High School Football
Coach gives Hawks passing marks for spring
by Doug Gorman
Heritage School head football coach Kevin Prisant admits the summer is going to be an important time for his team if the Hawks want to return to their winning ways after a not so successful 2013 campaign.
“We all have to grow up this summer and work hard,” he said. “It is going to be important that we hit the weight room.”
Last season, Heritage finished with three wins just one year after posting a school best 11-2 record and advancing all the way to the GISA Class AA championship game.
The Hawks put back-to-back victories together in September, beating Community Christian and Dawson Street before winning just one more game late in October against Westminster.
Heritage also lost to rival Trinity 12-0 for the first time in a game that ultimately decided the final playoff berth out of Region 1-AAA.
Prisant said the Hawks had a bullseye on their chest after the success in 2012 and are looking to get back to winning this season.
“We were sort of marked,” he said. “All of a sudden everybody knew about us.”
Heritage went into last season trying to replace several players to graduation, including all-time leading rusher Candler Rich. They were also hit by the tragic death of tight end Tyler Henson.
“We just had some many things going on,” he said. “We had to replace some really great football players.
Now after two weeks of spring practice, Prisant is excited about the Hawks’ upcoming season, and gives the team passing marks for its effort.
“Everybody worked hard. “It was a great. “Everybody seems to be on the same page.”
Several key players missed the first week of spring practice because of baseball and soccer teams were still in the playoffs, but it was still a productive two weeks for the Heritage football program.
“We didn’t put on the pads or hit anybody, but we were still able to put in our base offense and defense. I think everybody has a good understanding with what we are trying to do.”
Rising junior Brad Macke returns as the team’s quarterback after starting for the first time last season.
“He is going to have to be one of our leaders coming into this season,” Prisant said. “He is a good football player and he gained experience last year.”
Prisant is encouraged from what he saw out of the team’s backfield this spring. Hamp Smith and Matt Burns are expected carry the bulk of the load at running back this coming season
Parker Jones also returned this spring after missing two years with a concussion. Jones will also share time in the backfield and will be one of the team’s top receivers.
All-State tight end Cole Jones missed the first week of spring practice after helping lead the soccer team to the playoffs, but will be one of the team’s top receivers this year while heading into his junior year. Chaz Bankston and Peyton Henson are also slated to see time at wide receiver.
Coming out of spring, Trevor Henson and Thomas Gruber bring leadership to the offensive line, while Ryan Blackstone is expected to play up front on both sides of the line of scrimmage.
Prisant will also fill the summer with a couple of 7-on-7 passing-league games.
“I never worry about the score in passing leagues,” he said. “I just like the fact that it is a good way to get in some competition. It helps us both on offense and defense. The quarterback doesn’t have to worry about getting hit, but it still a good way to work on some things.
Right before school starts, the Hawks will travel to East Georgia College for a football camp.
“We will get a chance to set up some scrimmages,” he said. “It should give us a chance to work on some things right before the start of the season.”