When the final whistle of 2018 sounded, the North Clayton Eagles and head coach Cap Burnett were looking at one of the worst seasons of recent memory. North Clayton was 1-9 and missed the playoffs after making it in the past two seasons under Burnett.
No one wants to repeat the performance of 2018. Burnett says that’s something they’ve been preaching since last year.
”We had a team meeting and I told them it wasn’t going to happen again, I promise you,” Burnett said.
“I put that on me, that 1-9 season, I put that on my back. They are children and they shouldn’t worry about it. That’s over with. That 1-9, that’ll never happen again at North Clayton.”
Offensively, the team only managed 6.3 points per game while their defense gave up a staggering 31.8 through the 10-game season.
The defense was young in 2018 and will have aged but there will be several two-way players this season. Even so, Terry Essex on the line returns to action for his senior campaign.
Offensively, 6-foot-4 senior wide receiver and tight end Onuma Dieke has returned with quarterback Courtney Colbert set to pass him the ball.
Even though the program finished 1-9 last season Burnett says that it’s a blessing for him.
”I was able to refocus,” Burnett said. “The 1-9 season opened my eyes and kinda got me back to homing in on my craft and just trying to make it better. It’s not about me. I want to see these children sign and my coaches shine. Whatever I had to do during the offseason, I did.”
♦ Head Coach: Cap Burnett (third season)
♦ 2018 Record: 1-9
♦ Region: 4-AAAA
Last Playoff: 2017
Key Losses:♦ ATH Isaiah Bell, DB/RB Devin Freeman, DB Jamoriyan Eutsey
Key Returners:♦ TE/WR Onuma Dieke, DL Terry Essex, QB/DB Courtney Colbert
Aug. 23 at Riverdale
Aug. 29 Woodland
Sept. 6 at Rome
Sept. 20 at Eastside
Oct. 4 Hampton
Oct. 11 at McDonough
Oct. 18 Druid Hills
Oct. 25 at Luella
Nov. 1 at Woodward Academy
Nov. 7 Salem