Lee County’s 2011 began with such promise as the Trojans rolled to three straight wins before rebounding from a tight loss to Northside-Columbus by taking out Houston County. The Trojans dropped five straight to end the year and miss out on the playoffs in Dean Fabrizio’s third year at the helm.
Fabrizio believes the Trojans certainly have the makeup to return to 2010 form, the last time Lee County appeared in the postseason.
“We return a host of talented skill players on offense, led by quarterbacks Matt Mears and Stephen Collier,” said Fabrizio.
The team runs a spread, and with both of those quarterbacks having experience in the offense helps. Last season, Mears threw for 2,338 yards and 22 scores as a junior. The 6-foot-4 Collier runs a 4.92 40 and has also seen time at tight end.
Those two quarterbacks will have plenty of weapons returning. Rising junior target Josh Cabrera, who recently received a scholarship offer to Duke, hauled in 70 receptions for 960 yards and 13 scores as a sophomore. Cabrera was honorable mention All-State last year, and at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds is quickly making a name for himself in recruiting circles. Seniors Andrew Stroud and Casey Hightower also return on the outside.
Teams won’t be able to focus on just stopping the pass as Fabrizio has a tough running game out of his spread.
“Our top two rushers from last season also return in Tavarus Hall and Kenneth Hurley,” said Fabrizio.
Hurley is a three-year starter who accounted for 1,000 yards of total offense in 2011. He also registered 6.37 yards per carry for 618 rushing yards on the year.
The defense is you, but the strength will come from the secondary in the 3-3 formation. Junior Quan Jamisom and sophomore Dextric Green both start at safety while Hightower and Stroud also see action in the back eight of the base formation.
The schedule may be the best thing about the 2012 season as Lee County moves up to Region 1-AAAAA after GHSA reclassification. The season begins against Dougherty in Hugh Mills Stadium before the home opener against Albany Sept. 7. Lee County’s first six games come against opponents that did not reach the playoffs last year, and the Trojans face just two opponents this year that made the postseason in 2011 in Thomas County Central and Bainbridge.
“The new region while still being strong with TCC and Bainbridge does not have powers Northside-WR and Warner Robins like the last two years,” said Fabrizio.
If Lee County takes care of a favorable schedule, look for the Trojans to punch a ticket to the playoffs in 2012.