I was at a Braves game last week, and even though it was a night game, I was the hottest I have ever been. Watching the Braves really frustrates me sometimes, and quite frankly, here lately they are down right upsetting me. When thinking of a column to write this week, I thought of writing about the up and down Braves, but I’m not sure if my blood pressure could stand it, so I figured I would write a little about high school football. After all, is it really ever too early to talk football?
The Knights are entering yet another new region, but it’s a region with plenty of old faces. The Knights will, however, play two teams which they have never faced, North Clayton and Pike County. Yes, I said Pike County. How in the world can two schools which are so close to each other, never play each other in football? Blows my mind. Hopefully August 31 can be the start of a new rivalry in which the two schools can play every year, even though it will more than likely always be a non-region game.
Coming off of their first winning season in five years, the Knights have the community excited about football once again, and rightfully so, especially with home games against Griffin and Spalding County this season. The Knights will return several All-Region players from last season, including First Team All-Region player Corey Moss, who last season rushed for nearly 1,300 yards as a quarterback. This season do not be surprised if Moss isn’t playing other positions beside quarterback, even on the defensive side of the ball. Upson-Lee also returns several offensive linemen, defensive linemen and linebackers. Players such as Ben Barber, Teion Davis, Cornell Harris, and Marcus Bussey return on the Knights defensive front. However, the Knights will have to replace all four members of their secondary from a season ago. Also returning, is Justin Shaw, back up quarterback from a season ago. Shaw really impressed at the Knights’ spring game a little over a month ago.
While crunching some numbers, I found several interesting things about the Knights’ opponents for this upcoming season. Last season the Knights only played two teams with losing records (McIntosh 1-8, Fayette County 2-8). The Knights’ opponents from last season had a combined record of 72-49. The Knights opponents for this season had a combined record last season of 48-48, including four teams with losing records (Eagle’s Landing 1-9, Central Macon 2-8, Riverdale 4-6, and Spalding 2-8).
The Knights start off their 2012 season at Pike County, who last season finished with a 5-5 record, but played a schedule against five teams with losing records. Apparently the Pirates graduated a lot of seniors last season, but they do return one of the of better defensive players the Knights will see all season in Pike’s Jess Devoursney.
The Knights will host Stockbridge, who advanced to the second round of the state playoffs last season, but also played five teams with losing records. The Knights’ other cross over game will come against Eagle’s Landing, who finished last season with a 1-9 record, playing five teams with losing records. Central-Macon will be the Knights’ next opponent in a non-region game. Last season the Chargers finished 2-8, playing four teams with losing records. Getting the idea here? The Knights schedule is definitely going to be much easier than last season, when only two of the seven teams in the sub-region had losing records.
Here is a complete breakdown of the Knights 2012 schedule with last season’s record: @ Pike County (5-5), VS. Stockbridge (9-3), @ Eagle’s Landing (1-9), VS. Central-Macon (2-8), VS. Spalding (2-8), VS. North Clayton (7-4, advanced to playoffs), @ Riverdale (4-6), VS. Griffin (9-3, advanced to playoffs), and @ Jonesboro (9-2, advanced to playoffs).
The Knights will play four teams with winning records from a season ago, but will host three of those teams (Stockbridge, North Clayton, and Griffin) at Matthews Field. Upson-Lee travels to play only one team with a winning season from a year ago, when they travel to play the Jonesboro Cardinals for the last game of the regular season.
The Braves will continue to frustrate me until late September, but we only have 59 more days until the Knights travel north 15 minutes to play the Pirates from Pike County High School. I can’t wait!