Could Colquitt County Football be Better in 2015?

| August 16, 2015

Colquitt County Football

Athlon Sports

The football program at Colquit County will never be lacking for confidence so long as Rush Propst is calling the shots as head coach.

A season after celebrating the first state title in two decades — and the resulting No. 4 HSFB100 ranking that came with the accomplishment — many expected the 2015 version to step back with the Packers signing 14 seniors to the next level.

“Our strength is in the numbers,” he said. “We have 39 seniors this year and that is the most I have ever had at Colquitt.

“It isn’t just the numbers though, we have some good football players, too.”

While winning Georgia requires a strong defense, the Packers may be near impossible to slow offensively.

Returning quarterback Chase Parrish will make the gears turn.

Parrish is listed at 5-foot-10 but his understanding of the offense more than makes up for where people knock his height.

“I’ll give anyone the game tape of Chase and if they aren’t impressed then I am not sure what they know about football,” Propst said. “Our toughest eight games of the year he completed 80 percent of his passes in my offense. This is the last four rounds of the playoffs, Hoover (AL), and our region now. 80.4 percent.

“I know coaches get accused of inflating numbers but I’ll let anyone chart his games because we have done it. Chase can throw the ball.”

This year most all of his pass catchers are back.

Colquitt may not have the typical speed expected in the southeast but there will not be a more physical group of pass catchers.

Kiel Pollard is the highest-rated player as a three-star by Rivals.com. He is listed at 6-foot-1, 228 pounds. He will split out wide for the Packers but perhaps the most apt comparison is former Plant (Tampa, FL), University of Georgia and current Cincinnati Bengals tight end, Orson Charles.

“He’s not fast but you don’t want to try and tackle him when he’s moving,” Propst said. “He’s over 100 catches for us and I don’t know that I need a full hand to count the amount of times he’s been tackled by one kid or by the first person. His Hudl account is impressive.”

The players who will actually line up at tight end could also find their way to college as Shaun Bonner and Chris Bouie both are back for the Packers.

Bonner is listed at 6-foot-2, 240; Bouie at 6-foot-3, 220.

H-back prospect Qwazavia ‘Ty’ Lee will have an opportunity carry the ball and be a threat to catch it at any point again in 2015.

Lee had 55 receptions last year and 35 carries. He is getting looks from Indiana as well as several Sun Belt teams.

The running back position was expected to be filled by Tykerious ‘Grump’ Jones but his offseason arrest on murder charges quickly changed the dynamic of the backfield.

Propst expressed his condolences to the family of the victim at the recently completed National Select 7on7 Championships but with North Gwinnett (Suwanee, GA) on the schedule for Aug. 22 the role will fall to Nate Powell and Rafael Merritt.

“It was probably going to be 20 carries for Grump and then another 10 split between Nate and Rafael but now we are looking at 15 for Nate, and 10 for Rafael,” Propst said. “In our region we are going to need to find someone else that can give us another five or 10 carries a game though.

“That is something that a lot of people don’t understand. Our region is so physically demanding that we need the numbers on our roster high because we get into some real battles. That and our non-region and playoffs, it can wear you down.”

The non-region for Colquitt involves North Gwinnett and Plant in August. Crisp County, Enterprise (AL), and Pelham gives the team a little bit of a breather before Region 1-6A opens.

Colquitt County will play Lowndes, Lee County, Valdosta, Tift County, and Camden County before the playoffs are determined.

Colquitt, Lee, and Lowndes may be the top crust of that group with Tift, Valdosta and Camden battling for the last playoff spot.

To advance to another state title a level of balance will have to be struck.

That burden will fall to returning standouts Dee Walker and Ja’Quain Blakely at linebacker as well as Rakeem Hightower and Landon Scott in the secondary.

Filling in around those players is the task Propst has to overcome with 10 days left in the offseason.

“We are athletic and I really like our linebackers but we are probably a little small on defense,” Propst said. “I sure would love to have two big defensive lineman but I doubt you talk to a coach that wouldn’t like that.

“With what we have I think we will be able to stop the run and you have to do that down here to be successful.”

If the Packers are able to advance to another state championship it would make a second straight Top 25 ranking and continue a run of five consecutive, double digit, winning seasons for a program that won two games the season before Propst’s arrival and had a winning record in the region just once in five years before his hiring.

“We have given a lot of kids an opportunity to succeed with 65 scholarships in six years and people want to be part of something that is a success,” Propst said.

“Our community is invested in what is happening here and we feel good about what we have coming into this year.

“If all things come together like we think they, can do I beleive we can be back up there in Atlanta (for the state finals)? Yes, I sure do.”

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