2018 Record: 1-9, overall (0-8, REGION 7 AAAAA)
Head Coach: Bobby Hughes 15-35 in 5 seasons at Cass High, 62-77 overall
All Time Record: 655 games 211 – 439 – 5 (33%)
Total Seasons: 67 First Season: 1953 All State Players: 10
Region Championships: 1 (Last in 1983)
State Championships: 0
8.30 at Adairsville
9.6 vs Forsyth Central
9.13 at Woodland, Cartersville
9.20 vs Villa Rica
9.27 vs Rome
10.4 at Carrollton
10.11 vs Hiram
10.18 at East Paulding
10.25 vs Kell
11.8 at Paulding County
The Cass Colonels’ 2018 win-loss record does not truly show how good of a job the players and coaches did last year.
Their squad played a season full of games they could have won with a few better bounces of the football. “We struggled through the season. We were 1-9, playing in one of the most competitive regions in the State of Georgia,” explains head football coach, Bobby Hughes. “We were outmanned in only three games and we were pretty evenly matched in all of the rest. We have to make more plays and get more stops. So, this year’s team has worked even harder now than they have in the past.”
The excitement level for the 2019 season is high for the Coach Hughes, as well. “We are really close to being a competitive football team. We have a great group of seniors, although a small group as we only have 13 of them. Thing is, they are dynamic in their leadership, which is different for us, and that has transpired to a great summer of work. Our confidence has increased and we know that we’re going to be better. Not that I know what that will equate to yet, but we are going to be a much better football team,” Hughes says with a confident smile.
The Colonels’ offense will have multiple players who have shown leadership and will have to step up on Friday nights. The signal caller will be Logan Nelson (senior), a first time starter although he split time with last year’s starter, so he has learned the position and his responsibilities in the offense. There’s also All-Region (offensive and defensive) slot back Zay Jackson (junior) and a big back, David Gbadie (junior), a five-foot-ten, 200- pound bruiser.
The offense will also feature two academic stars and monster athletes in the versatile senior James “J.P.” Perry, a 4.0 GPA student, and the highly recruited offensive lineman Johnny Bootz, a six-foot-three, 300-plus pound blocking machine with a 3.8 GPA.
On defense, Cass has All-Region player Zay Jackson at safety. Perry, along with seniors Reed Davis and Cameron Hill, will lead the linebacker corps. Another player to keep an eye on will be junior nose guard Noah Hoffmier. He is a state championship wrestler and he does not have the prototypical size for the position, but according to his coaches, he has an immeasurable heart.This philosophy is becoming infectious amongst the Cass Colonels as a whole.
“We don’t always have the size which sometimes makes it difficult for us to compete, but our kids find a way to give us a fighting chance.That’s what makes Cass High football exciting for me,” explains Hughes with a nod. “The things we are trying to overcome and the way the kids are responding makes me so proud to be their coach.”
Kicking the ball this year will be Kaleb Speights (junior), who was All-Region in 2018. There’s a chance he could be voted preseason All-State for 2019. “He’s very special. He has attended all of the big school camps,” says Hughes of his kicker. “Kaleb is a soccer player, but he’s not just a soccer kid out here playing football; he spends a lot of time with our football team and it really means a lot to him.”
Another soccer kid, Isai Romero (junior) will be the punter for the Colonels. The returners will be a dynamic group of guys with the ball in their hands. “We are a little bit more dynamic at the skill positions than we have been in the past, which helps us at the returner positions,” says Hughes. Those returners will include Tino Jones, Tanace Calhoun and Zay Jackson.
Only having 13 seniors, the Colonels will rely on youth at the varsity level, so it’s imperative to get work at the junior varsity level for those players who don’t get playing time. “We’re excited about the junior varsity program because we work together. We’ve been successful at the freshman and JV level over the past two years because we practice them together. They get varsity work.”
Coach Hughes adds that the assistance of others helps him tremendously and are key in accomplishing his job.
“We’re blessed here because we have an administration who supports us. Our Athletic Director and Principal, they know what it takes to be successful and what it means as far as representing the school. We—not me—we get the support from upstairs that we need, from scheduling weight training classes to Friday nights, and I do not have to worry about things being handled. I don’t get the chance to thank them enough for everything that they do,” he says.
The improvements over the summer and the growing of confidence amongst all involved should translate to Cass High School being competitive on the football field this season.