Peach County not paying attention to ‘outside influences’
There has been plenty of talk about the Peach County Trojans being among the favorites in GHSA Class 3A this season.
But the Trojans aren’t listening to any of that talk.
Peach County finished 12-2 last season and reached the Class 3A semifinals, and the Trojans have seven starters back on both sides of the ball. Peach County opens its season Aug. 25 at Houston County.
“Everybody probably expects a little bit more than what they should this time of year. But that’s the good thing about being here, what their expectations and what our expectations are,” Peach County head coach Chad Campbell said. “We’re looking forward to this year, and we’ve got a good nucleus back. What we’re trying to do is trying to get better each and every day, just doing the little things. That’s what we’re harping on, and we’re making strides and improvements, and we’ve just got to keep doing that.”
That, and not listening to what anyone predicts for this year’s Peach County team.
“They know, and I tell them not to listen to them,” Campbell said when asked if the players hear the predictions. “You can’t let outside influences affect what you’re trying to do inside the unit. You’ve got to continue to harp on it, but like I said, we’re just trying to continue get better and improve each day as a football team.”
The standard set by past Peach County teams adds to the expectations for this program every season. The Trojans have won three state titles (2005, 2006 and 2009) and 15 region titles.
And the players know about that tradition.
“It sets a standard for all of us because know we have to meet a standard for Coach Campbell and for ourselves,” senior defensive back Ethan Manns said. “We work had every day, so we don’t pay attention to the expectations. We want to work as hard as we can no matter what.”
Campbell said he likes what we has seen from his offensive line despite only one senior starter up front, and the offense has plenty of weapons back, starting with quarterback Antonio Gilbert and standout wide receiver Kearis Jackson.
JaQuez Jackson leads the defense, and that unit also returns three of its four starters in the secondary. That group includes Shamarcus Redding, who is entering his fourth season as a starter.
“We hear it, but we basically focus on winning and working hard to get what we’ve got because people are counting on us this year,” senior offensive lineman Cameron Woolfolk said of the expectations. “We basically look at the past and know that we’ve had a pretty good tradition in the past, and we want to maintain that winning tradition.”
Peach County Trojans 2017
Head coach: Chad Campbell.
2016 record: 11-2.
Returning starters (offense/defense): 7/7.
Players to watch: Kearis Jackson (Sr., WR); JaQuez Jackson (Sr., LB); Antonio Gilbert (Sr., QB); Mitchell Fineran (Sr., PK); Shamarcus Redding (Sr., DB); Trevon Woolfolk (Sr., RB); Sergio Allen (Soph., LB); Cedric Hillsman (Jr., OL); Chris Gibson (Sr., RB/LB); Cameron Woolfolk (Sr., OL); Dylan Perry (Jr., C); Terrence Ferguson (Fr., OL); TJ Adams (Sr., DL); Bryson Dent (Jr., DL); Rodney Howell (Sr., DB); Mikel Aikens (Sr., DB).
Aug. 25 at Houston County
Sept. 1 Warner Robins
Sept. 8 Perry
Sept. 15 at Mary Persons
Sept. 22 at Westside
Oct. 5 at Central
Oct. 13 Rutland
Oct. 20 Kendrick
Oct. 27 Pike County
Nov. 3 Jackson