Gridiron Preview 2020: Commerce

The Tigers have one of the longest playoff streaks in state history, which now sits at 23 years in a row. That’s a lot of pressure, but Michael Brown continues to show why Commerce football is always in the hunt for a region crown, and has to be considered a state title contender on an annual basis.

Head Coach: Michael Brown, 8th season
2019 Record:
9-3; State 2nd Round

On expectations, Brown has this to say:

“We try and make it about us…get better each day,” says Brown.

2020 Schedule

AUG 7 (SCRIMMAGE) – @ Apalachee ^not likely to be played due to COVID concerns
SEP 4 – @ Banks County
SEP 11 – vs Union County
SEP 18 – @ Athens Academy
SEP 25 – vs Elbert County
OCT 2 – BYE
OCT 9 – @ Mt. Paran
OCT 16 – vs Greene County*
OCT 23 – vs Towns County*
OCT 30 – BYE
NOV 6 – @ Social Circle*
NOV 13 – @ Washington-Wilkes*
NOV 20 – vs Lincoln County*

*8-A region game ^schedule edited to reflect recent GHSA decision to delay season by 2 weeks

Personnel & Schemes

Key Departures: Nate Ray, Sam Roach, Trahvon Wiggins, TJ Trudnak, Daniel Wilson

Key Returning Players: Tyelon Brock, Elijah Burns, Hunter Nunn, Jaylon Harralson, Josh Frates, Grey Holbrook, Trey Huff, Shawn Cunningham, Jake Frates, Chauncey Jackson

Losing a gamer and mainstay at QB, Nate Ray, is a big loss. He knew how to manage a game. Sam Roach is likewise a huge hit. However, just look at the number of key players coming back.

Up & Coming Players: Trey Huff, Dreylan Martin

Offense: Run-heavy, as usual in the triple option. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. These guys put up 36 points per game last year. No matter that some talent rolls off the roster…this program knows how to lock and reload. Who will start under center? It’ll be Trey Huff.

“Huff is a smart, tough player who understands the offense,” says Brown.

Brock will get his carries, and Shawn Cunningham (great hands) and Jake Frates (big target) will be the go-to receivers when needed.

Defense: Very disciplined in the 3-4 look. The Tigers gave up just under 17 per contest, and with what they have coming back on that end, it should be just as stingy as usual. A lot of big-time playmakers on defense. Chauncey Jackson (extremely strong and quick), Grey Holbrook, and Elijah Burns all will be relied upon heavily.

Strengths & Areas of Focus

Strengths: Defense. Again, under 17 allowed per game, and a good number of those standouts return. In fact, Commerce has 20 seniors, so Brown is expecting great leadership from those guys. The O-Line is also an area of strength, as the Tigers return four out of five starters from last year. The defensive line also returns two of three starters.

Focusing On: Strength and speed.

“As always, we have worked hard to get stronger and faster in the off-season,” says Brown. “Of course, the COVID outbreak interrupted this but we are making great gains right now in both areas.”

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