By Doug Gorman
Eagle's Landing Christian first-year head football coach Nick Westbrook knows in order for the Chargers to win the Region 5-A title his club will have to beat Landmark Christian.
But the Chargers don't play the defending Region 5-A champs until the last game of the season, so there's plenty of football to be played in between.
That will give the Chargers a chance to duplicate last year's successful 8-3 season. Eagle's Landing Christian put a winning season in the record books in its first year as a member of the Georgia High School Association.
The Chargers were able to sneak up on some opponents last year, winning seven games in a row at one stretch.
Eagle's Landing Christian plays the same schedule this year, and Westbroke expects opponents to be ready.
"I don't think we will surprise anybody this time," he said . "We will have to be ready."
The Chargers lost to Landmark 34-21 in the regular-season finale, then fell to Hancock Central 20-12 in the first-round of the playoffs.
Westbrook was an assistant coach at ELCA last year, but took over when veteran coach Tim Luke elected to step down in order to spend more time with his family.
"The effort during practice has been great," he said.
The Chargers lost some key players to graduation, but bring back guards Tyler Black, Justin Martin, tackle Ross Clark, center B rady Howard and Russ Cooper, who can play both running back and quarterback.
Black is slated to play nose guard on defense. Cooper returns on defensive at the linebacker spot.
Cameron Panther also is a returning starter at linebacker.
The Chargers open the season on the road against Athens Christian. A year ago, the Chargers beat Athens Christian 28-0.
Aug. 19 at Athens Christian
Aug. 26 Bremen
Sept. 2 at Georgia Military
Sept. 9 Dutchtown
Sept. 23 at North Oconee
Sept. 30 Glascock County
Oct. 7 at Whitefield Academy *
Oct. 14 at Our Lady of Mercy *
Oct. 21 Mt. Zion-Carroll *
Oct. 28 Landmark Christian *
* Region 5-A game