With the smell of the gridiron in the air, sweltering August practices, and the sound of crashing helmets, there are plenty of signs that football is back. For the Chattooga Indians of Region 7-AA, that means Head Coach Charles Hammon leading his boys in the pursuit of a 6th consecutive playoff appearance.

The Indians are returning a handful of seniors who should make a trip to the playoffs likely, however, graduation hit Chattooga hard with the loss of the high-powered dynamic duo of Clayton Johnson and Devin Price. Both multi-sport athletes took snaps at QB and at wideout and powered the Indians to the 3rd round of last season’s playoffs. With their departure, and the transfer of junior tailback, EJ Lackey, the bulk of the offensive production will fall to sophomore LeShaun Lester #6.

Lester racked up over 1,000 yards rushing last season and a team-leading 15 TD’s while averaging 6.5 yards per carry. The 215 lbs tailback runs downhill with surprising elusiveness and finishes runs in a punishing fashion.

What Lester will be missing this year, is a veteran offensive line that paved the way for not one, but TWO thousand-yard rushers last season. This will make things much more challenging for first-year starter, junior Cash Allen, at quarterback. At 6’5″, the lanky passer has solid arm strength and can make plays out of the pocket but his snaps last season largely consisted of mop-up duty. The pressure of the Friday night lights will shine brightly on Allen who has the height and bloodline to get the job done, as his father and uncle both played QB for the Indians. Allen will have a few great targets at receiver in the speedy senior Jamarious Mosteller and the rangy 6’5″ 195 lbs sophomore Cole Cavin.

Cavin, Allen

The Indian backfield will be assisted by the huge heart in a compact body of sophomore fullback, Devon Heroch. Weighing under 170lbs, Heroch barely tops 5’5″ but runs the ball with ferocity and blocks like every play is his last. Hammon and Co-Offensive Coordinator Chris Hodges may have more surprises at fullback utilizing much larger bodies, including one of the biggest on the field, 6’2″ 285lbs Luis Medina. The senior Defensive Tackle will be focused on shoring up the D-Line to shut down opposing offenses but may see some time at both Fullback and Tight End. Medina has rocketed up the recruiting board of many schools with shocking sub 4.8 second times in the 40-yard dash, and his dominance at any position on the defensive line.

The defense will be aided by returning linebackers Jakoby Cottrell #17, and Ty Veatch #37. The loss of monster hitters Malachi Mack and Jackson Lowenberg will be eased by Cottrell and Veatch and senior Dylan Woody.

Special Teams should see Cash Allen continues handling punting duties after averaging 32 yards per punt last year, and sophomore Caroline Hodges should see more opportunities to score while handling PAT situations. Returning kicks and punts will primarily be Mosteller with his track speed and good hands.

Both offense and defense will be shuffling bodies until coaches find the right fit for players, but the staff does feel confident that the talent is here to make another run deep into the playoffs. The key for Coach Hammon will be having the best 11 players on the field which may require multiple players to play both ways.

Many things will have to fall into place in order for Chattooga to make another run at a 2nd place finish in Region 7-AA. The Rockmart Yellow Jackets are fresh off an appearance in the State Finals and appear to have the Region title all but locked up. Last season’s battle for the coveted 2nd place spot (and the chance to host a Home Playoff game) fell to the Pepperell Dragons and Chattooga with the Indians giving retiring coach Lyn Hunnicutt a send-off victory over his former team.

The Dragon vs Indians matchup in 2019 could again hold that prize of home-field advantage in round one of the playoffs but the Indians have a long journey of self-discovery to go through in order to get there.

This season will be the final one for Defensive Coordinator Bob Smith, after 30 years on the sideline the the old ball coach will be hanging up his whistle.

seniors

2 Haign Stephens WR/DB FR
3 Timothy Robinson WR/DB JR
4 Jamarious Mosteller ATH/DB SR
5 Cash Allen QB/P JR
6 Lashaun Lester RB/LB SO
7 Cole Cavin WR/DB SO
8 L.J. Gibson WR/DB SR
10 Kobi Farmer WR/DB SO
12 Gene Keith RB/LB FR
14 Dylan Woody WR/DB SR
17 Jacoby Cottrell WR/LB SR
18 Jamison Esmann ATH/DB FR
20 Devon Heroch RB/LB SO
21 Marrion Mosteller QB/DB SO
23 P.J. Smith TE/DE SR

Juniors

22 Rowan Burdick SO

24 Hayden Overstreet WR/DB SO
25 Jacob Dawson RB/LB SO
27 Dion Kelley RB/DB SO
28 Devin Gilreath WR/DB FR
31 Zaden Perry WR/DB FR
34 Zander Cook TE/DE SO
35 Jaterrion Williams WR/DB SR
37 Ty Veatch OL/LB JR
38 Quenton Perry WR/DB SR
40 Jason Malone RB/LB JR

42 Webb Wyatt WR/DB FR

44 Jaih’Tavian Underwood WR/DB JR
46 Elijah Palmer K SR
48 Taiquan Shepherd RB/LB JR
51 Jimmy Reese OL/DL JR

Sophomores

53 Ty Veatch OL/LB JR
54 Thad Teems OL/LB FR
55 Eli Hosmer OL/DL JR
56 Carter Lowenberg OL/DL SO
57 Zachary Brown OL/DL FR
59 Logan Cundiff OL/DL SR
62 Christian Blackman OL/DL SR
63 Yohann Aguilar OL/DL SO
67 Dezmond Jones OL/DL SR
69 Noah Cordle OL/DL JR
70 Alex Mears OL/DL SR
71 Nick Hudson OL/DL JR
73 Jud Williams OL/DL SO
75 Zachary Weeks OL/DL SO
78 Joshua Cordle OL/DL SR
81 Brandon Skinner WR/DB SR
82 Taylor Sims TE/DE SR
83 Luis Medina RB/DL SR
88 Terry Woody TE/DE FR
89 Caroline Hodges K SO

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