Trojans set to be much younger in 2014
by Adam Carrington
acarrington@mdjonline.com
May 24, 2014 04:01 AM | 2563 views | 14 14 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Running back Mason Waters will be one of a limited few returning players for Lassiter this fall.
<Br>Staff photo by Samantha M. Shal
Running back Mason Waters will be one of a limited few returning players for Lassiter this fall.
Staff photo by Samantha M. Shal
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Lassiter’s football team has been to the state playoffs six straight years, and its goal this fall is to make it seven.

But the Trojans will be taking a slightly different approach after graduating 34 seniors, most of whom were starters last fall. Lassiter coach Jep Irwin feels confident at the offensive skill positions, but the remaining positions are up for grabs, especially on defense, where there are no starters coming back.

After winning five straight games to end the regular season and claim the Region 5AAAAAA title, the Trojans (7-4) are relying on last fall’s role players to become leaders. As a result, Irwin and his staff kept spring practice simple by concentrating strictly only on basic fundamentals.

A future bright spot for Lassiter could be its sophomore-heavy roster. Last year’s freshman team went 6-1, winning games by an average of three touchdowns.

“We have a large sophomore class, but they’re sophomores,” Irwin cautioned. “It’s a different kind of team than we have had in the past. Now, it looks like we will have more first-time juniors playing this year, and a lot of sophomores who will play a significant role. That’s OK. It happens from time to time.”

With a younger team, Lassiter will depend greatly on its skill players to lead the way.

Senior Russell Aarons is the projected starting quarterback after splitting time between quarterback and receiver last season. Senior Oris Lawhorn and sophomore Mason Waters are experienced in the backfield.

Receiver Pearson Vanhorn, a rising senior, is returning this season after playing in the slot, and rising junior Cole Taylor could have an expanded role after taking a few snaps last year.

But new faces will likely occupy remaining starting wide receiver positions to help fill the shoes of graduates Quincy Perdue, Blake Penter and Duby Nwaubi.

There will be experience on the offensive line, with seniors Phillip Murray and Gregg Wentz returning, but the remaining positions up front are still wide-open.

The same goes with every position on defense.

“It’s a young team, but I’m really excited to coach this group,” Irwin said. “Coaches will have to adjust to the fact that we’re coaching inexperienced guys.”

Rising senior Jacob Chambers has the most experience on the defensive line, while senior linebacker Corey Gildea is coming off a solid spring. Rising junior Alex Adams has the most experience at safety, and Lassiter will have to replace both of its cornerbacks.

The opening portion of the Trojans’ 2014 schedule will test the young squad immediately. They will open the season with three of the county’s top teams in Hillgrove, Kell and Walton.

“We’re not good right now, but we don’t need to be,” Irwin said. “We’re going to get our chance against Hillgrove and Kell. We want to play those games and be a program that plays a tough schedule. Our goal is the same, but we’re starting at a different place.”
Comments
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5 so far
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June 09, 2014
I was at practice this morning and heard of five move in players this year. Two from Kennesaw, one from Westminster, one from Woodstock and one from out of state. According to a one Dad he said they are trying to bring in a QB from Cartersville.
JackLambert
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June 14, 2014
If that's true, I hope all the real players walk away...be hard to play with 5
Jack Lambert
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June 02, 2014
So the lessons these kids have learned...

It doesn't matter how talented you are...

It doesn't matter how smart you are...

It doesn't matter how hard you've worked...

It doesn't matter if you have a work ethic...

It doesn't matter that you have integrity...

It doesn't matter that you're a team player...

It doesn't matter that you love the game and just want to play...

What matters in life is who you're connected to and what you're willing to do/pay to get the position you want - regardless of your qualifications...NICE

But you know what? In the real world, you'll get sued for that.

And what disturbs me the most is that it's ADULTS (a person who has achieved maturity) who are playing these games and allow this to go on - most-likely for their egos, resumes, or personal ambitions.

What is lost is love for the game, excitement, passion, faith in coaches and parents, the sense of accomplishment after hard work.

When did the "adult" agenda become more important than what's best for kids in public education?

This is probably too deep for most of you, but take a look at our world...is this really what we want to leave our kids with?

Might be just "high school football", but I say how you do anything is how you do everything.
Jack Lambert
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June 02, 2014
One can only fight so many battles at a time...

Bad enough the transfer stuff goes on...at least have a clear competition and put the better player on the field...

That isn't what happened at Lassiter last year and EVERYONE knows it.
well...
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June 01, 2014
The entire "transfer" issue, no matter the school, becomes a non-issue of sitting out, etc as long as the family buys or rents a house/apartment in a given district/school zone.

And with NCLB, any intra-county transfers just have to be granted approval by the school they are going to and then the central office I believe.

So while it has become the "in" thing to constantly go after Lassiter for football recently, why not look at Wheeler for basketball, or Walton for a couple of sports, Kell for football, etc, etc. Or go look at N. Gwinnett for football, Mill Grove for basketball, Colquitt for football, anywhere else in the state.

Goes on in every county and at any school that has a perceived advantage in a given activity or sport or academics.

Not saying there don't need to be changes, but if the GHSA won't look into Roswell breaking the rules in lacrosse this past year and getting a championship out of it...
well... WHAT?
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June 02, 2014
This is an article about Lassiter football. A very fair question was asked about transfers to the football program for the 2014 season.

For the past six years Lassiter has been the landing spot for several high profile players. Last year a QB came from a private school who had ties to a member of the coaching staff at Lassiter. Who is the next player to transfer to Lassiter is a very good question. Our highly regarded local paper may not ask the tough question but the big elephant in the room is still there.

Remember, news papers used to be the reason many "wrong" situations were made "right" when the negative publicity made those in charge react to the publicity.

vivienne1932
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June 02, 2014
Not an "in thing to constantly go after Lassiter for football recently". (Do you read every article and comment about every sport in the Atlanta area?)

"Goes on in every county and at any school that has a perceived advantage in a given activity or sport or academics"...sounds like a kid saying to a parent,"But everyone else is doing it..."

If everyone else is jumping off a bridge, does that make it a good idea?!

Clearly, "common sense" isn't so common anymore...
well...
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June 02, 2014
I understand the fuss about what happened last year. But from all information at the time last year, it was done within the rules.

Hell, a Walton player just moved to the Peachtree Ridge district. I haven't heard any comments on that, from Walton people or PTR people. Would the reaction have been different if that player and his family decided to stay in the county?

I am sure there will be new faces at Lassiter that join the football program in all grades this year that were not there last year. Just like I am sure the band program will see some new faces. And just like any other school in the county will see new faces on any of their athletic teams that were not there the previous season, whether they are transfers within the county for hardships and/or NCLB, move-ins from elsewhere in the state, or a family moving to the ares from out of state and picking a desired school district and zone.

Again, I am not enthused by the constant moving around that happens for the sake of getting noticed to play or participate in a sport or activity at the college level. But people need to realize it isn't just one school that it happens at. Where are the comments over Wheeler basketball and what has gone on there for years?
vivienne1932
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May 31, 2014
Why pinpoint Lassiter...let's see...most transfers have to sit out a year after transferring, just to make sure someone didn't "happen" to move just so their kid could "get more exposure to D1 schools" if he happened to "emerge as the better player"...anyone else smell that?

...and look how "that" turned out...

You want to move to another school district because you think your kid is that great, fine. Let him or her sit out of athletics for a year.

Hardship stuff is BS...take your kid out of private school and put him in the public school where you live. If you're suffering "financial hardship", how can you afford to move?

Anyone else smell that?

Rumor has it there's some QB recruiting going on...I know that doesn't "really" happen, but on the off chance it did, I hope every single football player doesn't show up for the first game!
Slip Knot
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May 27, 2014
Does Lassiter have any random transfers this year?
Why Ask
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May 27, 2014
Why would you ask this question only on the Lassiter article? I can assure you that ALL schools get transfers.
Slip Knot
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May 29, 2014
Why would you get so defensive Coach?
Why Ask
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May 30, 2014
I'm not a coach. I'm not even associated with the Lassiter program. It is a very fair question that I asked you. Why not post the same question on the other teams articles? The reason is you know darn good and well that families move and kids transfer all over the state. Why pinpoint Lassiter?
JackLambert
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June 01, 2014
All schools might get "transfers", but they're supposed to sit out a year. Not the case-well-known-at Lassiter last year.
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