Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: Laney

Head coach: Eric Parker (10th year)

Classification: GHSA Region 3-AA

2005 record: 9-3

Four-year record (since 2002): 39-14

Last playoff appearance: 2005

Returning starters: 6 offense, 8 defense

Key Wildcats: Senior C/DT LaDarien Redfield (6-2, 278); Senior QB/DB Chris Thomas (6-2, 178); Senior RB/DB Israel McCain (6-0, 180); Senior WR/DE Calvin Britt (6-1, 182); Junior OL/DE Theodore McNeil (6-0, 216)

Offensive attack: Laney will base out of the spread with a few Wing-T sets to keep defenses honest. Thomas ran for 558 yards and six scores in 2005. He also threw for 1,472 yards and 12 TDs, but his 44 percent completion rate must get better. Britt came on strong late last year and is the top returning receiver.

Defensive keys: McCain has the size and speed to grab any recruiter's attention, but he needs to make more plays. Senior LBs Maurice Murray and Seth Williams are returning starters. Senior newcomer Prince Ryans (6-1, 175) has shown good cover skills. Sophomore DB Cameron Stallings (5-11, 170) is already a ball hawk.

Thin at: Defensive line

Big game: At Jefferson County, Nov. 3

Different this year: New region with traditional powers Screven County and Swainsboro. But Jefferson County and Westside pose the top threats to keep the Wildcats from pawing another region title.

Could go bad if: A couple of defensive line injuries pop up. There's no returning experience behind the starting group.

Great year if: Thomas raises his formidable game to another level. If he plays to his potential, he could throw for 2,000 yards and 20 scores, plus dash for 900 yards on the ground.


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