2005 Football Preview
Class AAAA - Region 7
On paper, Rome appears to be one of the state's more-talented teams this season. The Wolves have at least two Division I prospects and a strong group of returning skill players, which should make them the South subregion favorite if the not the favorite to win the entire region. Lineman Timmy Smith (6-0, 250) and tight end Toryan Smith (6-1, 240) anchor the offensive front, which should make life easier for wide receiver Brian Watters (6-1, 185), one of the state's top recruits. Smith, one of the top linebackers in the state, as well as senior defensive lineman David McClusky (6-0, 260) will lead a strong defense.
After Rome, the remainder of the South subregion is anyone's guess. Gordon Central made the playoffs last season and features a talented group of returning seniors, including senior running back T. J. Hamilton (5-9, 180). A pair of senior linebackers - D. K. Nicholson (6-0, 220) and Joey Traves (5-9, 185) - anchor the defense.
Keep an eye on Hiram and East Paulding, which also should jockey for a playoff berth.
Hiram lost 18 starters but Hornets' coach Lynn Rowe has a way of getting the most out his players.
East Paulding coach Tim Glanton helped his team to a 6-4 record last year and the Raiders should expect much of the same this year. East Paulding will build around Division I offensive lineman prospect Brett Gloyd (6-1, 265).
Paulding County, which went 2-8, and Woodland (3-7) hope to improve on last season's records.
The North subregion will have good football, but the favorites aren't as clear as the North subregion. Look for Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, Northwest Whitfield, Dalton and Murray County to challenge for postseason berths.
Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe lost 18 returning starters and the bulk of its skill players. The good news is that senior offensive linemen Nathan Partain (6-3, 270) and Thomas Catlett (5-11, 225) return, giving LFO a chance to make the postseason if some skill players step forward.
Northwest Whitfield lost a lot of talent to graduation but a strong group of underclassmen should help out.
Dalton lost All-State quarterback Logan Coffey and a strong senior class but should be in the postseason mix as well as Murray County, which should rebound from its 4-6 campaign in 2004.
Ringgold, Southeast Whitfield and Ridgeland won't challenge for playoff berths.
What is known about Georgia linebacker Toryan Smith? He's big, he's strong, he's got instincts and…