High School Football
Northgate QB spot up for grabs
by Doug Gorman
Northgate head football coach Tommy Walburn isn’t ready to name a starting quarterback heading into Friday’s 7:30 p.m. scrimmage at home against Veterans High.
“It’s just too close to call right now,” he said.
This week’s scrimmage at Henry Seldon Field will be the only chance for the Vikings’ staff to evaluate the team in live competition before opening the regular season against Heritage of Conyers at home on Aug. 30.
Since the spring, there has been a two-way battle between junior quar- terbacks Tyler Rowland and Bo Zachary to land the starting job.
Both could ended up taking their share of snaps this year.
“It could be one of those situations where we start the season playing both,” Walburn said.“Both quarterbacks have things they do well.”
Rowland served as Josh Harrison’s back-up last year and saw limited action at the end of games, including in one series during the Region 4-AAAAA play-in game against Mundy’s Mill when Harrison went down with an injury.
Harrison, now a freshman quarterback at Troy, went on to lead the team to a victory to earn a state playoff berth.
Getting back to the postseason
this year may rely on how well one or both of the current starting candidates perform.
Zachary, a transfer from Valdosta, arrived at Northgate campus in time to go through spring practice.
Regardless, Northgate will have a new quarterback for the third consecutive season, following Brett Misutka and Harrison in succession.
Mitsuka helped lead the Vikings to the their best football season ever, including a Region 3-AAAA title and an undefeated 10-0 regular season record.
Last year Harrison earned his starting spot, beating out Rowland in a close battle.
In addition to solidifying the starting quarterback spot, Northgate is ready to see how they do against an opponent.
“You hear this every year, but our kids are tired of hitting each other,” Walburn said. “We are not going to get any better until we play somebody else.”
Walburn says even though Friday night’s scrimmage against Veterans won’t count in the standings, it should be a good test.
“Some people are picking them to win their region this year,” Walburn said. “It’s a good chance for us to look at some of our inexperienced players, so we can see who can help us on Friday nights.”
The first half of Friday’s scrimmage will be played just like a regular season game, including live kicking. After halftime, the coaching staffs will work on getting everybody in the ballgame and there will be no kick returns.