OAKWOOD, Ga. - Welcome to The Hot Gates of West Hall High School, site of Friday night's High 5 Sports Game of the Week- the region opener between the Spartans and the Chestatee War Eagles. Both teams are 4-2, but they got here in very different ways. Chestatee, a former High 5 Sports Team of the Week from September 28, has several skill players making an impact for head coach Shaun Conley, while West Hall counts on a veteran offensive line led by seniors Cory Davis, Josh Taylor, Damien Fouts and junior Ricky Castillo to pave the way each week.
"Those guys are going to be important in this game," said West Hall Head Coach Tony Lotti. "They've played in big games and they'll have to lead us the right way if we're going to be successful. If they get rattled, the young guys will get rattled."
Defensively, the Spartans will rely on all-region linebacker Austin Sinclair to hold War Eagle playmakers like running back Nick Lyles from breaking loose for big yards. Lotti says third down conversions will be the key to victory at Spartans Stadium on Friday night.
"We've got to find a way to get them off the field," said Lotti. "Lyles is a great player, but he's not the only one over there-it's always a problem when there's a few of them."
Chestatee is coming off an emotional comeback win over Habersham Central. They've had a week off since beating the Raiders 41-37 in dramatic fashion, so Lotti expects them to have fresh legs for the region 7-AAAA opener.
West Hall has declared the game a "Grey Out" in honor of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Members of PBTF will be on site collecting donations and selling grey shirts to match the Spartans all grey uniforms which will be worn during the game. The High 5 Sports mascot (The Hand) will also be dressed in grey in support of the fund-raising efforts which help families of children with brain tumors cope with the challenges of treatment.
Bill Hartman and "Super" Blaine Kummet will be at Spartans Stadium early, featuring live interviews with both head coaches, as well as appearances from the West Hall band and cheerleaders beginning at 5 o'clock.