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At the Helm: A look at the head coaches in 2019

Gone is legendary head coach Lee Shaw, who stepped down after what was nothing short of a Hall-of-Fame worthy career. The list of other coaches from 2018 who moved on includes Lumpkin County’s Shane Williamson, and Towns County’s John Cornett.

Taking their spots are: Jaybo Shaw (Rabun), Caleb Sorrells (Lumpkin), and Jason Roquemore (Towns). For Shaw and Sorrells, it will be their first shot as head coaches. Here are the guys leading the programs, and their respective track records.


Sid Maxwell – Dawson County Tigers

25 Seasons // 5th Year at Dawson Co

Maxwell enters year five at Dawson County and 25th season overall as a head coach. There are few better football minds roaming the sidelines in the state of Georgia.

Total Record: 162-96

2018: 10-2 (9-1 7-AAA); 2nd Round

All Stops (3)
Dawson Co: 34-13 (2015-Present [4 years])
Lambert: 31-16 (2009-13 [5 years])
Sequoyah: 97-67 (1994-2008 [15 years])

Playoffs: 15 Appearances (10-15); 2 Quarterfinals Runs [’04, ’15]

Region Titles: 2 [2015; 2003]

All-State Players: 21

Outlook: Maxwell and his 162 wins rank 23rd among all active coaches in Georgia. He’s the type of guy that easily gets his players to buy in because they trust him and his main objective is to turn boys into men, on and off the field.


Brian Allison – Union Co Panthers

24 Seasons // 18th Year at Union Co

Allison enters his 18th year at Union County and 24th overall.

Total Record: 132-105

2018: 9-2 (6-1 8-AA); 1st Round

All Stops (2)
Union Co: 107-69 (1996-01; 2009-Present [18 years])
Winder Barrow: 25-36 (2002-07 [6 years])

Playoffs: 7 Appearances (0-7)

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 14

Outlook: Allison surpassed 100 wins at Union County last year, and entered the final game with a shot at a region title. He has been the victim of some terrible luck once in the playoffs, getting tough draws almost every time and going 0-7 despite a few games being played on the home turf. Allison is one of only 8 coaches in Class 2A to be at the same school for more than 10 years. The first year in 2A after playing up for a couple years paid off bigtime. These guys are ready to go in 2019.


Tim Cokely – White Co Warriors

12 Seasons in GA (25 Overall) // 3rd Year at White Co

Cokely is in his 25th season now as a head coach, and still one of most influential on high school kids. This is his third season at the helm of the Warriors program.

Total Record: 41-35 in GA; 163-82 *incomplete FL records

2018: 3-8 (2-4 7-AAAA); 1st Round

All Stops (6)
White Co: 10-12 (2017-Present [2 years])
Leon (FL): 20-23 (2013-16 [4 years])
Marianna (FL): 8-2 (2012 [1 year])
Greater Atlanta Christian: 17-5 (2010-11 [1 year])
North Florida Christian (FL): 94-22 (1995-2004; 2008-09 [12 years])
Colquitt Co: 14-18 (2005-07 [3 years])

Playoffs: 4 Appearances [16 Overall] (2-4); 10 Quarterfinals runs in FL [’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’03, ’04, ’08]; 7 State Championship Games [’95, ’96, ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’08]; 6 State Titles in FL [’96, ’98, ’99, ’00, ’01, ’08]

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 8

Outlook: Cokely won when he had to last season. Despite three wins, he got the young Warriors into the playoffs yet again. Expect much the same this season, but these guys have now had three years under him.


Wesley Tankersley – Stephens Co Indians

12 Seasons // 2nd Year at Stephens Co

Tankersley did very well in year one at Stephens. His second year should be even better.

Total Record: 70-50

2018: 5-6 (1-3 8-AAAA); 2nd Round

All Stops (3)
Stephens Co: 5-6 (2018-Present [1 year])
Ridgeland: 24-10 (2015-17 [3 years])
Gilmer: 41-34 (2008-14 [7 years])

Playoffs: 8 Appearances (3-8)

Region Titles: 2 [2017, 2016]

All-State Players: 18

Outlook: Tankersley did exceptional in taking a program going through a complete rebuild, and won the biggest rivalry game around (over Habersham) and getting the Indians to the playoffs. That’s just the tip of the iceberg as they say.


Gene Cathcart – Jefferson Dragons

9 Seasons in GA (12 Overall) // 3rd Year at Jefferson

Cathcart had a great last couple of years at Jefferson, and in year three we could see the best yet for the Dragons.

Total Record: 46-30 in GA; 125-48 overall

2018: 8-3 (5-1 8-AAA); 1st Round

All Stops (4)
Jefferson: 18-6 (2017-Present [2 years])
Seneca (SC): 9-3 (2014 [1 year])
Greenwood (SC): 58-12 (2009-13 [5 years])
Habersham Central: 40-27 (2003-08 [6 years])

Playoffs: 5 Appearances [11 Overall] (6-5); 7 Quarterfinals runs in GA & SC [’06, ’07, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’17]; 3 State Championship Appearances [’10, ’11, ’12]; 1 State Title [’12]

Region Titles: 2 [2007, 2006]

All-State Players: 14

Outlook: Cathcart is now in his third season over the Dragons’ program, which means these guys are HIS. He knows how to win, and this group is very solid and have made winning a habit. It’s not IF they make the playoffs, it’s “how far?”


Benji Harrison – Habersham Raiders

8 Seasons // 5th Year at Habersham

Harrison enters year eight overall and five at Habersham Central.

Total Record: 27-47

2018: 7-5 (3-2 8-AAAAAA); 2nd Round

All Stops (2)
Habersham Central: 15-27 (2015-Present [4 years])
Jackson Co: 12-20 (2012-14 [3 years])

Playoffs: 3 Appearances (1-3)

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 7

Outlook: Harrison got Habersham its first playoff win in this decade in getting the Raiders to the Sweet 16. The roster undergoes a major re-haul, and we will see a fourth straight year with a new quarterback. Harrison is a player’s coach, and it will be interesting to see how he re-tools this team for another tough run in the region.


Jason Roquemore – Towns Co Indians

8 Seasons // 1st Year at Towns Co

This is Roquemore’s first year as head coach at Towns County and eighth overall.

Total Record: 16-54

2018: 4-6 (0-5 8-AAAAA)

All Stops (2)
Towns Co: 0-0 (2019-Present [0 years])
Johnson: 16-54 (2012-18 [7 years])

Playoffs: 0

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 0

Outlook: Seven years at Johnson for Roquemore brings a lot of experience to Towns County. The Indians are now a year removed from their first-ever playoff run, and Roquemore could take the program to the next level in 8-A after coaching in 4A & 5A.


Michael Brown – Commerce Tigers

7 Seasons // 7th Year at Commerce

The Commerce native leads his very own Tigers in year seven.

Total Record: 53-20

2018: 10-3 (3-1 8-A); Quarterfinals

All Stops (1)
Commerce: 53-20 (2013-Present [6 years])

Playoffs: 6 Appearances (11-6)

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 17

Outlook: The playoff streak continues and will continue to motor through with Brown at the helm. The sky is the limit for this guy and the Tigers.


Jay Reid – Banks Co Leopards

2 Seasons // 2nd Year at Banks Co

Reid’s first year at Banks was nothing to sneeze at. Should build off that as the program gains traction and identity.

Total Record: 4-6

2018: 4-6

All Stops (1)
Banks Co: 4-6 (2018-Present [1 year])

Playoffs: 0

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 0

Outlook: Reid had a respectable first season for the Leopards, and now that he is on to year two, we should see solid strides for Banks County.


Jaybo Shaw – Rabun Co Wildcats

1 Season // 1st Year at Rabun Co

This is Shaw’s first shot as head coach, but he’s no stranger to the program or the game. The Wildcats’ success over the past few years have been a direct result of his play-calling on offense. So expect much more of that!

Total Record: 0-0

2018: N/A

All Stops (1)
Rabun Co: 0-0 (2019-Present [0 years])

Playoffs: 0

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 0

Outlook: It’s hard to consider Jaybo a rookie head coach. He’s done so much for so long now, and is a huge part of the success Rabun County has had recently. There is much excitement about him getting his first crack as head coach.


Caleb Sorrells – Lumpkin Co Indians

1 Season // 1st Year at Lumpkin Co

This is Sorrell’s first shot as a head coach, but he, like Jaybo Shaw (above) is no stranger to play-calling. He did a great job with Stephens County as an OC, and made a very young team gel together quickly with a dangerous offense.

Total Record: 0-0

2018: N/A

All Stops (1)
Lumpkin Co: 0-0 (2019-Present [0 years])

Playoffs: 0

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 0

Outlook: Sorrells made a young offense very lethal at Stephens County. There’s no reason to think he can’t do the same with the other Indians from Lumpkin County. This will be interesting.

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