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High school football: Gainesville places four players on First-Team All-Region in 6-7A
Gainesville football 2021
Gainesville's Naim Cheeks (9) runs with the ball in the first half against Flowery Branch on Sept. 10, 2021 at City Park Stadium in Gainesville. Photo by Bill Murphy

Gainesville High’s football program was well represented as four of its players were selected for First-Team All-Region for 6-7A. 

On offense, junior running back Naim Cheeks and senior offensive lineman Elijah Ruiz were named first-team selections. 

On defense, junior cornerback Dre Raven and senior tackle Khaliq Maddox were first-team picks. 

Wide receiver JQ Drinkard was Second-Team All-Region from Gainesville. 

Honorable mention picks for the Red Elephants were sophomore quarterback Baxter Wright, junior wide receiver Ja’Quez Sims and senior defensive lineman Jean Richemond. 

Next season, Gainesville (5-5 in 2021) will move down to Class 6A from the state’s highest classification under first-year coach Josh Niblett, who takes over after winning six state championships over 14 seasons at national-powerhouse Hoover High (Ala.).