Goddard listed his key returners as FB/S Kyler Neal, S/R Lorenz Suttles, TE Aaron Black, TB Kamani Thomas, DB/R Marcus Gilbert, LB D.J. James, and QB Mitchell Webb.
The Raiders qualified for the 2011 state playoffs and reached the quarterfinals before falling to Warner Robins. Former head coach John Reid, who was 60-15 in six seasons, then left East after last season to become the head coach at Tift County in south Georgia.
For the 2011 season, seven players from East Paulding were named to the AAAA Region 5 North first team; DL Ladarius Banks, DB Tank Browder, OL Nick Ellis, WR Andrej Suttles, Lorenz Suttles, Thomas and Webb.
The Raiders also had six players named to the region’s second team; punter Esteban Ayala, DL Bryce Bell, OL Aaron Black, TE Connor Christian, Miles Hemphill and LB Kyler Neal. Terrel Hannah was named the defensive player of the year for the region.
With several Raiders who made the region team returning this season, Goddard looks to continue the “great tradition” that East Paulding built under Reid.
“We look to keep with the great defense and establish the running game,” Goddard said.
Now that the regions have changed, the Raiders will play all the Paulding County high schools in the new Region 5-AAAAA. Goddard said he’s sure the county teams “will be well improved” but that fact isn’t going to change how East approaches each game.
Head Coach: Chuck Goddard, 10th season as head coach (28-62-0), first season at East Paulding.
Key Returners: FB/S Kyler Neal, S/R Lorenz Suttles, TE Aaron Black, TB Kamani Thomas, DB/R Marcus Gilbert, LB D.J. James, QB Mitchell Webb
2011: 11-2 overall; tied for first in north subregion of Region 5-AAAA.
Aug. 31 at North Paulding
Sept. 7 Woodland
Sept. 14 Paulding County
Sept. 21 at New Manchester
Sept. 28 Villa Rica
Oct. 12 at Hiram
Oct. 19 Rome
Oct. 26 at South Paulding
Nov. 2 at Lithia Springs
Nov. 9 Allatoona