Originally created 08/25/06

Season Preview: Jefferson County

Head coach: J.B. Arnold (Sixth year)

Classification: GHSA Region 3-AA

2005 record: 10-1

Four-year record (since 2002): 24-19-1

Last playoff appearance: 2005

Returning starters: 6 offense, 6 defense

Key Warriors: Senior LB/TE Tim Nelson (6-4, 235); Senior QB Dennis Thomas (6-2, 215); Junior OL/DL A.J. Harmon (6-5, 317); Junior LB/RB Lamar Brown (5-9, 160); Senior OLB Eric Hannah (5-9, 155)

Offensive attack: The Warriors are going to chuck it around - a departure from the power running and ball-control approaches of years past. Thomas threw for 742 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Junior Matt Mayo (5-10, 165) and senior Matt Cook (5-10, 160) will be catching his spirals.

Defensive keys: Defense ruled last year as the Warriors allowed only 85 points in 11 games. They should be strong again. Three of the top four tacklers return, including junior LB Johndrick Beasley (6-1, 180) who had 101 tackles last year.

Thin at: Defensive back

Big game: Vs. Laney, Nov. 3

Different this year: This schedule is a beast. There are four potential top-10 teams on it, but if the Warriors can beat at least two of them they'll make the playoffs. Opening with Burke County, Baldwin and Thomson is the toughest three-game haul in the area.

Could go bad if: Thomas goes down and the team finds itself on the losing end of several 14-10 games.

Great year if: Jefferson can win seven regular season games and then a playoff game. It would be the first playoff victory in school history.


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