“We had a good year last year, but we graduated 25 seniors who were a very important part of our beginning and success,” said Cloy. “Its time to move forward.”
One stalwart that has returned for the Gladiators is senior running back Chase Solomon, who has been a starter for the varsity team since the ninth grade and has more than 2,500 yards over his career for Johns Creek. Last season, he rushed for 1,007 yards along with 12 touchdowns. “A big part of our success as a team this year will lie on how well Chase does and the running lanes that we can provide for him.”
The Gladiators will begin the season with two quarterbacks vying for the starting position to replace All-Region performer Skye Overton, who passed for more than 1,300 yards last season and had 22 total touchdowns, 15 of which came on the ground. Senior Austin Pack and junior Kevin Naletz will compete for the quarterback spot. The main threat on the outside will be two-sport athlete, senior Cody Hartage, and junior Turner Fortin, who will see time as a fullback and linebacker on defense.
Johns Creek runs a Power Gun on offense but may implement more spread option packages to take advantage of Soloman, the athleticism of the quarterback and the lack of returning offensive linemen.
The returning starters on defense for the Gladiators will be senior defensive tackle Devin Howard and defensive end Cody Hardy.
Johns Creek’s proximity to fellow North Fulton foes such as Chattahoochee, Alpharetta and Centennial within Region 6-AAAAAA along with facing Milton and Roswell to start the season produces many rivalries for the Gladiators every season.
“This situation has been great for me,” said Cloy. “This is the most fun I’ve had as a coach because of the support from the community, parents and administration. I’ve been able too work with the coaching staff that I want and the kids are great.”