published Friday, August 17th, 2012

Preps Preview: Southeast Whitfield Raiders

The defensive line congregates at the end of morning practice at Southeast Whitfield High School in Dalton, Ga.
The defensive line congregates at the end of morning practice at Southeast Whitfield High School in Dalton, Ga.
Photo by Alyson Wright.

BY THE NUMBERS

1 — Team on the 2012 Southeast schedule that had a losing record last season.

26 — Years since the Raiders last had a winning season. Tony Martin coached them to a 6-5 mark in 1986, a year after going 9-2.

148 — Games under .500 all-time for the Southeast program, which started in 1975.

SCHEDULE

Aug. 31 at North Murray

Sep. 7 at Gordon Central

Sep. 14 Gilmer County

Sep. 28 at Cedartown

Oct. 5 LaFayette*

Oct. 12 Ridgeland*

Oct. 19 at Heritage*

Oct. 26 at Northwest Whitfield*

Nov. 2 Dalton*

Nov. 9 Region 7-AAAA play-in game

* Region 7B-AAAA game

SOUTHEAST WHITFIELD RAIDERS

Coach: Sean Gray (First year here, 17-24 in four years overall)

Stadium address: 1954 Riverbend Road, Dalton, GA 30721

RECENT HISTORY

The Raiders have their eighth head coach since 1990 and are looking to end a playoff drought that has surpassed 20 years. Here’s a look at the regular-season win total for the last five years:

2011 —(1) *

2010 —(1)

2009 —————(5)

2008 —(1)

2007 —(1)

* 2 wins were vacated due to forfeits

THREE STRENGTHS

1) The most noticeable difference in the Raiders is strength. A renovated weight room was put to good use this spring and summer as the team set several records.

2) An offense that consistently moved the ball last year brings back several strong athletes, including Rhett Harper and Blake Foster and a handful of other young players who have been clocked at 4.6 or better in the 40-yard dash.

3) A new start with Southeast alumnus Gray at the helm has infused the program with energy and optimism. Most of the Raiders’ current junior class won a middle school championship under Gray.

THREE CONCERNS

1) There have been lots of changes, including new schemes and a renewed emphasis on physical play. How long will it take for the Raiders to get caught up?

2) Coach Gray wants his first Southeast team to establish a strong running game. The graduation of 3,000-yard rusher Coty Burch leaves a big hole to fill.

3) Gray admits he’s anxious to see how his team handles adversity. If he gets the answer he wants, the program will have its first significant victory of the new regime.

THREE QUESTIONS WITH JAYRO PEREZ

(Senior defensive lineman)

Q: What is the biggest area the Raiders concetrated on during the summer and in training camp?

A: Definitely getting in shape to get ready for the season and putting in new plays. We’ve had a lot to learn. I think we need to work even harder to get where we need to be.

Q: What is the biggest change you’ve noticed in the new coaching staff?

A: They’re focusing more on key points like running to the ball and making sure we all know our assingments.

Q: Did the coaching change catch you guys by surprise, and how did the team react?

A: None of us expected it, but it has turned out better than we expected. We should be ready to play our best when the season starts. All the guys have accepted it, and we’re working hard to make it work.


ROSTER

1 Chaz Payne - Sophomore

2 Hunter Floyd - Sophomore

3 Rhett Harper - Junior

4 Kevin Torres - Senior

5 Blake Foster - Junior

6 Devin Walden - Sophomore

7 Luis Fraire - Junior

8 Cole Gillean - Junior

9 Andrew Mays - Sophomore

10 Trey Weaver - Sophomore

11 Abram Stanley - Junior

12 Colter Faith - Freshman

13 Jonathon Gowan - Sophomore

14 Shaw Scott - Sophomore

15 Tyler Brown - Freshman

16 Corey Barnes - Sophomore

18 Austin Purkey - Junior

19 Chris Rosas - Freshman

20 Nick Stuard - Junior

21 Michael Izzaguire - Senior

22 Chase Jenkins - Sophomore

23 Thomas Keeble - Freshman

24 Easton Ridley - Senior

25 Brady Barnett - Sophomore

26 Jonathon Sanchez - Junior

27 Michael Pearce - Junior

28 Smael Sandoval - Junior

29 Justin Hutcherson - Sophomore

30 Mason Grant - Freshman

31 Devin Fields - Freshman

32 Bernardo De La Garza - Sophomore

33 Laroque King - Sophomore

34 Damian Manning - Junior

39 Britt Hasty - Freshman

40 Noah Burns - Freshman

41 Dylan Burch - Junior

42 Tanner Acosta - Sophomore

44 Jayro Perez - Senior

45 Ben Pedigo - Sophomore

46 Eric Mitchell - Junior

48 Anthony Ortiz - Sophomore

49 Alex Cantrell - Senior

50 Jose Franco - Junior

51 Jared Davis - Senior

52 Justin Claxton - Freshman

53 Matt Moss - Freshman

54 J.T. Trammell - Freshman

56 Kyle Parrish - Junior

57 Jimmy Cook - Sophomore

58 Jose Martir - Senior

59 Matt Frye - Senior

60 T.J. Bartczak - Sophomore

61 Josh Hester - Sophomore

62 Luis Flores - Freshman

63 Austin Beavers - Sophomore

64 Levi Bridges - Freshman

66 Matt Cloer - Junior

67 Rance Jeffries - Sophomore

68 Justin Peal - Senior

69 Alan Ponce - Sophomore

71 Chris Burns - Senior

72 Martin Nunez - Sophomore

73 Zach Broome - Senior

74 Hunter Sanford - Sophomore

75 Jimmy Mendoza - Junior

76 Enrique Romero - Sophomore

77 Jeremy Green - Sophomore

79 Carlos Fraire - Senior

80 Gabe Shipman - Freshman

81 Stefano Rodriguez - Freshman

82 Cody Ensley - Senior

83 Devon Steele - Freshman

84 Tyler Floyd - Junior

85 Gavin Hill - Senior

86 Nick Burns - Sophomore

87 Erik Flores - Sophomore

89 Pablo Rodriguez - Sophomore

93 Isaac Moss - Senior

99 Melvin Araiza - Senior

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