By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
FOOTBALL 2020: North Hall young but hopes to compete in Region 7-3A
08292020 NORTHHALL 4.jpg
North Hall linemen work on blocking Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, at The Brickyard as the Trojans prepare for the upcoming 2020 football season. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Northeast Georgia Health System is sponsoring this year's football preview coverage, as a season unlike any other begins this fall. Sports coverage is independently reported. Please consider supporting our work by subscribing to The Times.

North Hall’s football program has no other choice but to learn on the job in 2020. 

With only three returning players with varsity experience and a cancelled preseason schedule, due to the coronavirus pandemic, seventh-year Trojans coach David Bishop has no option but to see who is ready to step up September 5 against Paulding County in Gainesville. 

It’s not a particularly common position for North Hall’s football program, which been in the postseason five straight seasons, but one similar to when he took over as head coach in 2014 after graduating 24 seniors from the prior season. 

However, Bishop said his program’s attitude has been an indicator that players are not overwhelmed by the task as hand in Region 7-3A, which is flush with talent. After four non-region games to open the season, the Trojans have a league schedule with games against West Hall, Cherokee Bluff, Lumpkin County, White County, Dawson County and Gilmer.

Right now, there’s not clear pick to win it all or favorites to earn one of the four playoff seeds. Bishop hopes once they work out some of the wrinkles of having inexperience that the Trojans will be right in the mix to make the postseason for the 11th time since 2006.

“It’s rare to find a North Hall football team that’s not way better at the end of the season than when it begins,” said Bishop, who is in his 20th season at the school. “What has impressed me with this group is their willingness to learn and a tremendous work ethic.”

Despite an overabundance of youth, Bishop said his returning players have a great grasp of the playbook. 

North Hall’s coach said he will keep the play calling basic, so its roster can get in sync this season. 

Bishop said his team has an added pep in their step after being more confident that the regular season is going to take place after a ‘summer of question marks’.

“There’s definitely some excitement with our guys now,” Bishop said.

At the line of scrimmage Jarrett Latty, an offensive tackle, is the only returning starter. 

North Hall has just one defensive lineman with experience playing his position in the past. 

Brown’s booming leg

North Hall kicker Luke Brown, a junior, is back and better than ever, despite an offseason broken leg. 

One of the best in the state at his position, Brown is regularly good on field goals from more than 55 yards, while also putting kickoffs through the back of the end zone about 70 percent of the time, according to Bishop. 

Brown’s injury required extensive reconstructive work, which originally had his status for 2020 as unlikely, at best. 

“Luke is way ahead of where he was this time last season,” Bishop said. “He’s certainly a weapon we can use.”

Quarterback competition

Bradford Puryear and Parker Caudill have limited experience, but have both given Bishop confidence in his two candidates at quarterback. 

Puryear, a junior, has a year edge in experience over Caudill. The younger quarterback has an athletic skillset that is appealing in an offense where running will make up the majority of the offensive yardage.

“Bradford had a great knowledge and understanding of what we do and why we do it,” Bishop said. 

Many options at running back

Clark Howell enters as the frontrunner, Bishop said, to get most of the carries.

Howell ran for about 200 yards last season. The Trojans ran for 3,200 yards in 2019, led by now-graduated players JT Fair and Jacob Dickey.

This season, Kevin Rochester and Austin Atha will compliment the backfield at tailback, while Clay Stover and Will Jackson will get ample reps at halfback. 


2. Bradford Puryear Jr. QB/DB

3. Clark Howell Sr. RB/DB

4. Clay Stover Jr. RB/DB

5. Jeremiah Telander So. TE/LB

6. David Garrison So. RB/DB

7. Keegan Smith Sr. RB/DB

8. Kalab Wyatt Sr. WR/DB

9. Will Jackson So. WR/DB

10. Austin Atha Jr. RB/LB

11. Ryals Puryear Fr. WR/LB

12. Grayson Kirby Sr. OL/DL

14. Parker Caudill Jr. QB/DB

15. Glenn Hulsey Fr. RB/DB

16. Alex Brown So. WR/DB

17. Tate Ruth Fr. RB/DB

18. Connor Free Fr. RB/DB

19. Jake Wishousky Fr. WR/DB

20. John White Fr. K

21. Tanner Marsh Fr. WR/DB

22. Ajay Jones Fr. RB/DB

23 Joshua Wolff Fr. WR/DB

24. Menfiz Dyer Sr. RB/LB

25. Britton Glover So. QB/DB

26. Mason Kerrick Fr. WR/DB

27. Ethan Little So. RB/DB

28. Alston Self So. RB/LB

29. Cade Burnette Fr. RB/LB

30. Nathan Vermeer Fr. RB/LB

31. Luke Evans Fr. QB/LB

32. Victor Collinson Jr. RB/LB

33. Trey Patterson Fr. RB/LB

34. Hunter Riley Fr. RB/DB

35. Luke Brown Jr. K

36. Cameron Crisp Sr. WR/DB

38. Nikolaus Carmona Jr. K

45. Anthony Lee So. TE/LB

49. Kevin Rochester Jr. RB/DE

50. Gus Barnes So. OL/DL

52, Baker Dyer Jr. OL/DL

53. Connor Edgeworth Fr. OL/DL

54. Jarrett Jatty Jr. OL/DL

55. Elmer Tapia Sr. OL/DL

56. Zane Hall Jr. OL/DL

57. Hayden Chase So. OL/DL

58. Wyatt Gowan So. OL/DL

59. Rylee Satterfield Fr. OL/DL

60. Akim Reyes Fr. K

62. Aiden Patel Sr. OL/DL

63. Drew Chambers Jr. OL/DL

64. Mason Newberry Sr. OL/DL

65. Ethan Powers So. OL/DL

66. Ronaldo Laguna Fr. OL/DL

67. Austin Copper Jr. OL/DL

70. Noah Deal Sr. OL/DL

71. Zander Gilder So. OL/DL

72. Nathan Towe Fr. OL/DL

73. Vance Green Fr. OL/DL

74. Nate Cottrell Sr. OL/DL

75. Grayson Blair Fr. OL/DL

76. Luke Tyner Fr. OL/DL

77. Zachary Stephens Sr. OL/DL

78. Kyler Olson Jr. OL/DL

79. Tim Stowers So. OL/DL

81. Alex Chambers Fr. WR/DB

84. Charles Coleman Sr. WR/DB

86. Jonathan Reed Fr. QB/TE

87. Caden Webb So. TE/DB

88. Jackson Poreda So. WR/DB


September 5                PAULDING COUNTY (11 a.m.)

September 11               at Stephens County

September 18              HART COUNTY

October 2                     at Chestatee

October 9                    WEST HALL

October 16                   at White County

October 23                  LUMPKIN COUNTY

October 30                  at Gilmer

November 13             at Cherokee Bluff

November 20            DAWSON COUNTY

Friends to Follow social media