Martez Edwards looking to change culture in first season at Forest Park

Martez Edwards, center, will begin his first year, coaching, at Forest Park High School this season after successful stints in Tennessee and Alabama. (Special Photo: Hakim Wright Photography)

General Info

Head Coach: Martez Edwards (first season)

Region: 4-AAAAA

2016 Record: 1-9

Last Playoff Appearance: 2003

Schedule

Aug. 19 at Towers

Aug. 25 at Morrow

Sept. 1 at Locust Grove

Sept. 8 at Mary Persons

Sept. 15 South Atlanta

Sept. 22 at Alcovy

Sept. 29 at Camden County

Oct. 6 at Douglass-Atlanta

Oct. 20 at Osborne

Oct. 26 Clarkston

Key Returners

QB Rayshawn Meiser, DB/WR Quendarious Redden, DL/TE Justin Eboigbe, WR Jacquez Bailey, DL Buck Cooper

Key Departures

WR Avery Wilson, QB/DB Courtney Williams, RB Brendon Johnson

Overview

Martez Edwards was hired to lead the Forest Park football program in June. Edwards previously had success at Bessemer City High in Alabama from 2013-2016, where he posted an overall record of 30-18 and was a state finalist for Coach of the Year in 2013.

Edwards is the 11th head coach in 15 seasons for the program and will hope to lead the Panthers to multiple wins for the first time since 2013.

“The community is behind me, the administration has been very, very supportive,” Edwards said. “The players are coming to practice and we’ve increased our numbers — we should field a team of 60 guys. There is improvement. We started at a place where we couldn’t start much further but we’ve been able to get some things going.”

Offense

The Panthers will miss All-County wide receiver Avery Wilson, who is playing basketball at Boston College this season, but Quendarious Redden, Justin Eboigbe and Jacquez Bailey will be targets for quarterback RayShawn Meiser, who is returning for his junior season.

Leading rusher Brendon Johnson has graduated, opening up carries for several young players.

Defense

The Panthers will be strong up front defensively this season. Eboigbe and Buck Cooper have attracted attention on the recruiting scene and will be tasked with slowing down opposing offenses.

“The defensive line is strong. We have two great defensive ends — one has SEC offers in Justin Eboigbe and Buck Cooper will probably play his way into a scholarship — and we have a few tackles who can play ball,” Edwards said.

Redden will be asked to lead the secondary.

Luke Strickland is the sports editor of the Clayton News in Jonesboro and the Henry Herald in McDonough. He went to school at the University of Georgia.

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