Lovett has been one of the most consistent football programs in the state, as evidenced by its postseason streak dating back to 2002. The Lions have also not had a losing season since 2003.
However, the Lions have been eliminated in the second round of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state playoffs each of the previous four seasons. With a senior quarterback returning along with other veterans from a six-win squad last season, Lovett looks to take the next step forward in 2019.
“We had a really good summer and participation when the kids were here,” Lions coach Mike Muschamp said. “We have 56 players on our roster and 54 of them are multi-sport athletes, so it can be difficult to get things going in the summer. But I think they did a good job in the weight room with our strength and conditioning coach, Neal Peduzzi. Our kids get excited when fall camp comes.”
Lovett welcomes back three-year starter Blaine McAllister at quarterback this season. The Princeton commit had 2,232 total yards and 24 touchdowns last season for the Lions.
“Coming back has been awesome, cherishing this moment and realizing what it means,” McAllister said. “I’ve been playing football for a long time, so for this to be my final year representing my community is special.”
Said Muschamp, “Blaine showed leadership this offseason and did that last year as well. He has a great work ethic and high expectations of himself, and that translates well to what he does on the field for us. He will also have a calming influence on our offensive line, which we need to rebuild.”
Senior running back Henry Beery returns along with junior wide receivers Collin Goldberg and Andrew Pinkston.
The Lions will have multiple linemen play on both sides of the ball on offense and defense starting with senior Luke Wahl, who had 3.5 tackles for a loss last season. Senior Mike Valls leads the linebackers unit along with sophomore Stevie Bracey.
“Mike had injuries last season but returns and should do a good job for us, and Stevie had a great offseason for us,” Muschamp said.
Said McAllister, “Something I love this year is that the seniors have stepped up and taken leadership roles. We’ve bonded as a team and become close. Lovett is a winning program and our goal is to get past the second round. We’re willing to put our whole self into the program and buy in.”
Goldberg and Pinkston will also be defensive backs for Lovett alongside senior Aiden Camillo.
Lovett’s non-region schedule includes opponents Marist, Mary Persons and Greater Atlanta Christian, which each won more than 10 games last season.
“We’re going to have a lot of guys playing both ways this year, so avoiding injuries will be key for us,” Muschamp said. “Taking what we’ve done to this point of the year and maximizing it when the season starts. Our preparation has to be outstanding because the schedule we play is daunting. We embrace that because you for what you can see down the line in region play. It also motivates and challenges the kids in the offseason as well.”