CHHS Football Preview

CHHS Seeing Growth in Year Two Under Stephens
Posted on 08/22/2022

Despite missing the state playoffs last year in head coach Brad Stephens’ first season, the Panthers return a strong group that is ready to compete for a playoff spot in a new region. 

“We expect to make the playoffs every year, because when you do that, you have a chance to play for a state championship and that’s everyone’s goal,” said Stephens. “But I feel like we’re in a good place with the changes we’ve made offensively, being in the weight room for a solid year, and gaining experience.”

Defensively, the Panthers hope to make an impression early, as they return 10 starters from last season. Offensively CHHS only returns four starters, but Stephens is confident that the unit will come together quickly because several guys on that side of the ball gained varsity experience last year.

For the offense, Stephens believes his team’s strength will be its ground game led by running backs Jelani Lovett and Rod Payne. 

“We have some youth up front, but our offensive linemen have worked at voluntary workouts all offseason, and those guys have been there religiously getting better,” Stephens said. “And at quarterback we’re young too, but in the system we’re running, they’ll be successful.”

Along with the system helping his team’s quarterbacks, Stephens is also hopeful that the team’s new quarterbacks coach, former Douglas County High School standout Ricky Dobbs, can also provide quality mentorship to the position group. 

Dobbs went on to play football at the Naval Academy from 2007-2010. There, he broke Tim Tebow’s record for rushing touchdowns in a season by a quarterback in 2009 and led the Midshipmen to their seventh-consecutive bowl game.

On the other side of the ball, the Panthers will be led by 2021 All-Region selections Cam Ashton, Rubin Huggins and Aaron Redmond. 

“Defensively, the biggest thing our defensive coordinator preaches is assignment and alignment,” Stephens said. “You’ve got to line up right and do your job. If we can do that, stay disciplined and stay healthy, I think we can have a really successful season.”

This season, CHHS will need to be sharp on both sides of the ball in a competitive Region 5-5A. To prepare, the Panthers will play a tough non-region schedule and will compete in the Great Atlanta Bash against South Atlanta High School. 

“I think it’s going to be a tough region, but I really feel like we can be in the top of the region and have a chance to go to the state playoffs,” Stephens said.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.