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’Canes search for chemistry after losing 20 to graduation
by Ericka Birdsong
July 24, 2013 12:00 PM | 4690 views | 0 0 comments | 232 232 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Cartersville quarterback Brooks Barden warms up during practice last season.
Cartersville quarterback Brooks Barden warms up during practice last season.
The Cartersville Purple Hurricanes have been working hard all summer, preparing for the upcoming season and trying to figure out who they are as a team this year after losing more than 20 players to graduation.

Noting there wouldn’t really be any changes to the scheme of the program, head football coach Frank Barden said he has 12 starters returning.

“With a lot of players coming back and finishing the way we did, we’re pretty much just picking up where we left off,” he said. “We’re just developing the chemistry of our team.”

Finishing the 2012 season with a 13-1 record, the ’Canes went undefeated during the regular season, won the Region 5-AAA championship and advanced to the GHSA Class AAA semifinals before falling 21-10 to eventual champion Buford.

After being only one win from the state title game last year, Barden said it would be nice to win the state championship this year — but that is not their main focus.

“Our No. 1 goal is to be as good a football team as we can be. If we can handle ourselves then hopefully the process will take care of its self and accomplish those goals,” said Barden.

Barden said it has been “pretty much a normal summer” for the team with workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. He also said the team has done a good job lifting weights this summer as well.

Along with workouts, the skills players have been taking part in seven-on-seven scrimmages and tournaments. They participated in the Cam Newton Foundation Tournament, the UGA tournament and the Dalton tournament. This weekend they will be in the Lassiter qualifier.

For the 2013 season Cartersville will return 12 starters, evenly split among the offense and defense. Key returners for the ’Canes include quarterback Brooks Barden, running backs Brandon Long and Kalin Heath, wide receivers TL Ford, Gordon Gray, Taimon Pennymon, Kobie Whitfield and Mark Quattlebuam. On the defensive side of the ball, the key returners include defensive back Devin Henderson, Whitfield and Quattlebaum, defensive lineman Alex Barnes and defensive end Greg Davis.

Barden said there may be some freshmen on the varsity team this season, but he has yet to confirm who they will be or if they will definitely participate.

“Probably, but I’m not sure yet,” he said.

One thing Barden did confirm, however, was the team’s emphasis on offensive line work.

“We just have to get out there and go to work,” said Barden.

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