I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think the storylines around the Chattahoochee County are more intriguing than any other in the Bi-City area this season. A new coach takes over where a successful one left off. One of the most poised quarterbacks in the area returns with the possibility of building on his already insane statistics and possibly being the second ChattCo QB to land himself in the GHSA record books. And Region 4-A is, from what coaches are telling me, the toughest in Class A.
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So on to Friday's story: I did a little profile on ChattCo QB David Cochran , who passed for nearly 3,000 yards and for 33 TDs last season, according to records from ChattCo. coaches. I will have to double-check what he did while at Southland Academy as a freshman and sophomore, but it appears he very likely could land in the record books this season.
Even counting only last season's 33 touchdown passes, Cochran is only 27 shy of breaking into the top 13 all-time in Georgia for career TD passes, according to records maintained by the Georgia High School Historians Association . This would be a pretty amazing feat for ChattCo, as Caleb Horvath, who was the starting QB for the team's first three varsity and its lone pre-varsity seasons, is tied for eighth all-time in Georgia with 72 TD passes (2006-08) and is seventh in career passing yards with 7,568. I talked to a few people before the start of last season who said they felt sorry for Cochran trying to follow Horvath. Now I feel sorry for whoever comes next.
And for those of you who are looking for a break from reading, check out this video interview with ChattCo lineman Eric Ziegler.
First-year head coach Shaun Pope said he was pleased with how quickly his players were picking up his tweaks to the system.
“Really, as a program, we're off to a pretty good start,” Pope said. “Everyone is enthusiastic, and the kids are picking things up quickly.”
Pope said his biggest challenge has been getting everyone to understand his expectations. The irony of this was that he explained this to me while watching players run sprints as a disciplinary measure.
“The biggest thing has been getting the kids to understand what it is I expect of them,” Pope said. “I expect them to be accountable on the field, off the field, anywhere they go. They know they've got to be at practice every single day, and they know they have to work hard there every day. They have to commit to this football team, and that commitment has to be from everyone from the first-string quarterback to the third-string water boy.”
Finally, if you missed it, former ChattCo head coach Josh Kemp is now offensive coordinator at Carver, a position he said still allows him time to work on his master's degree.
Up next: Columbus, which returns nearly all of its offensive and defensive linemen and more than 40 players total, each of whom is looking for the team's first playoff berth since 1994.
- Chris White (follow along on Twitter at username le_chriswhite)