Atlanta - Well, the High 5 Sports Football Caravan pulled into the garage and called it quits Thursday night, but not before visiting eleven schools in the metro area. The featured schools on the final day of the Caravan were from DeKalb County and the City of Atlanta. Let's start with a look at DeKalb with Team KROD and finish up with a look at the city schools from Team Cody.
Here's a look at the schools we visited Thursday:
South Atlanta Hornets
The Hornets have only three wins in the last two seasons, so Head Coach Kevin Hill has his work cut out for him in 2015.
When Cody Chaffins and Justin Felder visited with the team on Thursday, they seemed optimistic, and with a relatively soft schedule, they could show improvement this season.
Head coach Eric Williams seems to have something cooking at Maynard Jackson. His Jaguars won seven games last year and made it into the playoffs before surrendering 73 points to Washington County in the first round. But, they've got to be feeling pretty good after rattling off five straight wins to end the regular season in 2015. Williams is the only coach in the schools eight year history and he has a knack for developing talent, some of which end up playing on Sundays.
Grady Grey Knights
Led by second year coach Earthwind Moreland, the Grey Knights hope to breathe fire through region 6-AAAA this year.
Moreland proved to be a quick fix as the head man in 2014, leading the team to five wins after the Grey Knights failed to win a game the previous season.
Circle the away dates with St. Pius X and Marist- those games could be the difference between making the playoffs or heading home after the regular season ends.
Head coach Rodney Cofield might not have many wins in his three seasons at the helm, but always upbeat coach keeps his players loose by giving them all nicknames. The Astros open the season against South Atlanta next week at Lakewood Stadium.
B.E.S.T. Academy Eagles
Watch out for these Eagles. Coach Joshua Moore continues to put a competitive bunch of kids on the field every year and 2015 should be no different.
Moore told Cody Chaffins that last year, over 50 college recruiters stop by to assess the talent on his squad.
They came ohhh so close in 2015. But head coach Corey Jarvis isn't disappointed with 25-18 loss to Northside-Warner Robins in the AAAAA state championship game in December; instead, he's using it as motivation to finish the drill in 2015. Jarvis told High 5’s Cody Chaffins that with success comes expectations, and that's a good thing.
Miller Grove Wolverines
Everyone knows that head basketball coach Sharman White has built a dynasty at Miller Grove, but their underrated football program might just sneak up on some people this year too. Head coach Damien Wimes seems to always finish around the middle of the pack with his Wolverines, and this year, if the team can start fast, they have a favorable schedule at the end of the season to make a playoff run. Thanks to the Wolverine student body for rocking the house with us on Thursday morning.
The Bulldogs treated KROD and photographer "Super Blaine" Kummet to a full pep rally Thursday morning. The school spirit is high at Lithonia as head coach Marcus Jelks readies his team for a schedule that starts easy and toughens up along the way. With big 6'6", 220lb defensive end Jordan Smith leading the way, the Bulldogs should put fear into opposing quarterbacks this year. Smith committed to South Carolina earlier this year and is a 4-star prospect according to 24/7 Sports.
From the school that brought you Ryan Seacrest, the Wildcats hope to prove that they have some talent of their own in 2015. We witnessed their talent on Thursday when the award winning Wildcat TV News team interviewed our own Ken Rodriguez for a segment of their broadcast. Hopefully the Wildcats will make some news on the field this season. First year head coach Michael Nash will try to restore the tradition of a once proud program that has failed to produce a winning season in three years.
Head coach Allen Johnson was 8-2 in his first season with the Bulldogs back in 2012, but since that time Chamblee has faltered, winning just one game in 2014. Their first five games this year are all winnable, but the schedule toughens up after the midway point, with games against St. Pius X and a season finale with Marist.
St. Pius X Golden Lions
Coach Paul Standard is just that---the standard in DeKalb County. In fifteen seasons at the helm, Standard has won 129 games and lost only 44.
The Golden Lions open the season with a tough away game at Blessed Trinity followed by a huge showdown with arch-rival Woodward Academy at home.
The Caravan may have stopped rolling, but our coverage of high school football is in high gear with season openers popping up all over the state. Our first full High 5 Sports 30-minute show starts August 28th at 11 p.m. Don't miss it, and make sure to follow us on social media using the hashtag #High5Sports all season long.