Lumpkin County 2019 Preview: 7 Things to Know About the Indians
A new era opens for the Indians in Dahlonega, with Caleb Sorrells taking over the program after running the thrilling offense for the Indians up in Toccoa (Stephens County). Sorrells has some good pieces to work with in Tucker Kirk, Kevin Harkins, Ethan Kline, and Drew Allison. The receiving corp needs to be identified early if the passing game will be a thing in year one. Aaron Hopkins is a legit next level player, and expect him to have a monster senior season and get some more suitors lined up.
A 3-7 season last year left much to be desired, but a change in philosophy and direction will make things exciting in Dahlonega once again.
7 Things To Know About the Indians
1. Old Faces Might Look New
Tucker Kirk ran the offense under center last year, but was rarely seen throwing the ball. Expect that to change, as he will showcase what he can do with his arm and his feet. Aaron Hopkins and Ryan Burkhart at TE will be crucial pieces for Kirk and the offense. Drew Allison on the other side of the ball is a name to look out for.
2. Strength is in Enthusiasm
The guys on this team, according to Sorrells, are “bought in and excited to be more than just the same old Lumpkin.” Family, momentum, and enthusiasm gives this program a much-needed jumpstart.
3. Culture Shock
The focus for the Indians has been establishing the right culture. This means “little things are big things,” says Sorrells. “Nothing matters til we get those right.”
4. Are You Ready for Some Magic?
Sorrells has a knack for the RPO-style offense. This means the tight ends will be key to making this work as viable options to catch the ball and/or block. It’s a simple offense with the illusion of complexity. That means a lot of missed tackles by opposing teams. Kirk will star at QB once again, while the featured back will be BoJack Dowdy, and Trey Wilkes as the go-to wideout.
5. Stopping the Spread
The Indians will go to a 4-2-5 defense, thus looking to stop the spread. This is huge in Region 7-AAA, especially if Lumpkin can be effective at doing it. Roy Bennett (DB), Ethan Kline (LB), and Hopkins (DE) will be PIVOTAL to keeping points off the board. This style of defense makes it easier for defenses to adjust on the fly and organize, as well as be prepared to handle high-tempo offenses.
6. Youthful Line
The Indians are young but solid on the O-Line, anchored by Ricky Hicks at center, Cam Simpson at tackle, and Jason Chamblee at the guard position. The depth in the trenches is always going to be an issue, but that is true for almost any team.
7. Can’t Afford Injuries
Staying healthy in 2019 will be absolutely imperative for the Indians to compete for a playoff spot. “If we can avoid injuries, improve every week, and stay together, we can definitely compete for a playoff spot,” says Sorrells. “If any of those three don’t happen, it will be tough.”