Coach: Jimmie Lewis
Offensive Coordinator: Adam Fulford
Defensive Coordinator: Lonnie Morris
Last year: 2-8, 1-5
Key returners: Mason McDaniel, SR-FS; Jordan Dorsey, SR-FB/LB; Tyler Sheppard, SR-TE/DL; Hunter Rippe, JR-QB, Austin Burt, JR-RB/LB, Carson Gurley, SR-WR/LB
8/30: at Georgia Military College
9/6: vs. Oglethorpe County
9/13: vs. Glascock County
9/20: at Social Circle
9/27: vs. Screven County
10/4: at Westside, Augusta
10/11: vs. East Laurens
10/18: at Josey
10/25: vs. Dublin
11/8: at Laney
While other high schools may be in the infancy of using shotgun or pistol-type offenses, head coach Jimmie Lewis is hoping a step back will pay dividends for his Harlem Bulldogs in 2013.
In the Bulldogs’ 2012 season opener, they fumbled nine times, losing seven, including a critical one with 2:36 left in the game while leading 7-6. Georgia Military College scored the game-winner three plays later prompting Lewis to call it his most disappointing loss in a long time. That set the stage for a 2-8 season, in which the Bulldogs lost three games by six points or less.
“We fumbled away three games last year,” said Lewis. “Of course we were in the shotgun last year, that made a big difference. We had some fumbled snaps at the wrong time, some bad snaps, and this year we’re underneath. We decided to go with just a vanilla offense, a good safe offense. Turn around and hand it to (Austin) Burt and hope Burt holds onto it.”
Lewis has liked what he’s seen heading into the season at quarterback where a starter is yet to be determined between junior Hunter Rippe and sophomore Owen Price.
“Both of them are doing real good so we’re looking forward to having two good quarterbacks,” Lewis said.
The quarterback will have talent to throw to wide receiver Mason McDaniel and tight end Tyler Sheppard among others, but defensively is where the duo left their mark a year ago.
The senior free safety McDaniel led Columbia County with 155 tackles, including 110 solo, as he made first team All-Region 3-AA. At defensive end, Sheppard posted 19 sacks and 125 total tackles, also earning first team all-region honors.
Along with Sheppard and McDaniel, Lewis said he likes what he sees from senior Carson Gurley and freshman Jonathan Worrell, who Lewis said can fly.