With a number of on-the-field leaders back for 2012, Dukes is setting that bar even higher for his team this fall.
“There was a point in time where this program was at a level that playoffs weren’t even talked about, so to hang that region championship banner last year was a huge deal,” said the Alpharetta coach of his team that went undefeated in region play in 2011.
“Now we have a lot of really good players coming back and we want to take that next step. We don’t just want to be a playoff team; we want to make a whole heck of a lot of noise in the playoffs in our quest of our ultimate state championship goals.”
A year ago, Alpharetta lost in the first round of the state playoffs to Lassiter on a blocked extra-point in overtime. Dukes went on to say that the fashion they saw their season end last year would only fuel the fire for playoff success in 2012.
“It’s going to motivate us this year. Will we get [to the state championship]? We don’t know yet, but those are the goals we have set.”
Dukes’ optimism revolves mainly around an offense that returns a wealth of fire-power from last year’s squad that lit up the scoreboard with regularity — averaging over 33 points per game and eclipsing the 40 point mark three times.
Leading that offense is senior quarterback Josh Dobbs who is behind center for his second year as a starter in Dukes’ fast-paced no-huddle attack.
Dobbs, who is committed to play at Arizona State, will have the luxury of two Division I commits to target on the outside — Carlos Burse (Vanderbilt) and Blake Rowlinson (Troy).
But even with all the weapons back at his skill positions, Dukes’ said he thought the keys to their season would be on both lines-of-scrimmage, with an offensive line needing to provide Dobbs adequate time to throw the ball and a defensive line that will be tested by a number of region teams with strong running games.
“A lot of the teams we play in region like Lambert, Chattahoochee, and Johns Creek do a great job of running the ball so we have to make sure we are strong there,” said the former Georgia Tech offensive lineman. “That’s football 101, control the line of scrimmage and everything else takes care of itself.”
9-21 West Forsyth
9-28 @South Forsyth
10-12 North Forsyth
11-9 @Johns Creek