“Our workouts have been great,” said DeShon. “The kids have been showing up and getting better.”
DeShon has extensive experience working in Douglas County, which includes a five-year stint as defensive coordinator at Alexander and a recent three-year run as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator at New Manchester.
“I was happy at New Manchester but Chapel Hill is a school in our community that’s always had success,” DeShon said. “I’m familiar with the kids, the county and feel strongly about coming here because Chapel Hill has a rich tradition in athletics.”
The Panthers will return one of the top running backs in Georgia in Jamarcus Morrissette. The junior was named to the All-Region team after rushing for more than 1,400 yards on the ground last season. In a 38-28 victory over Best Academy Oct. 18 last season, Morrissette made headlines statewide by finishing with 385 yards and four touchdowns on 56 carries.
“Jamarcus shows up on time, is a good student and very disciplined,” DeShon said. “The rest of the guys see his strong work ethic.”
The Panthers are also expecting a big season from senior Keegan Moody, who will start at middle linebacker and tight end. Senior Logan Johnstone and sophomore Tajai Owens have competed for the starting quarterback position throughout the offseason. Offensively, the Panthers are implementing a spread offense and a 3-5 or 3-4 defensive formation as well.
The Panthers, who spent the previous two years in Class 3A, will move to Class 5A this upcoming fall and join the same region as fellow Douglas County programs Alexander, Lithia Springs and New Manchester.
“We’ll have around 65 kids in our program while the others will have around 90,” DeShon said. “We’re working on getting our roster number up and developing our kids by getting them in shape.”
Head Coach: Justin DeShon, first season at Chapel Hill
Last season: 5-6 overall; finished third in Region 4-AAA; made state playoffs