Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: Thomas Jefferson

Head coach: Chuck Wimberly (Seventh year at Thomas Jefferson; 14th overall)

Classification: GISA Class A North

2005 record: 12-2

Four-year record (since 2002): 24-13

Last playoff appearance: 2005

Returning starters: 9 offense, 9 defense

Key Jaguars: Senior FB Chris Mathis (5-10, 185); Sophomore RB Derrick Mathis (6-2, 180); Senior C/DT Ben Skinner (5-10, 250); Senior RB Britt Cooper (5-9, 160); Senior G Bryan Dye (6-2, 185)

Offensive attack: The Jags look to repeat as Class A champions with their wishbone attack. Derrick Mathis averaged 11.3 yards per carry as a freshman on his way to 1,622 yards and 20 scores. Cooper returns off a 1,089-yard season. Chris Mathis ran for 890 yards and 11 more scores. Dye and Skinner are superior players up front who clear the way.

Defensive keys: The 5-2 front will revolve around Dye. He had 97 solo tackles and caused four fumbles last season. Look for him to lead in tackles for a third consecutive year. One worry is size; this defense doesn't have a lot of it.

Thin at: Offensive and defensive line

Big game: Vs. Flint River, Nov. 10

Different this year: Larger region, and the 2005 GISA Class AA state champ (Flint River) has dropped down in classification and is on the region schedule.

Could go bad if: This team has a lot of backs in the fold, but an injury to Derrick Mathis would make the offense a lot less explosive.

Great year if: A repeat championship awaits. Toppling Flint River, which has lost only one game in two years, would be a major accomplishment.


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