Callaway part of talented region

Published 9:58 pm Saturday, July 28, 2018


Daily News

There’s a new player in Region 5-AA.

Last season, the region championship figured to be decided by a late-season showdown between Callaway and Heard County, and that’s the way it played out.

Heard County beat Callaway 35-28 on the way to the region title.

While those two teams figure to be in the championship hunt once again, a newcomer to the region will likely have a say in who wins the title.

Bremen, which is led by former LaGrange High assistant coach Davis Russell, has joined the region for the 2018-2019 school year.

Bremen won its first nine games last season and finished 9-2.

Callaway went 11-2 last season and made it to the state quarterfinals, and Heard County finished 12-2 and advanced to the semifinals.

Bremen, Callaway and Heard County are all expected to field strong teams once again this season, so it could be a three-way chase for the title.

There are some other formidable teams in the region as well, including Temple and Spencer, who made the playoffs last year.

Lamar County and Jordan will round out the region, and they hope to be in the playoff picture as well.

“I feel like our region will be one of the best regions in the state,” Callaway head coach Pete Wiggins said. “There’s some really solid football teams, and great coaching, and some really good players.”

The top four teams in the region will qualify for the state playoffs, and the top two finishers will be at home for the first round.

Here is a look at the teams in the region


The Cavaliers are 24-3 the past two seasons, and they reached the state semifinals in 2016, and the quarterfinals a year ago.

Despite having to replace a talented group of seniors, hopes are high once again for the Cavaliers, who will be led for the 14th straight season by head coach Pete Wiggins.

Wiggins will lead a gifted group of players onto the field this fall.

Among the players of note are offensive linemen Keiondre Jones and Keshawn Cameron, running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby, wide receiver and quarterback Jacob Freeman, linebacker Tely Fanning, and defensive back and quarterback Demetrius Coleman.

Those players, and their 100-plus teammates, have been working hard in preparation for a new season.

“Each day’s a progress,” Wiggins said. “Each day it’s a let’s get better attitude. Let’s get better than we were yesterday. I think you have to fight from staying the same. Each day you come out and there has to be a commitment to excel. I feel like our staff does a great job of pushing the kids.”


The Braves lost quarterback Emory Jones from last year’s region-championship team, but head coach Tim Barron will have plenty of talented men returning.

Leading the way is Aaron Beasley, who has committed to Tennessee.

Beasley ran for 1,749 and 29 touchdowns last season, and he also had 66 tackles and three interceptions from his safety position.

Veterans Alijah Huzzie and Andrew Leak also return as the Braves look to defend their region title.


Head coach Davis Russell will bring a veteran and talented team into the region this season.

One of the team’s top players is quarterback Wade Cartwright, a two-year starter, and he’ll have returning receivers Jason Houston and Jalen Dallas to throw the ball to, and Tyran Dobbs will headline the running game.

The defense is loaded as well, with defensive linemen Brant Ivey and linebacker Kade Berry returning.


It was a tough year for the Red Jackets, who went 2-8, but they do have a talented senior quarterback in Emmanuel Mann, a three-year starter.

Mann is an explosive player who can get it done with his legs and his throwing arm, and he accounted for 23 touchdowns last season.

Mann and his teammates will be led by new head coach Joe Kegler, who used to be at Carver where he had a 28-7 record.

Jordan hasn’t had a winning record since 1993.


Temple returned to the playoffs after a six-year absence by finishing third in the region last season.

Temple lost a lot of fire-power from last year’s team, but talented running back Daimar Ivey returns, as does defensive lineman Savion Powell.


Spencer’s program is rolling along nicely, having reached the state playoffs for three straight years.

Pierre Coffey, the man who has helped revive the program, has stepped down as head coach, and he was replaced by Justin Newman.

Wide receiver Cory Calhoun and running back Carlons Williams give Spencer a big-play ability on offense.

Defensively, Spencer has an imposing front line that should give opposing offenses problems.


After struggling through a 1-9 season, the Trojans are hoping for better things under second-year head coach John Flath.

Quarterback Jonah Stout got a season’s worth of experience, and he threw for 500 yards with six touchdowns.

Running back Enrico Harden averaged more than six yards per carry during his sophomore season.