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Local teams get ready for season's second half
by Greg Oshust
October 02, 2013 12:36 PM | 3502 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Erin Sheppard<br>
Lovett's Grant Haley (10) tackles St. Pius X quarterback Joey Connors (11) during the Lions' 28-7 win over Golden Lions Sept. 20.
Special / Erin Sheppard
Lovett's Grant Haley (10) tackles St. Pius X quarterback Joey Connors (11) during the Lions' 28-7 win over Golden Lions Sept. 20.
Local football teams are now preparing to enter their region schedules as they begin the second half of the 2013 season.

Lovett (5-0) appears to be in good shape to win a second consecutive Region 6AA championship and make a serious run at the Class AA state title.

It was a very successful first half of the season for the Lions, who have wins over Class AAAA powerhouse Marist and AAA stalwarts St. Pius X and Woodward to their credit.

“I’m pleased with the progress that we’re making,” Lovett coach Mike Muschamp said. “We still have an awful lot of room for improvement. But I’m very happy with the way the kids are playing. I’m very happy with the attitude they’re playing with and the intensity they’re bringing every Friday night.”

Marist (2-2) still has high hopes of repeating as 6AAAA champions and making another deep postseason run in AAAA after a challenging early season that included losses to Lovett and Thomas County Central.

“After two close losses, we have gone back to the basics of playing with more passion, physicality and intensity,” Marist coach Alan Chadwick said. “We have had two good weeks of practice and we’re anxious see where we are.”

St. Pius X (3-1) was rolling along with wins over Westminster, North Oconee and Thomson before being knocked back a step with its loss to Lovett. The Golden Lions bounced back last Friday with a 45-7 win over Towers.

Pace (3-2) has been one of the big stories of the first half of the season under new coach Chris Slade.

The Knights established themselves as a team to watch after a surprising 42-9 win over Class A state powerhouse Athens Academy and also had convincing wins over Whitefield and King’s Ridge Christian before suffering a 28-18 loss to First Presbyterian Day Sept. 20 and a 22-14 defeat at the hands of Our Lady of Mercy last Friday.

“I’m very proud of the way the guys have responded,” Slade said. “The coaching staff has done an outstanding job preparing guys to play every week. We still have a long way to go, but I’m just excited about the program and the direction it’s going in at this point in time.”

Westminster (3-3) hopes that its tough early season schedule, with losses to Blessed Trinity, St. Pius and Woodward, will prepare it for its 6AA schedule as the Wildcats prepare to challenge Lovett for the region title.

“We are looking forward to region play,” Westminster assistant coach Joe Sturniolo said. “We play in one of the hardest, most competitive regions in the state and if we can get through our region with a playoff spot, we should be well positioned to make a run.”

Riverwood (3-2) looks to contend for a state playoff berth in 7AAAAA, beating Cambridge, Holy Innocents’ and North Springs before losing to Sequoyah 32-28 Sept. 20 and Northview 34-32 last Friday.

“We are at a point where we feel good about our offense and special teams,” Riverwood coach Robert Ingram said. “Defensively, we are making adjustments to give us a deep run for a playoff bid.”

Holy Innocents’ (2-3) will try to get back on track as it enters its 5A schedule after losing its last three games in a row.

North Springs (1-3), Mount Vernon Presbyterian (1-4) and North Atlanta (0-5) will look to continue their progress in the second half as they proceed with their respective rebuilding programs.

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