With all the Georgia high school football talent from this area on one roster, the moving and mixing of players has begun.
It’s a challenge, but it’s one coach Jarrett Troxler welcomes for Saturday’s inaugural Border Bowl.
“It’s a good problem to have,” said Georgia coach Troxler, who’s normally Lakeside’s head coach. “That’s the cool thing about it. We’re going to try to get them in as much as we can, in different spots. It’s going to be fun.”
Perhaps no position illustrates the possibilities as much as the quarterback spot. As Troxler explained, Hunter Banks, Lakeside’s starter, is the gunslinger. But there’s also Westside signal caller Jalen Lampkin, who’s more of a runner and can also catch, and Laney leader Horatio Keller, who has no trouble running or throwing.
For most of these players, they know one another, at least through hearing about each other on the football field. In fact, Banks has played against Lampkin in baseball since their freshman year.
The quarterbacks hope to use a spread offense to lead Georgia to a win against South Carolina, with some assistance from the likes of Mike McIntire of Lincoln County and Evans’ Jonquell Jones.
“If we beat them, we get to talk all we want,” Lampkin said.
Troxler said not only does the game offer a chance for bragging rights, but it is another opportunity for each player to impress any colleges. He said the game will be filmed so players can load plays to their highlight films on Hudl.
From his perspective, Troxler liked spending time in practice, which started on Saturday, learning and talking with other coaches. His staff includes Lakeside assistants and other area coaches: James Leonard from Aquinas, Grovetown’s Rodney Holder, Steve Hibbitts from Westside, Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes and Hephzibah’s John Bowen.
The camaraderie has been nice, but the coaches want to see a victory.
“The kids are real excited about playing and the coaches are enthusiastic about it,” Troxler said. “I can tell that, the closer we get to Saturday, the urgency is building – we want to win.”