GAC moves on without Mills; Cedar Grove plays big; Peach County mourns

Article and photos courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution –> Original Article Here

Greater Atlanta Christian lost its best player before the opening game against Lovett, but still managed to overcome adversity and win. None of that surprised coach Tim Hardy.

“We’ve got a strong program, and we’re not about just one player,” Hardy said. “I think we showed the strength of the program and our other players Friday night.”

Davis Mills, an AJC Super 11 quarterback and Stanford commitment, suffered a knee injury on the weekend before the Lovett game and underwent surgery that could sideline him for three to four months. Hardy broke the news to the team at practice on Monday before the Lovett game and began to focus on preparing senior linebacker Jonathan Rose to fill Mills’ spot.

The only score in the first quarter was a 54-yard field goal by Brooks Buce. Rose scored on touchdown drives in the second and fourth quarters, but running back Kyler McMichael led the way. McMichael rushed for 216 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns.

“This was Game 1 of a long season,” Hardy said. “It’s a good start, but we have a lot of work to do”

Greater Atlanta Christian, which moved to No. 3 in the Class AAA rankings, plays at seventh-ranked Westminster on Friday.

Cedar Grove strong in opener: Cedar Grove, ranked fourth in AAA, showed its strength by defeating Class AAAAAA Stephenson 34-23 in its opening game. But coach Jermaine Smith remains focused on improvement.

“We have to work on assignments,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of work we’ve got to do. We didn’t have a scrimmage, and a lot of the stuff I would have picked out in the scrimmage we’re (correcting) during a game.”

Cedar Grove plays host to Southwest DeKalb Friday.

Peach County mourns: The Peach County football program is trying to deal with the death of Raekwon Smith, who was killed in a car accident Saturday on his way back to Fort Valley from a team get-together in Byron. Smith was driving with three of his teammates on a country road, when he lost control of the SUV.

Smith was partially ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. His teammates were Eric Robinson, Ejuan McKellar and Randolph Williams, who remains hospitalized and in critical condition.

“(Raekwon) was just a good kid,” Peach coach Chad Campbell told the Macon Telegraph. “He wasn’t a starter or anything like that, but just a good kid. A quiet kid, very mannerable kid. All the kids liked him. He did anything you asked him to do.”

The team met with counselors on Sunday, and a vigil was held at the football field Monday afternoon.

Peach, ranked fifth, opens its season Friday at home against No. 1-ranked Houston County of Class AAAAAA.

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