L-R: JESUS HERNANDEZ (LB) SR PEYTONO WILSON (QB) SR SKYLER HILL (FS/WB) SR - Photos Andy Calvert

Not a lot of things went right for Gordon Central in 2021. The Warriors ended the year 0-10 and scored fewer than 100 total points in the 10 games. Fourth-year coach TJ Hamilton doesn’t focus on the losses or the negatives from the Warriors’ previous campaigns but instead has his eyes firmly set on the now and the team’s potential. 

“The biggest thing for us is to just keep working. We have a lot of veteran coaches and I think we are getting a lot of things done,” Hamilton says. “But one of the biggest issues for us is that we’ve just got to stay positive. If we can be positive and keep working hard, then I think good things are going to happen.” 

Gordon Central remains in Region 7-AA for 2022, but the region has a new look with several schools from the typical Region 7-AA of previous years moving down to Class A. Haralson County, North Murray, Murray County, and Rockmart join the region for this year with Model and Fannin County remaining from previous years. 

The Warriors face Class A opponents Armuchee, Coosa, and Trion as well as Class 4A Southeast Whitfield. Not that those schools aren’t tough competition, but all of the non-region opponents this year other than Southeast are much closer in population size to Gordon Central than the non-region opponents from previous years. 

Hamilton mentions that playing those teams gives the Warriors a tough schedule but one that will allow them to be more competitive with some of the opponents. He notes that no team will be easy, and the Warriors will need to work, but he sees a lot of positives in the new non-region schedule. 

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Hamilton also notes that the Warriors played some opponents close in 2021, including Coosa and Southeast but couldn’t make a few plays or key stops at the proper times, eventually falling. He hopes the offseason work the coaches have put the players through will get them ready to possibly emerge victorious in close games this season. 

Gordon Central also brought in new coaches for the year with former Woodland coach Tony Plott taking over the offense and Billy Blizzard now helming the defense.  

Plott will have some weapons to work with including quarterback Peyton Wilson, who started 10 games last season. The defense lost a lot but does return Blake Bloom. 

And in the end, Hamilton notes again that work and staying positive are key for the Warriors in 2022. 

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An injury while running at Auburn ended Jim Alred’s long-shot hopes of possibly competing in the Olympics, so he turned to writing and has been crafting award-winning stories across multiple mediums ever since. Along the way he’s been chased by a grizzly bear, worked as Goofy at Walt Disney World, been nominated for two Emmys, interviewed celebrities like Tiger Woods, Bo Jackson, Bill Clinton, coaches his daughters in cross country and soccer and can often be found running with his wife, Tara, around Rome.