I is for Interceptions: Coahulla Creek’s Erick Dominguez led the area with seven interceptions and clinched a spot on The Daily Citizen’s All-Area team last season. Entering his senior year, Dominguez is expected to be the same ball-hawk defensive back for Coahulla Creek coach Jared Hamlin.
J is for Jumbo: In high school, offensive linemen rarely get the fame and fortune of their fleet-footed counterparts or gun-slinging signal callers. But no team can succeed without an impeccable wall protecting the playmakers. Give your running back the holes, and his job is a lot easier. Give your quarterback enough time, and you’ll see the points piling up on the scoreboard.
K is for Kicker: Last year, Northwest coach Josh Robinson pointed to the kicking game as a main reason his Bruins lost 24-19 at Harmon Field to rival Dalton. The Bruins missed a field goal attempt, and an extra-point attempt during the game. Add in the two-point conversion the Bruins failed on — they would’ve done the extra-point kick had Villa made the two kicks mentioned above — and the score is 24-24. North Murray’s kicker, Izzy Hernandez, suffered a season-ending injury the first game of last season, his senior year.
L is for Longevity: No high school coaches in the area really have any, with Dalton’s Matt Land being the dean of football coaching with his fourth season about to begin. Northwest’s Josh Robinson, Coahulla Creek’s Jared Hamlin and Christian Heritage’s Preston Poag are about to begin their third seasons. North Murray’s David Gann and Southeast’s Sean Gray are entering their second. Then there’s Murray County’s Chad Brewer, who has zero years under his belt with the Indians.
M is for Mora: Dalton’s junior athlete was one of the best players in the area last season, so much so that the public address announcer at Sandy Creek praised Mora’s play during the second-round playoff game. He also played a vital role in the Catamounts run to a Class 4A state championship in boys soccer. Switching back from linebacker to safety this season, Mora will be part of an experienced Dalton defense and also handle punts and even played some fullback last year.