At the Helm: A look at the head coaches in 2020

As we enter the 2020 football season, it’s always a MUST to see who will lead each team on the gridiron this season. Three coaches took over programs last year, but this year we have all the same guys at the reins for all programs.

Here are the coaches leading the programs, and their respective track records (order by number of seasons).

Sid Maxwell – Dawson County Tigers

26 Seasons // 6th Year at Dawson Co

Maxwell enters year six at Dawson County and 26th season overall as a head coach. There are few better football minds roaming the sidelines in the state of Georgia. He knows how to get his guys to buy in, knows how to win, and knows how to play to his strengths.

Total Record: 170-100

2019: 8-4 (4-2 7-AAA); 2nd Round

All Stops (3)
Dawson Co: 42-17 (2015-Present [5 years])
Lambert: 31-16 (2009-13 [5 years])
Sequoyah: 97-67 (1994-2008 [15 years])

Playoffs: 16 Appearances (11-16); 2 Quarterfinals Runs [’04, ’15]

Region Titles: 2 [2015; 2003]

All-State Players: 23

Outlook: Maxwell and his 170 wins rank 20th among all active coaches in Georgia. His demeanor is incredible. He’ll get the most out of his players, play to their strengths, and usually out-coaches the guy on the opposing sideline.

Brian Allison – Union Co Panthers

25 Seasons // 19th Year at Union Co

Allison enters his 19th year at Union County and 25th overall.

Total Record: 142-107

2019: 10-2 (6-1 8-AA); 2nd Round

All Stops (2)
Union Co: 117-71 (1996-01; 2009-Present [19 years])
Winder Barrow: 25-36 (2002-07 [6 years])

Playoffs: 8 Appearances (1-8)

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 15

Outlook: Allison finally got the much-anticipated playoff win last year, and a 10-win season at Union County, both firsts for the program. His son Pierson was the third straight QB to rack up some major stats, so it will be interesting to see who he replaces that production with in 2020.

Tim Cokely – White Co Warriors

13 Seasons in GA (26 Overall) // 4th Year at White Co

Cokely is in his 26th season now as a head coach, and enters year four in control of the White County program.

Total Record: 46-40 in GA; 163-82 *incomplete FL records

2019: 5-5 (2-4 7-AAAA); No Playoffs

All Stops (6)
White Co: 15-17 (2017-Present [3 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: 9

Outlook: This is the year for Cokely and the Warriors. This will tell all for his hire. His first year at WC was incredible, taking a 1-9 program and immediately making it a 7-4 playoff team. But now with J Ben Haynes entering his senior year, and plenty of weapons around, this is HIS team.

Wesley Tankersley – Stephens Co Indians

13 Seasons // 3rd Year at Stephens Co

Tankersley enters his 13th season overall and third at Stephens County.

Total Record: 71-59

2019: 1-9 (0-4 8-AAAA); No Playoffs

All Stops (3)
Stephens Co: 6-15 (2018-Present [2 years])
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: 19

Outlook: Tankersley had a very rough 2019 season, marred by many of his players getting injured. He loses a very talented back in Hudson Spurlock, but now that the offense can flow through more than just him, it opens things up for returning playmakers Kenny Colwell (QB) and Gamarion Carter (WR).

Gene Cathcart – Jefferson Dragons

10 Seasons in GA (16 Overall) // 4th Year at Jefferson

Cathcart enters his fourth year at JHS and 13th overall.

Total Record: 68-35 in GA; 135-50 overall

2019: 10-2 (6-0 8-AAA); Quarterfinals; Region Champions

All Stops (4)
Jefferson: 28-8 (2017-Present [3 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: 6 Appearances [12 Overall] (8-6); 8 Quarterfinals runs in GA & SC [’06, ’07, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’17; ’19]; 3 State Championship Appearances [’10, ’11, ’12]; 1 State Title [’12]

Region Titles: 3 [2019, 2007, 2006]

All-State Players: 17

Outlook: Cathcart is now in his fourth year over the Dragons program, and after a region title and quarterfinals run, 2020 should prove to be just as good or even better. He’ll just have to figure out who becomes the defacto leader after graduating Colby Clark.

Benji Harrison – Habersham Raiders

9 Seasons // 6th Year at Habersham

Harrison enters year nine overall and six at Habersham Central.

Total Record: 30-54

2019: 3-7 (0-5 8-AAAAAA); No Playoffs

All Stops (2)
Habersham Central: 18-34 (2015-Present [5 years])
Jackson Co: 12-20 (2012-14 [3 years])

Playoffs: 3 Appearances (1-3)

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 8

Outlook: Harrison and the Raiders struggled in 2019, but return All-State player Joshua Pickett and star RB Jackson Clouatre. A lot rides on those two guys. However, it’s a brand new region, and three powerhouse programs including maybe the best of all-time in Buford join in…

Jason Roquemore – Towns Co Indians

9 Seasons // 2nd Year at Towns Co

This is Roquemore’s second year as head coach at Towns County and ninth overall.

Total Record: 16-64

2019: 0-10 (0-7 8-A); No Playoffs

All Stops (2)
Towns Co: 0-10 (2019-Present [1 years])
Johnson: 16-54 (2012-18 [7 years])

Playoffs: 0

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 0

Outlook: Roquemore can only go up from last year in which the team featured so many inexperienced players. And upward momentum this year will be welcomed by Towns County.

Michael Brown – Commerce Tigers

8 Seasons // 8th Year at Commerce

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

Total Record: 62-23

2019: 9-3 (6-1 8-A); 2nd Round

All Stops (1)
Commerce: 62-23 (2013-Present [7 years])

Playoffs: 7 Appearances (12-7); 2 Semifinal runs [’14, ’15], 2 Quarterfinal runs [’16, ’18]

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 18

Outlook: The playoff streak continues for the Tigers, and no sign of letting up. Brown returns some incredible playmakers who are hungry to build off of last season. That said, it’s unknown to us at this point as to who takes over under center, seeing as the heir-apparent Landon Bunn moved on to Jackson County.

Jay Reid – Banks Co Leopards

3 Seasons // 3rd Year at Banks Co

Reid enters his third season at Banks and overall.

Total Record: 7-13

2019: 3-7 (2-5 Region 8-AA); No Playoffs

All Stops (1)
Banks Co: 7-13 (2018-Present [2 years])

Playoffs: 0

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 0

Outlook: Reid’s team was about the same in both of his first two seasons. He’ll be looking to make strides in year three, as this is a better representation of HIS guys once you coach for three seasons.

Jaybo Shaw – Rabun Co Wildcats

2 Seasons // 2nd Year at Rabun Co

Jaybo Shaw enters his second season over the Rabun program and second overall as a head coach.

Total Record: 12-1

2019: 12-1 (7-0 Region 8-AA); Quarterfinals; Region Champions

All Stops (1)
Rabun Co: 12-1 (2019-Present [1 year])

Playoffs: 1; 1 Quarterfinals run [’19]

Region Titles: 1 [2019]

All-State Players: 4

Outlook: It was about as good as you could ask for in year one of the Jaybo Shaw era at Rabun. Undefeated regular season, another region title (6 in a row), another quarterfinals run (5 in a row), and a #1-state ranking during the season. Incredible offense and defense that will be arguably better (Gunner Stockton, anyone?) in 2020.

Caleb Sorrells – Lumpkin Co Indians

2 Seasons // 2nd Year at Lumpkin Co

This is Sorrell’s second year at Lumpkin and overall.

Total Record: 1-9

2019: 1-9 (0-6 Region 7-AAA)

All Stops (1)
Lumpkin Co: 1-9 (2019-Present [1 year])

Playoffs: 0

Region Titles: 0

All-State Players: 0

Outlook: Sorrells has more time to develop his system. This year might still see some growing pains, but it’s a process, and we should see improvement for sure.

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