Winning eight consecutive games ranked them number 4 in the state in the AJC Class 6-A Private poll. They would eventually go on to lose their last two games of the season. The 6-A Private region championship and their state playoffs first-round matchup finished the season 9-2. 2020 will see the Tigers participating in a new region (7-A private) after GHSA reclassification.
2020 will also see the need for players in new roles.
“We will be filling in gaps and holes from lost experience this season,” Darlington Head Football Coach Tommy Atha says. “We’ve been trying to figure out who’s ready to step up for us, but man, losing the spring didn’t help that at all.”
Atha makes it clear that the talent cupboard is not bare and that nearly every player had a great year in the weight room; it’s just a matter of on-field experience.
“We have some guys that have some experience and we have some talented young guys with no experience,” he says. They all had a great year in the weight room. The opportunity to get on the field is there, but it’s not going to be given to them. The players gotta bring it every day.”
The Tigers have some seniors that will be leading the team in pursuit of its goals. OL/DL Davis Watson, OL/DL Luke Lewis, Joe Marion and Tyler Watkins are at linebacker, and Atha is expecting big things from his kicker this year.
“Our kicking game was really good last year; we’re expecting it to be great this year with Brinson Sumner being a game changer as a kicker with an explosive leg,” Atha says. “We also got in a new player, Harrison Allen. He was linebacker only last year at his old school, and this year, he’s a preseason all-state player at running back, and has yet to play a varsity snap.”