Kell/Chattahoochee preview

Walter Pinion

Last season, the Kell Longhorns nearly pulled off what would have been the upset of the year before falling to eventual Class AAAAA champion Grayson 7-0. The Longhorns are back in the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic looking for a win over 2010 Class AAAA champion Chattahoochee. Talent wasn’t an issue last season for Kell and it shouldn’t be this year either. The Longhorns’ defensive secondary is led by Brendan Langley and Quincy Mauger, two players who will be teammates this season and SEC foes next year at South Carolina and Georgia, respectively. Look for both Mauger and Langley to also play some wide receiver as Kell searches for playmakers on offense. Julian Burris is back on offense. Derek Cook took Kell to its best-ever season in 2010 and he hopes to top that mark in 2012.

Chattahoochee has been impressive of late under head coach Terry Crowder, going 25-2 over the last two seasons with a state title. The Cougars will look to challenge for a Class AAAAAA title with dual-threat quarterback Travis Marshall leading the way. Marshall started all 12 games one season ago and he had a tremendous spring according to his coach, putting on muscle before his senior season. Marshall will be helped out by Chase Nelson and C.J. Leggett out of the backfield.

Defensively, the Cougars will be paced by linebacker Brian Sykes and cornerback Justin Jackson. Sykes stands 6-foot-2, 200 pounds and Crowder said the team looks to him for leadership, as only three starters return from last season’s defense.

Cook and Crowder both bring plenty to the table as each has taken his respective program to new heights. Chattahoochee will look to the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic as a crucial starting point as the Cougars move up to the state’s highest classification. If Chattahoochee can earn a victory here, look for the Cougars to make some noise in Class AAAAAA. If Kell can snag a victory, perhaps it will ease the pain of last year’s near miss and set the Longhorns up for an extended playoff run in Class AAAAA.

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