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FOOTBALL IN HALL 2019: North Hall looking for more after historic 2018
Trojans bring back ample talent after winning first road playoff game in school history
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North Hall's Trey Sanders passes the ball during a scrimmage between Gainesville High School and North Hall at Bobby Gruhn Field on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

North Hall coach David Bishop has high expectations for his team’s season, and after 2018, why wouldn’t he? 

The Trojans are coming off a 9-3 campaign that saw the program win its first road playoff game in school history. While the losses of star players Daniel Jackson and David Seavey will certainly hurt the group’s chances of repeating the magic of last year, Bishop was quick to point out the many returning players that were just as important to 2018’s winning formula. 

As the next group of seniors takes over the leadership roles vacated by Jackson, Seavey and the other graduated Trojans, Bishop is simply looking forward to seeing how the season unfolds.

“When we talk about the 2019 season, obviously it comes with a lot of expectations,” Bishop said. “…We’re excited about what this year is going to bring, and the leadership that these young men bring.”

5 things to watch

Breaking in a new QB

With Seavey no longer at North Hall to operate Bishop’s Wing-T offense, the Trojans entered the offseason with a quarterback battle between Trey Sanders and Bradford Puryear. 

But Puryear missed much of the spring playing with the North Hall baseball team on its deep playoff run, and much of the summer with a fractured wrist. In the interim, Sanders — a senior — started to run away with the job. 

Sanders is slotted as the opening day starter for now, though Bishop did say he likes to keep every starting spot a competition to be earned by the best player for the role.

“(Sanders) really started to separate himself, and at this point, unless something drastic happens, he’s going to be the starter for us,” Bishop said. “So I feel we’re good where we’re at there.” 

Continuity on the front end of the defense

While North Hall’s offense lost a few key pieces, the defense remained largely intact — at least where the Trojans’ front six are concerned. 

It’s a unit littered with seniors that also includes junior Dalton Battle who has been a starter on the team since his freshman season. All four starting defensive linemen from last year will be returning, giving the Trojans some much needed continuity on their defensive front. 

“I feel like the defensive front six is going to be pretty strong,” Bishop said.

Mixing it up in the secondary

While the front of the North Hall defense stayed essentially intact, the back half switched things up a bit more. 

A season after seniors JT Fair and Luke Volle locked things down at the Trojans’ left and right cornerback positions, both players will be switching to safety, leaving Bishop with two brand new corners to “break in” at the start of the season. 

“That’s something that’ll be a little bit different on that side of the ball,” Bishop said.

Battle for center

While quarterback battles may make for better headlines, North Hall is also in the midst of a competition at the position that Bishop said was the second-most important in his Wing T offense — center. 

Coming into the year, it appeared Josh Fraser was the heir apparent to take over the middle of the Trojans offensive line, but sophomore Jarrett Latty has since stepped up and made the decision a difficult one for Bishop to make. 

At this point, Bishop said the center battle was closer than the quarterback one, and is a situation that warrants monitoring. 

“It could go either way,” he said.

New offensive wrinkles

North Hall is, of course, still going to be a run-first team, but Bishop said he’s spent much of this offseason installing new looks to his run heavy offensive attack. 

“Personally, I love to run the football,” Bishop said. “But I don’t mind throwing it when there’s nothing else to do.”

The Trojans new look offense will include a couple of plays out of shotgun designed to get easy looks in the passing game that will keep opposing defenses on their toes, emphasizing quick passes that give North Hall skill position players the chance to run in space.

“I’m trying to get these guys the ball in space and just see what we can do with it offensively,” Bishop said.

Schedule

Friday at Chestatee

Aug. 30 JACKSON COUNTY

Sept. 6 at Cherokee

Sept. 20 WHITE COUNTY

Sept. 27 CHEROKEE BLUFF*

Oct. 4 at Greater Atlanta*

Oct. 18 at Fannin County*

Oct. 25 at Lumpkin County*

Nov. 1 EAST HALL*

Nov. 8 DAWSON COUNTY*

*region games

Roster

1. Tate Brooks RB/LB So.

2. Bradford Puryear QB/LB So.

3. Trey Sanders QB/LB Sr.

4. Spencer Earnest WR/DB Sr.

5. JT Fair RB/DB Sr.

6. David Garrison RB/LB Fr.

7. Keegan Chambers RB/DB Jr.

8. Luke Gunter WR/DE Sr.

9. Will Jackson RB/DB Fr.

10. Ryan Patterson QB/DB Fr.

11. Luke Volle WR/DB Sr.

12. Grayson Kirby TE/DL Jr.

13. Dalton Battle TE/LB Jr.

15. Fischer Collins WR/DB Sr.

16. Alex Brown WR/DB Fr.

17. Austin Atha RB/LB So.

18. Cody Smith RB/LB Sr.

19. Hunter Adams TE/DL So.

21. Jacob Dickey RB/CB Sr.

23. Clark Howell RB/LB Jr.

24. Menfiz Dyer RB/LB Jr.

25. Britton Glover QB/DB Fr.

26. Kalab Wyatt WR/CB Jr.

27. Ethan Little RB/DB Fr.

28. Alston Self RB/LB Fr.

30. Clay Stover RB/CB So.

31. Joshua Brownell WR/CB Fr.

33. Cade Miller RB/DL Sr.

35. Luke Brown PK/P So.

36. Cameron Crisp WR/CB Jr.

38. Nikolaus Carmona PK/P So.

44. Baker Dyer TE/DL So.

45. Anthony Lee TE/LB Fr.

48. Matthew Gunter WR/DL Sr.

49. Kevin Rochester RB/SS So.

50. Gus Barnes OL/DL Fr.

51. Joshua Fraser OL/DL Sr.

52. Micah Holman OL/DL Sr.

54. Jarrett Latty OL/LB So.

55. Elmer Tapia OL/DL Jr.

56. Zane Hall OL/DL So.

57. Hayden Chase OL/DL Fr.

58. Wyatt Gowan OL/DL So.

59. Austin Sullens OL/DL Sr.

60. Logan West OL/DL Sr.

61. Anderson Kennedy OL/DL Jr.

62. Aiden Patel OL/DL Jr.

63. Drew Chambers OL/DL So.

64. Mason Newberry OL/DL Jr.

65. Ethan Powers OL/DL Fr.

66. Seth Carlton OL/LB Sr.

67. Austin Copper OL/LB So.

68. Tristan Bassett OL/DL Fr.

70. Bowie Eisenberg OL/DL Sr.

74. Nate Cottrell OL/DL Jr.

77. Logan Hawthorne OL/DL Sr.

78. Kyler Olson OL/DL So.

81. Jeremiah Telander TE/LB Fr.

82. Zander Gilder TE/LB Fr.

83. Nate Nixon TE/DL Sr.

84. Charles Coleman WR/DB Jr.

85. Zach DeVincentis WR/DB Sr.

87. Caden Webb WR/DB Fr.

88. Jackson Poreda TE/DB Fr.


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