Game of the Week: Southwest Dekalb @ Creekside
Fairburn - Young and hungry. That's how Creekside Athletic Director Mekia Troy describes this year's Seminole football team as they prepare to host the High 5 Sports Game of the Week at The Swamp in Fairburn on Friday night.
"This is fun for us," Troy said. "Just the fact that we were in the running for Game of the Week was exciting. And now with a new coach, we're excited about putting the Seminoles on display."
Maurice Dixon returns to his alma mater after spending five years as offensive coordinator at Drew High School in Clayton County and he'll be looking for his first win as a head coach after suffering a 38-0 loss to Sandy Creek on August 18. Creekside made the playoffs last season, but dropped a first-round game to Kell.
The 'Noles will host Southwest Dekalb, a team they've beaten twice in two meetings. The Panthers also feature a first year coach in Damien Wimes, who graduated from Southwest and later became the head coach at Miller Grove for six seasons.
2-time state champion Southwest Dekalb's rich football history goes back to 1949, and includes players like former Georgia Bulldog quarterback Quincy Carter. This year, Wimes says the Panthers have another signal caller who will play at the next level, senior Justin Tomlin.
"He's going to be one of the top passers in school history," Wimes told High 5 Sports. "He's a quiet leader who leads by performance. He can change a game in an instant. Justin reminds me a lot of former FSU quarterback Charlie Ward- he even wears number seventeen."
Tomlin has offers from Alabama and Louisville to play cornerback, but will likely accept an offer from a mid-major school in order to compete for a chance to play quarterback. He has offers to play offense from Georgia Southern, Grambling and Western Kentucky according to Wimes.
Southwest Dekalb is 1-1 after suffering a 37-7 loss to 2016 state champion Cedar Grove last week. Saints head coach Jimmy Smith was an assistant at Miller Grove with Wimes, who says he hopes his Panthers can learn from Smith's recent blueprint for success. "They have a united athletic program over there. They just attack. They took advantage of our mistakes and then played great defense. That's how they beat us."
Friday night The Swamp could be full- of water and fans - with rain in the forecast. Every since current Kansas City Chief's safety Eric Berry roamed the sidelines, Creekside has been a tough place to play. The field gets its name for being located in a low, swampy area adjacent to the school.
"There will be some curious eyes along with traditional fans." According to Troy. "Back in the day we knew how to handle the wet field. It's still The Swamp and we still want to make it loud."
You can watch our coverage with Bill hartman and "Super" Blaine Kummet beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, featuring a pregame performance by the Creekside Band and live interviews with both coaches. The winning team will walk off with the Golden Hand Trophy.