Last season, Rodricous Gates passed for 1,398 yards and 16 touchdowns to help lead Mundy’s Mill into the Class AAAAA quarterfinals. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
JONESBORO - Since their inaugural season in 2003, the Mundy’s Mill Tigers have had difficulty establishing themselves as a consistent playoff contender in Clayton County. However, last season gave reason to believe the program is headed in the right direction.
After losing their first four games, the Tigers went on a hot streak of eight straight wins before losing in the Class AAAAA quarterfinals at Gainesville in late November. It was the most successful season in their history, a major reason for that is the elevated play of quarterback Rodricous Gates.
“He’s the only quarterback I’ve had since I’ve been here, and he’s lead the team effectively,” Tigers coach Greg Manior said. “As a person he has the respect of his teammates due to his actions on and off of the field. He’s the leader of our team.”
Gates had a breakout season last year for the Tigers. He passed for over 1,398 yards and was a threat in the run offense as he had five rushing touchdowns. He expects to have an even better season this year and will shoulder more of the load as Mundy’s Mill only returns four offensive starters.
“We lost a good amount of starters from last year but I feel the guys we have now are ready to step up,” Gates said. “I’ve just been coaching up the younger and less experienced players as much as I can and telling them if we keep working, we’ll be successful.”
Mundy’s Mill runs a multiple set offense. Depending on the situation, the Tigers could be in a traditional pro-style formation or in a spread offensive look commonly seen by college teams like Oregon or Auburn. Since his first season as starting quarterback, Gates has cited that his mechanics and maturity as a passer has improved greatly. His work ethic does not go unnoticed by his teammates.
“I think Rod has stepped into the leadership role nicely so far, he’s more focused and ready to go,” offensive lineman Darius “Pancake” Anderson said. “The offense is progressing over the summer, and I expect for us to have a lot of exciting moments and big wins.”Anderson currently has 18 offers including East Carolina, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern and Old Dominion.
Gates has garnered the interest of several colleges, but has yet to receive an offer. With the season he expects to have he is confident that the offers will begin coming in, he hopes to major in sports medicine.
For now, Gates is focused on the future of the Mundy’s Mill Tigers, and taking them to new heights.
“Last year was a great year going to the third round but we can’t rest on that,” he said. “We’re looking to get back to that point if not farther, and I believe we got the team to do it.”