Donovan Stewart’s Division II-AAA Spring Top 6

Donovan Stewart’s Division II-AAA Spring Top 6

 

Brentwood Academy finished off the 2017 with their third consecutive Division II state title (AAA in 2017, AA in 2015 and 2016) so what about a four peat for the Eagles.

The Eagles will shoot for their 14th football state title in 2018 and will return nine starters this season but they will face tough competition as usual in Division II but will start the spring as the top team in Division II-AAA.

MBA will be looking to get back to the state title game for the fifth straight year as the Big Red were the runners up the last three years and won the Division II-AA title in 2014 and start the spring at No. 2.

For the seventh straight year, I will offer my Spring Top 10 teams in each classification as Division II-AAA will be looked at this week.

My Top 10s are based on conversations with coaches in Division II-AAA across the state as well as returning personnel that the teams have back in 2018.

 

 

6. Briarcrest Saints
Last Year’s Record- 9-2, lost to McCallie in Quarterfinals
Head Coach- Brian Stewart (67-49 overall, 30-16 in four years at Briarcrest)
Offensive Coordinator- Robby Donaldson
Defensive Coordinator- Jim Heinz
Region- West
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 14 (7 Off/7 Def)
Offense- Spread
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Manny Corless (OL/LB, Sr.), Zach Yates (OL/DL, Sr.), Noah Grant (K, Sr.), Jabari Small (RB/DB/ATH, Jr.), Omari Thomas (OL/DL, Jr.), Jackson Walker (QB, Sr.), Jack Jobe (OL, Sr.), Rodney Newsom (OL/DL, Jr.), Reggie Neely (WR/DB, Jr.), Carson Brewer (LB, Sr.), Carrington Kelsey (RB/LB, Jr.), Christian Green (OL/DL, Jr.), Landon Wright (DB, Jr.)
Key Losses- Hunter McGaw (DL), Chase Martin (LB), Chandler Montgomery (WR/DB), Connor Shamblin (DB), Tyler Badie (RB), Luke Coleman (OL), Bradley Ellis (WR)
Spring Optimism- The Saints return seven starters to each side of the ball, none more important then senior quarterback Jackson Walker who passed for 2,526 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2017.
Spring Concerns- Briarcrest will look to develop some underclassmen to step in and play some big positions this year, the question is are the youngsters ready to step into the spotlight?

 

 

 

5. McCallie Blue Tornado
Last Year’s Record- 8-4, lost to Brentwood Academy in Semifinals
Head Coach- Ralph Potter (182-90 overall, 38-33 in six years at McCallie)
Offensive Coordinator- Mike Newman
Defensive Coordinator- Rick Whitt
Region- East/Middle
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 11 (5 Off/6 Def)
Offense- Spread
Defense- 30 Stack
Key Returnees- Stone Roebuck (S/RB, Sr.), Dre Taylor (DE/TE, Sr.), Shannon Walker (DB/RB/WR, Sr.), Deangelo Hardy (QB/ATH, Jr.), Jay Hardy (DE/TE, Jr.), Brandon Benn (DB, Sr.), BJ Harris (RB, Soph.), Quindarrius Dunnigan (LB, Sr.), Kris Bowman (LB, Sr.), Cameron Stewart (NG, Sr.), Adam Smith (OL, Jr.), Derrick Stoudemire (OL, Jr.),
Key Losses- River Henry (NG), Jorden Starling (DE), Adams Robinson (DB), Rico Dozier (WR) , Xavier Brooks (RB), Jay Gibson (TE), Alec Earp (K), Hakim McMorris (WR/TE/DE), Harrison Cape (LB)
Spring Optimism- The Blue Tornado should be explosive on offense led by junior quarterback Deangelo Hardy, who rushed for over 1,000 yards and passed for over 1,500 yards as a sophomore last year.
Spring Concerns- McCallie will have to find some players to step up and fill key roles at wide receiver after losing 75% of their receiving corps

 

 

 

4. Christian Brothers Purple Wave
Last Year’s Record- 11-1, lost to MBA in Semifinals
Head Coach- Thomas McDaniel (103-32 overall, 28-8 in three years at CBHS)
Offensive Coordinator- Reyn Willis
Defensive Coordinator- Dale Dunlap
Region- West
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 8 (5 Off/3 Def)
Offense- Multiple I
Defense- 4-3
Key Returnees- Sam Stalnaker (WR/DB, Sr.), Mason Hall (OL, Sr.), Christian James (TE/DE, Sr.), Jacob Likes (DE, Sr.), Bill Norton (OL/DL, Sr., Georgia commitment), Will Ruth (RB/DB, Sr.), Reid Voss (SS/LB, Sr.) Raymond Fracchia (FS, Sr.) Wesley Pope (CB, Sr.) Al Wooten (LB/RB, Jr.) Antonio Lay (WR, Sr.), Owen Brody (QB, Sr.)
Key Losses- Bryce Bush (DL), Patrick Healy (DL), Nic Cantu (OL), Connor Cremerius (OL), Walter Soekfer (DB), Jarrett Fowlkes (FS), Reau Folk (SS), Connor DeFreece (QB), Dominique Garrett (RB), Jones Casper (OL), Kyle Frasure (LB), Zach Hamlet (WR/LB), Owen Lewis (WR/DB), Nick Montesi (RB/LB), Walter Soefker (WR/DB), Chris Stuckey (TE/DE), Graham Webb (LB/DE), Ryan Whitaker (WR/DB), Ryan Winkel (OL),
Spring Optimism- The Purple Wave defensive line will be stout led by 2017 Division II-AAA Mr. Football Winner and Georgia commitment Bill Norton and Christian James both creating havoc at defensive end
Spring Concerns- Christian Brothers will have to rebuild their offensive line and find depth there

 

 

 

3. Ensworth Tigers
Last Year’s Record- 7-4, lost to Baylor in first round
Head Coach- Jeremy Garrett (0-0 in first year at Ensworth)
Offensive Coordinator- Steve Hagen
Defensive Coordinator- Derrick Pritchard
Region- East/Middle
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 11 (4 Off/7 Def)
Offense- Multiple
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Wesley Walker (DB/WR, Sr.), Keshawn Lawrence (RB/DB, Jr.), Tyler Baron (TE/DE, Jr.), Elijah Brooks (FB/LB, Sr.), David Reynolds (TE/DE, Sr.), Josh Howard (LB, Sr.), Dante Wynn (DB/WR, Sr.), Cole Kennon (QB, Sr.), Andre Turrentine (ATH, Soph.), Toleo Malone (LB/FB, Soph.), Cal Archdeacon (OL/DL, Jr.), Jude Maloy (WR/DB, Jr.)
Key Losses- Jaylon King (DB/QB),Tanner Antonutti (TE/DT), Pryce Wade (OL/DL), Nicky Clifton (RB/LB), Henry Byrd (OL/DL), Derek Rios (OL)
Spring Optimism- The Tigers under a new coach in Jeremy Garrett will have good depth at the skill positions led junior running back Keshawn Lawrence, quarterback Cole Kennon and athlete Andre Turrentine
Spring Concerns- Ensworth will have to develop their offensive line and also find some depth there as well

 

 

 

2. MBA Big Red
Last Year’s Record- 10-3, lost to Brentwood Academy in Finals
Head Coach- Marty Euverard (146-70 overall, 67-22 in seven years at MBA)
Offensive Coordinator- Marty Euverard
Defensive Coordinator- Chris Chauvin
Region- East/Middle
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 11 (4 Off/7 Def)
Offense- Multiple I
Defense- 4-2-5
Key Returnees- Jackson Hannah (DL/LB, Sr.), Jackson Lampley (OL, Sr.), Nick German (DB, Sr.), Braden Myers (FB, Sr.), Joshua Meriweather (TE, Sr.), Ian Hall (DE, Sr.), Hugh Sullivan (LB, Sr.), Hedges Hayworth (LB, Jr.), Alex Massad (K, Sr.), Cole Turner (QB, Sr.), Hunter Burch (QB, Sr.), William Tyrone (QB, Jr.), David DeRocher (QB, Soph.)
Key Losses- Gordon Pollock (SS), Fenner Pollock (DB), Clint Blackwell (WR), Harrison Graves (LB), Ty Allen (QB), Palmer Thombs (OL), Jackson Abbey (OL), Cal Bryan (DB/LB), Ruff Maddux (OL), Jackson McFadden (WR), Tay Munoz (RB), Michael McGuire (RB)
Spring Optimism- The Big Red will be looking to make their fifth consecutive state title game and return seven on their defense which will definitely be their strength led by Ian Hall and Jackson Hannah in the front seven and Nick German in the secondary
Spring Concerns- MBA will have to find a starter at quarterback as four are in competition as seniors Cole Turner and Hunter Burch along with junior William Tyrone and sophomore David DeRocher are trying to become the starter

 

 

 

1. Brentwood Academy Eagles
Last Year’s Record- 12-0, beat MBA for state title
Head Coach- Cody White (96-37 overall, 60-13 in six years at BA)
Offensive Coordinator- Cody White
Defensive Coordinator- David Norris
Region- East/Middle
Returning Starters on Offense/Defense- 9 (5 Off/4 Def)
Offense- Spread
Defense- 3-4
Key Returnees- Tomario Pleasant (RB, Sr.), Will Collins (OL, Sr.), Thomas Gore (OL, Sr.), Jack Victory (SS, Sr.), Preston Sagan (WR, Jr.), Nate Clifton (OL, Sr.), Devyn Curtis (LB, Jr.), Tahir Annoor (DB, Sr.),
Key Losses- Camron Johnson (WR/S), Daniel Taylor (DB/WR), Gavin Schoenwald (QB), Michael Archie (WR), Airin Spell (DL), Jackson Sirmon (LB), Kenyon Garlington (DB), Harrison Smith (P), Toby Wilson (K)
Spring Optimism- The BA offensive line are big, mean and nasty as seniors Thomas Gore, Will Collins and Nate Clifton return after leading the way in 2017
Spring Concerns- The Eagle secondary will be inexperienced and they will have to have guys step up as BA will chase a fourth straight Division II title

 

Three More Teams To Keep Your Eye On In Alphabetical Order- Baylor, MUS and St. Benedict

 

Contact Donovan at donovans1222@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter at Examine_Stew

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