With less than three weeks until Newton plays its exhibition game the Rams are trying to get the chemistry back that they had this summer. The summer saw the team go 21-9 despite sophomore standout Darvin Jones missing 10 games.
With just two games left for most teams and one game for others, the playoff race is in the final lap and the teams are headed toward the finish line. Some teams fare better than others, but every Newton County high school football team has a shot at making it to the big dance. Here are the current playoff implications for each team. (Note: this was written before Newton's game against Lovejoy).
Speaking to head coach Ashley Coles after her team became the runner up in region 2-AAAAAA, she was confident her team could advance to the second round. Those expectations, although they were not met were very realistic. The Lady Rams came into the first round with an 13-15 record and Tift came into the matchup with an 11-17 record. After Tift's sweep against Newton the two teams finished with identical records. Coles recaps her first year as head coach and speaks on the future of the program in this Q&A.
Artice Hobbs and Josh Slaton have been selected as the athletes of the week for their respective schools. Newton and Alcovy played on Friday. These two players stood out amongst their peers. Eastside played late on Saturday, after press deadline; the Eagles' Athlete of the Week will be named at www.covnews.com on Monday.
Without two of their usual starters, senior receiver Davonta Jones and defensive back Steven Montac, the Rams were able to fend off a scrappy Alcovy team and cruise to a 33-7 victory. Within the game Newton was able to realize the depth it has at quarterback and at running back. The Tigers saw that they're not without promise on defense and that turnovers are still a problem.
Romario Johnson looks off to the sideline as the rest of the offense gets set. The coaches are signaling to Johnson with an array of arm movements, not a play but a playlist. In Rams' coach Terrance Banks' spread offense the quarterback is the key to the offense's success. Johnson gets the options from the coaches, and it's up to him to read the defense's coverage and choose the best play.
The fourth Atlanta Falcons Heads Up Clinic of the fall took place at Newton High School on Monday night in Covington. This clinic included 112 parents in attendance during the informational session and 194 youth participants.
Sunday is for the NFL, Saturday is for college football, but Friday? Friday is for the gridiron warriors that eventually gravitate to college, and for some, the pros. Friday is for high school football.
The Covington News has chosen Ciara Bryan as Newton High School's athlete of the week. Bryan plays shortstop for the Lady Rams. For the week of September 15, the Lady Rams went 2-0 in the region and Bryan helped by accumulating seven hits and two home runs.
Coming up this Friday is probably the biggest rematch in Newton history. The Rams are traveling down to face Lowndes - currently ranked No. 11 in the state by maxpreps.com - again after beating them 15-14 last year on the final play of the game that saw Davonta Jones catch a pass to tie the game before the extra point was good. The Covington News talked with Rams' head coach Terrance Banks about playing in that hostile environment and his preparation for another shocking win down in Valdosta.