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In Day 4 of our Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic Preview, we break down the North Gwinnett-Camden County game. See below for a preview of each team and an overall glance at the matchup.

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In This Issue
Metro PCS Corky Kell Schedule
Camden vs. North Gwinnett Preview
Camden County Preview
North Gwinnett Preview
Score Poll
Best Stories From Around the State
How many touchdowns did North Gwinnett wideout Caleb Scott score last season?
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!
Wednesday's Answer:
In five appearances in the Corky Kell Classic, Grayson has lost once. 



Georgia Dome Aug. 24




Kell vs. Chattahoochee




Peachtree Ridge vs. Walton



2:30 p.m.

Grayson vs. Colquitt County




Camden County vs. North Gwinnett




Brookwood vs. McEachern 8:30p.m.








Camden County


8/24    North Gwinnett

8/30    Baker Co., Fla.

9/6      Johnson-Savannah

9/13    Beach

9/27    Valdosta

10/4    At Coffee

10/11  At Tift County

10/25  At Brunswick

11/1    Lowndes

11/8    Colquitt County




North Gwinnett



8/24    Camden County

8/30    At Grayson

9/13    At Norcross

9/20    Meadowcreek

10/4    At Duluth

10/11   Mill Creek

10/18  At Habersham Central

10/25  Collins Hill

11/1    At Mountain View

11/8    Peachtree Ridge








1.  Norcross
2.  Colquitt Co.
3.  North Gwinnett
4.  McEachern
5.  Lowndes
6.  North Cobb
7.  Mill Creek
8.  Walton
9.  Lovejoy
10. Peachtree Ridge


1.  Gainesville
2.  Northside-WR
3.  Thomas Co. Central
4.  Stephenson
5.  Flowery Branch
6.  Tucker
7.  Kell
8.  ML King
9.  Whitewater
10. Ware Co.


1.  Sandy Creek
2.  Burke Co.
3.  Carrollton
4.  Cairo
5.  Marist
6.  Griffin
7.  Statesboro
8.  Westside-Macon
9.  Stockbridge
10. Monroe Area


1.  Buford
2.  Peach Co.
3.  Thomson
4.  Carver-Columbus
5.  St. Pius X
6.  Cartersville
7.  North Hall
8.  Washington Co.
9.  Blessed Trinity
10. North Oconee


1.  Calhoun
2.  Brooks Co.
3.  GAC
4.  Fitzgerald
5.  Lamar Co.
6.  Jefferson
7.  Cook
8.  Washington-Wilkes
9.  Lovett
10. Vidalia

1.  ELCA
2.  George Walton Academy
3.  Prince Ave. Christian
4.  Savannah Christian
5.  Landmark Christian
6.  Brookstone
7.  First Presbyterian
8.  Darlington
9.  Athens Academy
10. Holy Innocents'


1.  Lincoln Co.
2.  Wilcox Co.
3.  Irwin Co.
4.  Wilkinson Co.
5.  Seminole Co.
6.  ECI
7.  Marion Co.
8.  Miller Co.
9.  Charlton Co.
10. Dooly Co.


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

By Stephen Black

Powers collide as Bulldogs face Wildcats 



North Gwinnett Bulldogs Football


This matchup of Class AAAAAA titans will be a contrast of styles as the dynamic spread offense attack of North Gwinnett faces the grind-it-out Wing-T running game of Camden County. The two power programs have only met once in football, a 35-0 Camden County thrashing of the Bulldogs in the 2009 state quarterfinals.   

Both programs have been fixtures in the top 10 in recent years and each has made multiple runs through the state playoffs. The Wildcats have won three state titles since 2003 while North Gwinnett has made the quarterfinals five times since 2006. While North Gwinnett has won 10 games or more seven straight seasons, Camden County's streak of double-digit win seasons stretches back to 2001.


Welton Coffey steps in to try to fill the shoes of former Camden County coach Jeff Herron, who is now at Prince Avenue Christian. Coffey is familiar with the Wildcats' system, as he has been with the Kingsland school since 2006. Coffey was an assistant coach at Valdosta for three seasons prior to coming to Camden County. Coffey was head coach at Raines (Fla.) for six seasons, which included a Class AAAA state championship in 1997.


North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire has been with the Suwanee school since 2006 and has won 10 or more games in each season. The Brandenburg, Ky., native holds an impressive 78-13 record with the Bulldogs and also had successful high school coaching stints at Knott County Central (Ky.) and Lexington Catholic (Ky.). Additionally, Sphire was head coach of the Lexington Horsemen in the Indoor Football League from 2002-2003.


The Bulldogs enter this season with Sphire's son, Hayden, manning the quarterback position. The younger Sphire will try to hit standout wide receivers Nate Brown, Caleb Scott and Daniel Imatorbhebhe against Camden County's exceptional secondary, which is led by Alabama commitments Chris Williams and Kalvaraz Bessent. North Gwinnett running back C.J. Leggett, a transfer from Chattahoochee, will look for holes behind an offensive line that is led by junior Mitch Hyatt, who is one of the most highly-recruited players in the 2015 class.


Camden County will employ its vaunted Wing-T offensive formation, which averaged more than 39 points per game last season. The Wildcats will be replacing quarterback Brice Ramsey and running back J.J. Green, who are now both at Georgia. Senior offensive lineman Trayvon Williams, who is all of 6-foot-3, 315 pounds, leads Camden County's line. The Wildcats pounded Milton 40-7 in a scrimmage last week, proving that they have not missed a step despite losing their head coach and several other key players from last season's 11-2 Region 1 championship team. 


By Lauren Goldstein

Wildcats look for continued dominance under Coffey



After 12 consecutive winning seasons, two of which Camden County went undefeated (2003 and 2008), Coach Jeff Herron made the executive decision to leave Camden County for a head coaching position at Prince Ave Christian in Athens, Georgia. Herron is gone, however his legacy 

Sonny Kennedy

legacy will live on at Camden County High School. The new head coach, Welton Coffey, is a great fit for position that Herron left behind.


Trying to fill the shoes of Herron, while adjusting to becoming Camden County's head coach, will hopefully be easy process for Coffey with the help of the returning players and coaches.


"We're getting it done. There's no question about that," said Coffey. "The biggest thing here at Camden County High School is the size of the program, we're just getting used to the numbers. We have about 180 kids between 9th grade and seniors. That's probably the biggest adjustment but the kids have done an outstanding job as well as the coaching staff."


The 2013 Corky Kell Classic on August 24th will have some of the best matchups in the state of Georgia.  This will include Camden County vs. North Gwinnett. This 6A matchup will aid in Coffey's evaluation of his team's strengths and weaknesses against one of the best teams in Georgia.


For Coffey, a game is a game no matter what the stakes may be.


"It's hard to explain how important it is, it's a football game," said Coffey. "We go out there to compete and to win. The most important thing is because it's a non-region game; we want to see where we are like a scrimmage against great competition. North Gwinnett has done an outstanding job for the past couple of years under Coach Spire. This will be a quick measuring stick to show us where we are in order to be successful in the region."


North Gwinnett was 11-2 last season and remains a huge football powerhouse in the state.


"You prepare the same way [for a non-region game]. It's a competition; we get our team together to establish how we want to approach things," said Coffey. "We look at film and everything else. We want a good showing in state, it's on television, so want to make the community proud."


Coffey has 5 starters returning on offense and 5 returning on the defense. Last season under Herron, the wing-t offense scored an average of 39 points and the defense allowed just 10 points per game. Coffey has no plans to change the offensive and defensive regimes from what Herron has done in the past.


"It's [the style of Herron's schemes] been pretty good all these years there's no question about that," said Coffey. "It may be a little bit different but the crust, the core and the foundation of what we're doing will remain a wing t offense and a 3-3 staked team or a 3-5 team, on defense, those things won't change."


In addition to the two defensive backs, Kalvaraz Bessent and Chris Williams, who have both already committed to play at Alabama next year, there are a few other college recruits for the Wildcats. OL Trayvon Williams has received between several offers but has yet to commit to a school, Anthony Johnson is an FIU commit, and lastly, Chris Bahr has still not made a decision as to where he will play football next year.


The Wildcats were no match for Gwinnett County's Peachtree Ridge last year in the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic, and rolled past the Lions 42-0.




By Stephen Black

Bulldogs loaded for tough slate ahead




Coach Bob Sphire has taken North Gwinnett football to new heights. When he arrived at the Suwanee school in 2006, the Bulldogs had never won 10 games and rarely made the playoffs.

North Gwinnett Bulldogs Football

Since arriving, Sphire has was won at least 10 games every season and, in the process, has turned the Bulldogs into a perennial state title contender.


Sphire is quick to credit the people who have helped make his program a winner.


"You can have all the processes and plans you want, but if you don't have kids who will come in and work and try to develop within the plan, you won't have success," said Sphire. "If you don't have quality coaches that will come in and execute the plan, it won't get done. I've been blessed most of my career to have players and coaches who will come in and work to try to develop within the plan."


Under Sphire, North Gwinnett has been known for its prolific offenses and stout lines of scrimmage. This year's edition is no different. Defensive end Dante Sawyer, with offers from Alabama, Georgia and Southern California, among many others, leads the defense while one of the state's top wide receiver corps headlines the offense. Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Caleb Scott and Nate Brown dominated 7-on-7's this summer and will be the main targets of Sphire's son, Hayden, the Bulldogs' starting quarterback. Scott had 38 catches for 684 yards and 11 touchdowns last year, while Brown totaled 41 catches for 491 yards and nine touchdowns.


At running back, C.J. Leggett arrived at North Gwinnett in the offseason after transferring from Chattahoochee. Leggett holds offers from Pittsburgh, UCLA and Vanderbilt. Offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt enters his junior year as one of the top offensive line recruits in the nation with offers from many top programs.


In the Bulldogs' way is one of the toughest schedules in the state with non-region games against Camden County (in the Metro PCS Corky Kell Classic) and Grayson in addition to a rough region slate that includes teams like Mill Creek, Peachtree Ridge and defending state champion Norcross.


Tough schedules are something Sphire swears by.


"To be successful in the kind of region we're in and to be successful on the playoffs, you've got to be battle-tested," said Sphire. "So I've always been a firm believer that (a tough schedule) helps your team (become) battled-tested."



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