published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Preps Preview: Gordon Lee Trojans

  • photo
    Gordon Lee High School defensive linesman Randall Smith performs a drill during practice on Monday, August 6, 2012, in Chickamauga, Ga.
    Photo by Allison Love /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

BY THE NUMBERS

16 — Programs in the reclassified Region 6-A, which includes just two public schools: Gordon Lee and rival Trion. To make the playoffs in Class A this year a team must either win its region or make it in via a complicated point system.

24 — Returning lettermen for the Trojans, including 14 seniors and 15 overall returning starters.

34 — Games under .500 for Gordon Lee all-time against Trion. According to the Georgia High School Football Historians website, the series record is 20-54-2.

SCHEDULE

Aug. 31 Lakeview-F.O.

Sep. 7 at Coahulla Creek

Sep. 14 Armuchee

Sep. 21 SW Atlanta Christian*

Sep. 28 at Whitfield Academy

Oct. 5 at Christian Heritage*

Oct. 19 at Darlington*

Oct. 26 at Trion*

Nov. 2 Mount Zion, Carroll*

Nov. 9 Region 6-A crossover game

* Region 6A-A game

GORDON LEE TROJANS

Coach: Charles Wiggins (First year here, 43-35 in seven years overall)

Stadium: Billy Neil Ellis Stadium

Address: 156 Lee Circle, Chickamauga, GA 30707

RECENT HISTORY

The Trojans are riding a three year streak of not making the playoffs after being an annual member of postseason play for the previous decade. Making the playoffs this season in the first split of public and private schools for the postseason will be even more difficult than in the past. Here’s a look at the regular-season win total for the last five years:

2011 ————(4)

2010 ————(4)

2009 —(1)

2008 —————(5)

2007 ——————(6)

THREE STRENGTHS

1) Experience and hunger. The Trojans are a senior-laden team that is focused on making it back to the playoffs. That experience has made the transition to Coach Wiggins an easier one.

2) The defensive line, anchored by returning starters Randall Smith, Shane Farmer and Jonathan Bettis, should be one of the strongest in Region 6-A.

3) The running game should be in good shape with fullback Blake Teeters and running mate Adam Vandiver, who returns from an early-season injury last season after a strong start.

THREE CONCERNS

1) The quarterback position was still up for grabs as training camp started between Garrett McCallister, who got some playing time a year ago, and LFO transfer Hayden Casteel.

2) How the Trojans handle adversity is an area of concern, according to Wiggins, who believes the success of the season may be determined by the ability of his team to overcome its first hurdle.

3) Ball security was an issue in 2011. As Wiggins sees it, the Trojans gave away at least two wins with turnovers. On a team that lacks big-play potential, not giving the ball away is a must.

THREE QUESTIONS WITH RANDALL SMITH

(Senior defensive lineman)

Q: If you were speaking to a room full of Gordon Lee fans, how would you convince them that this team is one to watch this season?

A: We’ve been working a lot harder than in past years. Our returning starters this year are more focused on winning this year. We’re finding better ways to utilize our talents, which should make us more successful.

Q: What was missing the past few seasons that’s kept you out of hte playoffs?

A: What’s kept us out is our teamwork. We’ve had a lot of guys come in and try to take over the team instead of helping each other out. This year’s seniors are helping out the younger guys instead of worrying just about ourselves.

Q: What is a realistic goal for this team this season?

A: Our only goal right now is to do our hardest and try to make the playoffs. If we can do that, the season will be a success.


ROSTER

1 Conner Coakley - Senior

2 Sean Coakley - Freshman

3 Nick Wilson - Freshman

4 Shannon Holcombe - Senior

6 Dalton Owens - Sophomore

7 Hunter Teeters - Sophomore

8 Colin Wright - Sophomore

10 Caleb O’Neal - Freshman

11 Garret McAllister - Junior

12 Hayden Casteel - Junior

15 Austin Sturdivant - Freshman

16 Chase Wood - Junior

18 Hayden Moore - Senior

20 Steven Smith - Sophomore

21 Blake Teeters - Senior

22 Scott Royal - Sophomore

24 Zack Cobb - Junior

26 Gabe Veazey - Junior

27 Chase Freeman - Freshman

32 Austin Traffansteadt - Freshman

33 Bryce Bailey - Senior

35 Andrew Towns - Freshman

36 Jimmy Holden - Senior

39 Cameron Scroggins - Freshman

40 Braxton Salmon - Freshman

42 Dallas Alder - Senior

44 Adam Vandiver - Senior

50 Tanner Sexton - Senior

51 Clayton Ware - Junior

52 Corey Jewell - Senior

53 Morgan Latham - Freshman

54 Jonathan Bettis - Senior

55 Justin McCarty - Freshman

56 Dallas Goodlet - Sophomore

57 Elijah Queen - Sophomore

58 Tristan Crabtree - Junior

59 Shane Farmer - Junior

60 Stanley Strong - Senior

61 Hunter Daugherty - Senior

62 Tyler Smith - Sophomore

63 Nicolas Rousseau - Junior

64 Tanner Ellis - Freshman

65 Garrett Kerns - Junior

66 James Carroll - Junior

67 Jake Rodgers - Sophomore

68 Logan Parrish - Freshman

70 Randall Smith - Senior

74 Ryker Smith - Freshman

75 Jarod Streetman - Freshman

76 Mason Sims - Freshman

77 Matthew Stadter - Freshman

78 Austin White - Sophomore

80 Nate Young - Junior

85 Jax Johnson - Freshman

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