Cobb standouts honored at midseason banquet

Photo by Melanie Miller

All 20 Cobb County football teams met at Marietta High School on Monday for the mid-season Cobb County Touchdown Club banquet. Each of the 20 schools picks an offensive and defensive player of the week after each game and these recipients are recognized at the banquet. While the banquet honors the first half of the season, the mindset of all the players and coaches is directed towards the crucial backend of the 2014 season.

No school in the state played a more challenging first half of the season than McEachern High School. The Indians sit at 3-2 at the halfway mark, despite dropping the first two games of the season. A 52-49 loss to North Gwinnett was followed with a 27-20 loss to Buford the second game of the season. Since the 0-2 start, McEachern has closed out wins over Peachtree Ridge, Lovejoy and Marietta.

“We are 3-2 but I would not change anything about this first half of the season,” admitted McEachern head coach Kyle Hockman. “We very well could’ve made it out of there undefeated with those two close losses and been the No. 1 ranked team in the state right now but we learned from this and could be better off from it in the end.”

McEachern’s biggest obstacle this season has been filling in for five-star running back Taj Griffin, who tore his ACL in the opening week loss to North Gwinnett. Griffin was named Offensive Player of the Week from his performance in the season opener, but couldn’t make the banquet after recently having his surgery to repair his knee. Teammate Cameron Magee was in attendance in place of Griffin and accepted his award.

McEachern, Hillgrove and North Paulding remain unbeaten in Region 4-AAAAAA and North Cobb looks to get back in the race for the region title after a 28-7 region loss to Hillgrove last week. North Cobb hosts McEachern on Friday and this is one of the biggest Cobb County matchups of the year.

Within the matchup, head coach’s sons quarterback the two schools. Auburn-commit Tyler Queen has started since his freshman season for North Cobb and led the Warriors to a 28-26 road-win over the Indians last year. Bailey Hockman is a sophomore starter for McEachern and saw his first starting action last year in the playoffs. Watching Queen navigate through Region 4 from a young age and seeing the level of success Queen has achieved is something that the younger Hockman has used to help mold his game.

“Seeing what Tyler has done throughout his career has certainly helped Bailey,” said Hockman. “Tyler was a guy that was recruited early on and he’s done a fantastic job as a leader and teammate. He is a great kid and competitor.”

In Class AAAAA, Cobb County’s Allatoona, Sprayberry and Kell have had fantastic first halves of the season. Allatoona and Kell remain unbeaten, while Sprayberry is off to a 3-2 start, including a 3-0 start in region play. The Yellow Jackets face Cambridge this Friday and it’s a game both sides of Region 7 will have an eye on. Cambridge sits at 4-1 with a last-second loss to Kell two weeks ago. Kell has a bye this week and the coaching staff will split up to scout Sprayberry taking on Cambridge and Riverwood taking on North Springs this Friday.


Each year when the teams meet for the mid-season Cobb County banquet, 1967 is a year that everyone in attendance is aware of. 1967 marks the last time Cobb County won a state championship in football. The players and coaches can look around and wonder if this will finally be the year.

McEachern is the highest-ranked Class AAAAAA team right now, and Allatoona and Kell are each in the Class AAAAA top 5. However, Class A could be Cobb’s best chance for a state crown this season.

Mount Paran Christian has dominated Class A and climbed its way to No. 2 in the Class A-Private poll during its 5-0 start. The Eagles have outscored their opponents by 31.6 points per game and are led by a talented group with the size and speed to outmatch opponents.

The Eagles brought all 10 of their players of the week to Marietta and the standouts were visibly bigger than even the Class AAAAAA schools. Allen Cater is a 6-foot-5 defensive end and tight end that received his award alongside 6-foot-9, 290-pound center and offensive tackle Zach Strong. Look for this team to continue building after a near-perfect first five games.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply