“Obviously the rival games are important, but to get into the playoffs you have to win in the region,” he said. “I’m looking at that Chattahoochee game to get us going.”
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