published Friday, August 16th, 2013

2013 - Southeast Whitfield Raiders

  • photo
    Rhett Harper is back for his senior year looking to help the Raiders to the playoffs for the first time since 1986.
    Photo by Staff File Photo

Southeast Whitfield Raiders

Coach: Sean Gray (2-8 in one year here; 19-32 in five years overall)

Last year: 2-8, 2-4 in 7B-AAAA

‘13 dreams: Year two of the Gray regime has the Raiders thinking bigger things. Only 14 seniors graduated from the 2012 team, meaning Gray has had more time get his program — and his players — in shape. The biggest area of improvement, he said, is in the overall strength of his players after a rigorous year of weight training. The offense returns its two top threats in quarterback Rhett Harper, who was the team’s top wideout last year, and Blake Foster, who was the quarterback a year ago and is slated to be the top running back as a senior. The biggest question mark is on defense, where the Raiders must replace the entire line.

13-for-13 contenders: Harper will trigger an offense that will be more balanced and look to take advantage of his athletic ability more often. The strength of the unit lies up front, where a group that includes Matt Cloer, Martin Nunez, Jeremy Green and Hunter Sanford averages 270 pounds.

Number of interest: 26 — Years since the Raiders enjoyed a winning season and a playoff berth. The program has gone 5-5 four times since 1986 but has won two or fewer games 18 times since then.

13 years ago: The Raiders won three games in 2000, tripling the victory total of the previous three seasons combined.

Program superstition: Gray played at Southeast and admits the program lacks the kind of tradition neighbor schools Dalton and Northwest Whitfield have and the kind of superstition that often goes with that. “That’s what we’re trying to build here,” he said. “We don’t have a sense of community, and we want everyone to want to be a part of this program.”

1-through-3: Senior quarterback Rhett Harper

Q. Rival coaches are saying you guys could be the region’s surprise team. Where do you see the Raiders fitting in?

A. I feel we can compete with any team in our region, but we have to prove it on the field. We’ve got the biggest offensive line since I’ve been here, and we should be able to move the ball on anyone.

Q. How much of the team’s success this year depends on the mental aspect of the game?

A. For us, that’s it. Physically we’re there, but we need to believe we can do it. Beating a team with a good reputation would help us. We were really close last year to doing that.

Q. No winning seasons since 1986 and no playoffs. What would it mean to you as a senior to help end those streaks?

A. It would be amazing. That’s what we’re working for. We have to learn how to finish games this year, and if we do I think we can get in the playoffs.

2013 Schedule

Aug. 30 North Murray

Sep. 6 Gordon Central

Sep. 13 at Gilmer County

Sep. 27 Cedartown

Oct. 4 at LaFayette*

Oct. 11 at Ridgeland*

Oct. 18 Heritage*

Oct. 25 Northwest Whitfield*

Nov. 1 at Dalton*

Nov. 8 Region play-in

*Region 7B-AAAA game

2012 Stats

Passing C-A-I Pct. Yards TDs

Blake Foster 62-149-5 42.2 695 4

Rhett Harper 7-18-0 39.5 88 0

Rushing Att. Yards TDs

Easton Ridley 100 623 8

Blake Foster 84 401 5

Receiving No. Yards TDs

Rhett Harper 30 461 4

Easton Ridley 12 111 0

Roster

1 Chaz Payne Junior

2 Hunter Floyd Junior

3 Rhett Harper Senior

4 Will Swantic Sophomore

5 Blake Foster Senior

6 Devin Walden Junior

7 Luis Fraire Senior

8 Cole Gillean Senior

9 Andrew Mays Junior

10 Trey Weaver Junior

11 Abram Stanley Senior

12 Colter Faith Sophomore

13 Jonathon Gowan Junior

14 Shaw Scott Junior

15 Tyler Brown Sophomore

16 Corey Barnes Junior

18 Austin Purkey Senior

20 Nick Stuard Senior

21 Austin allen Senior

22 Devin Fields Sophomore

23 Thomas Keeble Sophomore

24 Ramiro Guerrero Junior

25 Brady Barnett Junior

26 Jonathon Sanchez Senior

27 Michael Pearce Senior

28 Ismael Sandoval Senior

30 Mason Grant Sophomore

32 Bernado De La Garza Junior

33 Laroque King Junior

34 Damian Manning Senior

37 Abel Mendiola Senior

39 Britt Hasty Sophomore

40 Jacob Mashburn Junior

41 Dylan Burch Senior

42 Tanner Acosta Junior

45 Ben Pedigo Junior

46 Eric Mitchell Senior

49 Matt Moss Sophomore

50 Jose Franco Senior

54 J.T. Trammell Sophomore

57 Jimmy Cook Junior

60 T.J. Bartczak Junior

61 Josh Hester Junior

62 Mark Hall Junior

63 Austin Beavers Junior

64 Levi Bridges Sophomore

66 Matt Cloer Senior

67 Abdon Ortiz Sophomore

69 Jake Petty Junior

70 Noah Ramsey Sophomore

72 Martin Nunez Junior

74 Hunter Sanford Junior

75 Jimmy Mendoza Senior

76 Enrique Romero Junior

77 Jeremy Green Junior

79 Daniel Anderson Sophomore

80 Gabe Shipman Sophomore

81 Stefano Rodriguez Sophomore

84 Tyler Floyd Senior

86 Nick Burns Junior

88 Victor Garcia Junior

89 Pablo Rodriguez Junior

91 Antony Ortiz Junior

about Lindsey Young...

Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...

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