Bishop, Tigers excited to get 2015 campaign started
Adairsville High School head football coach Eric Bishop begins his third season at the helm of the Tigers in 2015 and brings back a solid portion of the roster that went 10-2 last season and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen of the Georgia High School Association playoffs.
After a 9-1 regular season and a region runner-up finish in Region 6-AAA behind Calhoun, Adairsville cruised past Cedartown 52-14 in the first round of the state playoffs. The Tigers fell the next week to eventual semi-finalist, Blessed Trinity, in the second round.
Bishop is excited about the outlook for this year’s team. Especially on defense. “We actually return more starters, especially on defense, than we did going into last season. Our big task on the defensive side of the ball is to replace four defensive linemen.” the coach said.
On offense, Bishop knows he and his staff have more of a challenge. “Offensively, we know we have our work cut out for us. We lost a 3-year starting quarterback in Marcus Childers, but we have Torrey Hale (5-9, 190, Sr.) and Roger Redd (Jr.) competing and working very hard to fill that position.” noted Bishop. Bishop has been encouraged by his quarterbacks’ preparation. “Our two quarterbacks have shown constant progress. They are working option drills and throwing the ball in 7-on-7s. They are doing everything we ask of them.” he added. “They are getting ready.”
He also has seen his offensive line improve during the off season. “Our linemen have really worked hard. They’ve had a great off season working on speed, footwork, and agility.” Bishop stated.
The Adairsville head coach noted the overall strength improvement of his club.
“Strength-wise, we have really accomplished a lot in the weight room. Our guys continue to surprise us with their strength gains and that’s been going on since the end of last season.” said Bishop. Coach Bishop knows the 2015 edition has playmakers returning. He elaborated on a couple.
“Marquel Lane (5-7, 150, Sr) is a senior who has started every game since arriving at Adairsville as a freshman. Some of our opposing coaches may think he’s never going to graduate.” Bishop joked. “He’s played 35 games so far in his career and he’s pretty specia.” Bishop added on Lane. “He’s done some really good things over the years and has stepped up as a leader this off-season. He will be a two-way player for us at receiver and corner plus help out on special teams.”
Sydnee Johnson (5-9, 210, Sr.) is another key returnee for the Tigers. “Sydnee was a top rusher for us last year even in limited work in some games. His number of carries will probably go up this time. We hope he can stay healthy and carry this team offensively.” added the coach.
The Tigers will continue their July workouts the remainder of this week. They have been practicing four days each week, Monday through Thursday, but will switch to the GHSA-required helmets only workouts next week (July 27-31). “We will do mostly install-type work during those helmets only, two-hour practices. We will get a lot of our offense, defense, and special teams installations completed.” Bishop responded.
Adairsville will host Cass in a preseason scrimmage August 14 and open the season at Ridgeland August 21. “Since we play a regular season game a week before most everyone else, we will have twelve days in full pads to get ready for the Cass scrimmage. We have to make the most of that available time.” noted Bishop. “Then we go to Ridgeland the next week to open up, so we’ll use that next week to polish things up.” Bishop is sure fans will not want to miss seeing this year’s team perform. “We pride ourselves on being physical, especially on defense. We are going to really run to the football and take pride in handling big third down plays. Our goal is the three-and-out every offense, every series.” he said. “I also think we run an exciting offense,” continued the coach. “We will be in the pistol set, run the triple option, and throw the ball. I used to think it would be difficult to run the triple option and throw the ball well, but I think our learning curve over the years has allowed us to develop a way to do both successfully,” added Bishop.
After the season opener at Ridgeland, the Tigers host Woodland on Thursday, August 27 before moving into their Region 6-AAA slate. Adairsville has region away games at Riggold (Sept. 11), Sonoraville (Sept. 25), Murray County (Oct. 9), and North Murray (Oct. 23). The Tigers’ home schedule includes games with Calhoun (Oct. 2), Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe (Oct. 16), Coahulla Creek (Oct. 30), and Gordon Central (Nov. 6).
You can listen to high school football coverage live on your computer, on your mobile device, on your radio this season via Bartow Sports Zone and AM1270 WYXC Cartersville. On this site, just use the menu at the top of the page to select ‘Football Broadcasts.’ Then click the play button on the screen. That will connect you with our radio partner AM1270 WYXC Cartersville. The broadcast schedule includes games involving all four Cartersville and Bartow County football schools — Adairsville, Cartersville, Cass, and Woodland. Bartow Sports Zone and AM1270 WYXC will also broadcast a Friday morning (7am to 8am) coaches show throughout the entire high school season (starting July 24). Coaches from all four local programs are scheduled as regular guests to talk about their teams, upcoming games, and high school football in gneral. Charles Wilson will host the weekly coaches show and do the play-by-play on the games.