High School Football
East Coweta hopes to continue win streak
by Doug Gorman
When East Coweta opens the 2013 football season Friday at home in a non-region game against Henry County, getting the season off on a winning note may go along way toward improving on last year’s 5-7 season.
The Indians may have history on their side in such respects, carrying a streak of five consecutive victories in season openers dating back to 2008.
East Coweta’s biggest opening night victory during the stretch came in 2009 when the Indians shocked Sandy Creek, 28-27 in double overtime.
It’s a good bet, however, that Indians head coach Clint Wade doesn’t care about or the fact the Indians knocked off Henry County 35-7 last year.
Improving on this year’s scrimmage effort, a 30-20 loss to Whitewater on Aug. 15, presents a bigger task.
“We just have to get people in the right positions,” he said. “We are just trying to re-enforce what we have been doing in terms of fundamentals. We didn’t display much of that in the scrimmage.”
East Coweta looked like a different team in between halftime, struggling in the opening two quarters and falling behind 20-0 before playing a more consistent third period. Both of the Indians’ varsity scores came in the latter on runs by senior quarterback Bryce Gemmel, who threw for 1,543 yards and eight touchdowns and ran for another 523 and four scores in his first year as a starter.
“We are getting better each week, so we definitely have a chance,” Wade said. “The kids are out there battling, and they are working hard. That’s all we can ask.”
Henry County is the first of five non-region games on the Indians schedule to being the 2013 season.
The Warhawks are under the direction of their third coach in as many years.
Morris Starr takes over for Joe Dupree, who stayed just one year and guided the team to a 1-9 record.
Starr brings a defensive philosophy to the Warhawks after serving a defensive coordinator the past few seasons at rival Stockbridge.
Starr was a finalist for the Henry County job two years ago when it went to Dupree.
Now, he is ready for his head coaching debut.
“I was a little bummed that I didn’t get it last year,” Starr said told the Henry Daily Herald. “But I just went into the season with Stockbridge trying to do the best I could. I went on the interview and it was just a matter of a few hours after that they called and offered me the job.”
Although he is a defensive-minded coach, his two best returning players could be on the offensive side of the ball as quarterback T.J. Freeman and running back Derrick Powell return.
Wade knows that could be a challenge to the Indians’ revamped defensive unit.
“They have their skill guys back, so they are a year older,” he said “We should match up with them on the line. It is going to be an exciting game.”