The Walton Raiders and Brookwood Broncos have helped close out the last two GHSA football seasons in the Georgia Dome with Brookwood claiming the 2010 Class AAAAA title and Walton falling in last year’s final. Both teams are looking to get off on the right track as they seek the first Class AAAAAA title.
Walton returns a boatload of talent on the offensive side of the ball with three players headed to SEC programs. Quarterback Parker McLeod can wing it, and he has shown tremendous growth since the end of last season at camps and in spring practice that has Walton coaches thinking of how good he can be under center. Tyren Jones was named the 2011 Class AAAAA offensive player of the year by several services during his first season with Walton. He will once again tote the mail for the Raiders before heading to Alabama with McLeod. Up front, UGA pledge Brandon Kublanow will open holes for Jones and keep McLeod vertical.
Defensively, the Raiders must replace the Blaylock twins, but DJ Smith has proven to be quite capable in the secondary, and he could also see some time at wide receiver.
Brookwood has several holdovers from the 2010 team including senior offensive lineman Adam Ledford. He will pave the way up front for running backs Jamaal Cole and Josh Brown. Those two backs will help ease some of the pressure on the very athletic Zach Moon at quarterback. When Moon wants to go to the air, he can look for Kyrin Priester, a 6-foot-2 monster who possesses the ability to make defenders miss in the open field.
Defensively, Brookwood is led by linebacker/end Shaun McGee, who can get to the quarterback. The 6-foot-3, 236-pound senior has committed to Georgia and will lead a stout defense that also features Afolabi Laguda at defensive back.
These two coaches also bring a great deal to the table with Brookwood’s Mark Crews owning a state title and Walton’s Rocky Hidalgo proving to be one of the state’s best young coaches. Expect the chess match between these two to play well into the fourth quarter.