Valley Preps

What to expect from area 1A football teams this season

Head coach Blair Harrison says Brookstone Cougars working to ‘build depth every day’

Brookstone head football coach Blair Harrison discusses expectations for the Cougars' upcoming 2019-2020 football season.
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Brookstone head football coach Blair Harrison discusses expectations for the Cougars' upcoming 2019-2020 football season.

High school football is finally back, and gets started this week.

The Ledger-Enquirer is previewing each school in the coverage area as preps football season gets going. The previews will be by classification, unless warranted (for example, private schools and Alabama schools get a separate preview).

Last but not least are the local GHSA Class 1A teams.

Manchester’s Ashton Bell carries the ball against Jordan on Sept. 15, 2017. Darrell Roaden Special to the


Manchester finished third in Region 4-A Division A in 2018, behind Marion County and Brookstone. The Blue Devils lost to both of those teams, and fell in the first round of the 1A playoffs to Emanuel County Institute.

This season’s schedule does not get much easier, as the Blue Devils look to overtake Brookstone for that No. 2 spot in the division. However, there are some silver linings.

The Blue Devils get both Brookstone and Marion County at home, and three of their five region games come at home. They also get a nice break between the tougher games: the Blue Devils’ tilt against Marion County kicks off September 27. They don’t play Brookstone until October 18.

Key Players:

  • Anthony Ferguson, running back/defensive back
  • Javarious Jones, receiver/defensive back
  • Wadarrius Steed, running back/linebacker

Key Games:

  • VS. Marion County, Sept. 27
  • At Pacelli, Oct. 11
  • VS. Brookstone, Oct. 18

Marion County

The expectation around Marion County is a region championship. The Eagles got just that last year, and made it all the way to the Class 1A state semifinals, ultimately falling to Clinch County.

2018 was a big season for the Eagles. They went unbeaten in the regular season and didn’t lose until that semifinal matchup. Now, they return their All-Bi-City quarterback Trice McCannon and a host of other talented players as they look to take the next step, to a state championship.

The Eagles kick off region play against Pacelli, and must travel to both Manchester and Brookstone. It’s a tough schedule, but the Eagles have the talent to make 2019 another successful one.

Key Players:

  • Trice McCannon, quarterback
  • Kendrick Hawkins, linebacker
  • Tyleak Broadaway, defensive end/tight end

Key games:

  • VS. Pacelli, Sept. 13
  • At Manchester, Sept. 27
  • At Brookstone, Oct. 11

Spotted at the Hardaway Chattahoochee County Football game Thursday night at Memorial Stadium

Chattahoochee County

Jody Allen takes over Chattahoochee County after the Panthers had a solid 2018 season, which included a trip to the second round of the Class 1A playoffs.

The Panthers lost just two region games, both against teams that finished above them in the Region 1-A standings: Pelham and Mitchell County. They return several major contributors, including All-Bi-City athletes Deandre Masten and Carlos Dunovant, so 2019 is shaping up to be another big year for the Panthers.

The Panthers’ schedule is a tough one. They play games against Marion County and Mitchell County back-to-back, and must travel to both Pelham and Miller County.

Key Players:

  • Deandre Masten, linebacker
  • Carlos Dunovant, defensive back
  • Rick Lucas, linebacker, fullback

Key Games:

  • At Marion County, August 30
  • Vs. Mitchell County, Sept. 6
  • At Miller County, Oct. 4

Brookstone and Pacelli previews are located in the private school edition.

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Joshua Mixon is a reporter for the Ledger-Enquirer. He covers sports (Auburn and preps) and local news, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America. He previously covered Georgia athletics for the Telegraph. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshDMixon.