While they are new to the region and have never faced the teams in the region before, the Marietta Daily Journal predicted the Buccaneers would finish second. From day one, the Buccaneers have made their presence known in AAAAA as they have defeated all who face them by multiple touchdowns.
Lions head football coach Scott Dean does not seem to be too concerned as he did not list Allatoona as one of the top two teams in the region. Instead, Dean named teams which are known for a tradition of winning football, such as East Paulding.
As the Lions move forward in the season, Dean said he hopes his team will be physical and compete hard in a region which also includes Rome, with which East Paulding and Allatoona made the 2011 playoffs.
After the Aug. 31 loss to New Manchester, Dean said he was excited about certain aspects of his team’s performance.
“Defensively, we played well and I’m excited about the direction we’re headed in. Offensively, we have lots of injuries so we still have our work cut out for us,” Dean said.
The coach also said his team’s overall greatest strength is its defense.
Going into the game against Allatoona, Dean seemed less concerned about the Buccaneers than he did about North Paulding, to which the Lions lost 27-13 Friday night.
However, the Buccaneers (3-0) currently have a better record than North Paulding (2-1) and held their first three opponents to only 37 points while North has given up 71 points.
“Certainly the new region can be a challenge but we will all be sitting back watching game film,” Dean said.
Still early in the season, the Lions have several players that have stepped up as leaders of the squad. Defensively, Dean said the leaders are linebackers Julian Morgan and Joe Ross, and offensively, they have running back Avante Boyd and quarterback Sammy Cornelius.
“They are former starters with lots of experience. They’ve worked hard to get to where they are now and gain the respect of their peers. I’m blessed to have such a great group of kids,” the second-year coach said.