Ellis, Britt play in Georgia Junior Bowl to close out 2013 season
by Chris Goltermann
Even as the new year was about to roll in, the sand hadn't quite reached the bottom of the hourglass as far as the high school football season.
On Tuesday, both East Coweta and Newnan had junior players represented in the AT&T Georgia Junior Bowl held at Grady Stadium.
Indians offensive center Dawson Ellis and Cougars running back/safety J.K. Britt - who were each honored on the Newnan Times-Herald's 2013 All-County Football Team - participated in the game which is put together by risingseniors.com and led by former NFL players Izell Reese and Joe Burns, the latter also formerly of Georgia Tech.
Both Ellis and Britt were also All-Region 3-AAAAAA Second Team selections while earning postseason honors. Ellis graded out at 65-percent for the season while starting every game at center for East Coweta.
Britt battled injuries but still managed to finish second among Cougar rushers with 431 yards while appearing in just seven games on offense. He also tied for the team lead with four interceptions on defense and added 22 tackles.
The local duo played as members of the West Squad on Tuesday on a roster that included defensive lineman D'Andre Walker and linebacker Montavious Atkinson of Langston Hughes, wide receiver Jayson Stanley and offensive lineman Venzell Boulware of Class AAAAA state champion Creekside and tight end Sam Dobbs of Landmark Christian. Sandy Creek had four representatives while Griffin and Lovejoy each had a pair.
The Georgia Sportswriters Association also released its 2013 All-State Team for GHSA programs on Sunday. Coweta did not have a representative.
LOCAL WRESTLERS PLACE AT FAYETTE COUNTY CHRISTMAS CLASSIC: East Coweta and Northgate wrestling teams both had placers in the top-six in individual weight classes at last weekend's annual Fayette County Christmas Classic, which featured 35 schools in action including a pair from Alabama.
Indians standouts Dusty Nelson and Zack Gabriel each won final matches in the consolation finals to finish third in respective divisions.
Nelson, who lost to eventual champion Caleb Sellers of host Fayette County in the winner's bracket semifinals defeated Jacob Smith of Southside (Ala.) in his final match at 106 pounds. The East Coweta lightweight earned individual All-County honors at last month's Coweta County Championships.
Gabriel, who also earned All-County honors while helping lead East Coweta to its second straight county crown, defeated Chris Eulenfeld of McIntosh in the consolation finals at 120 pounds.
Northgate's Michael Martin placed sixth in the 220-pound weight class for the Vikings.
Hewett-Trussville of Alabama won the event with 248 ½ points, well ahead of host Fayette County, which finished second with 160. Southside was third (159 ½), followed by Rome (136) and Carrollton (134).
Newnan wrestlers returned to action on Tuesday with a trip to Troup County while preparing for this week's Area 3-AAAAAA Duals at Douglas County. East Coweta and Newnan open the tournament on Friday before resuming matches on Saturday morning.
Northgate travels to Starr's Mill for the Area 4-AAAAA Duals starting Friday and concluding Saturday.
OGLETREE SETS RAMS ROOKIE RECORD FOR TACKLE: Newnan's Alec Ogletree wrapped up his rookie season in the NFL with seven tackles in a 27-9 loss at Seattle. Entering Sunday's game with 144 tackles to tie teammate James Laurinaitis' rookie record from 2009, the Rams' first-round draft pick in 2013 was credited with eight tackles against the Seahawks to establish a new mark.
Ogletree's rookie season also included his first interception, a 98-yard return against Houston on a play where he also recorded his first career touchdown. He added six forced fumbles during the 2013 season and had at least two tackles in every game as a rookie including three with 10 or more.