Photos Andy Calvert - L-R: #1 ANDREW NGYUEN-DB #60 TYLER MARTIN-OL #15 IAN LOWE-LB
2020 RECORD: 6-4, overall (1-4, REGION 7-AAAAA)
HEAD COACH: Steve Gates (6-4), 1 year at Cass
ALL TIME RECORD: 678 games 222 – 451 – 5 (33%)
TOTAL SEASONS: 68 FIRST SEASON: 1953 ALL STATE PLAYERS: 11
REGION CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1 (1983 LAST)
STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 0
Prior to 2020, the Cass Colonels had accumulated 4 consecutive losing seasons. In comes Coach Steve Gates, but he came in at a time when his full vision couldn’t be implemented due to COVID putting a halt to the normal high school football offseason. Gates had to improvise how he met the players, how he would push his ideals, and how he would handle the offseason.
The Colonels came out of the box fast and strong to a 5-0 start before entering region play and going 1-4 the rest of the season. Cass finished the schedule 6-4 and with their first winning record since 2015.
Besides a new coach, the Colonels also had a new quarterback and receiver in Devin Henderson and Sacovie White. As freshmen, they were both very instrumental in the success that Cass had in 2020 and will have in 2021 and beyond.
At quarterback, the sophomore Henderson returns to showcase more of his great decision making and dynamic play. Described as a leader on and off the field, and improving physically and mentally throughout the offseason, Henderson strives to guide Cass to higher success in region play and, in the journey, to achieve the school’s first playoff berth since 2006 this season.
White is another explosive weapon for Cass. As a receiver he made play after play throughout the season regardless of the competition. With a full offseason to work, look for more of the same. Other receivers looking to make plays this year are junior Jashaun Brown-Whatley and senior Tino Jones.
Cass must replace a good crew of running backs. The offensive line is very young and not very big, other than senior Tyler Martin. Their job, however, is to keep Henderson upright, and the work is being put in to do just that.
The defense is young and skillful. White also plays defensive back and makes big plays on that side of the ball also.
Cass has a few seniors to provide leadership in the front 7 this season: defensive ends Garrett Gonyea, Ahmeer Fowlkes, and Tyler Martin, nose guard Anthony Diase, and linebackers Ian Lowe and Kyle Meeker. Other seniors making an impact in the defensive backfield are Mark Perdue and Andrew Ngyuen.
In Gates’ second year, with a full offseason of training and practices, look for the emergence of Cass High to continue.
2021 GAMES OF SIGNIFICANCE
- The first five games on the schedule
Can Cass repeat last year’s performance and open the season 5-0 before the start of region play?
- The second five games of the season
Cass begins the second half of the season with county rivals Cartersville and Woodland, followed by Hiram, Calhoun, and Blessed Trinity. Ideally, 6-4 on the season is the benchmark. 7-3 represents improvement and a playoff berth.
8-2 means Cass knocked off one of 5A’s top 12 teams and potentially clinched a home playoff game, which would be next level for Gates and the Colonels