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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: New Manchester hopes size, strength a plus
by Ericka Birdsong
ebirdsong@neighbornewspapers.com
August 23, 2013 03:09 PM | 1041 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Preparing for the upcoming season, the Jaguars finished their first full region season with a 2-8 record, winning their first two games of the year. Head coach Rob Cleveland said this year the team will be much better despite their continued overall youthfulness.

“We had a lot of freshmen and sophomores. They’ve done a good job and are much improved. We still don’t have a full senior class but we’re a lot better prepared,” he said.

New Manchester’s football program has two new players this season which Cleveland said will make a difference this year.

Transfers Nashon Hester from Douglas County High and Michael Fulton from Lithia Springs, both seniors, are the new additions to the team at inside and outside linebackers.

“They should really provide the defense with leadership,” Cleveland said.

With 16 seniors and 40 juniors this season, New Manchester returns 10 starters on offense and eight starters on defense.

Going into their second official season, Cleveland said the team has been doing seven-on-seven drills four days a week against themselves, all summer. The offensive line also went to a five-day camp in Cochran in mid-June.

After getting two wins in their inaugural region season, Cleveland said they feel confident and have some ambitious goals this year.

“[Our goal is to] try to get over the hump and have a winning season. We feel that goal is attainable. Having a winning season puts you in position for a possible playoff spot…Last year we were in the bottom tier. Hopefully, we’re in the middle tier now,” said Cleveland.

One element of the Jaguars’ game that Cleveland said has improved and will truly make a difference this year is their physical size and strength.

Head coach: Rob Cleveland, 10th season as a head coach (39-44-0), third year at New Manchester (4-8-0).

Region: 5-AAAAA

Key returners: QB Tabashi Thomas, RB Malik Thomas, RB Omari Jared, G Samyedre Neal, LB Tre Wilson

Last year: 2-8 overall; tied for eighth in Region 5-AAAAA.

Schedule:

Aug. 23 Paulding County

Aug. 30 Lithia Springs

Sept. 6 at North Paulding

Sept. 13 Woodland

Sept. 20 at East Paulding

Sept. 27 Rome

Oct. 4 Allatoona

Oct. 11 at South Paulding

Oct. 18 Bye

Oct. 25 at Villa Rica

Nov. 1 Bye

Nov. 8 at Hiram
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