BRUNSWICK, GA. | The Brunswick High Pirates struggled in the powerhouse Region 1-6A last season, playing against some of the top teams in the state. This year, they’re dropping down to Region 3-AAAAA and bringing a lot of talented players with them.
“I think we’re in the correct classification now and it’s where we probably should’ve been all along,” head coach Victor Floyd said. “I’m excited about going back and competing.”
D’ante Demery, a 6-foot-6, 310-pound sophomore tackle, will anchor an offensive line charged with protecting quarterback Randon Jernigan. The freshman is taking the place of graduated Cory Dixon, last year’s Region 1 offensive player of the year.
“He’s the top recruit in the county for the class of 2017,” Floyd said of Demery. “He has the size but he’s a player, too.”
Brunswick opens the season Friday against McIntosh County in Darien with the same schemes Floyd has used during his six years at the school. His high-powered spread offense has generated a lot of yards and points, but his 4-2-5 defense has been a bit porous at times. But a tough line and some good leadership have Floyd optimistic about this year’s bunch.
Five senior starters give the Pirates a lot of experience on defense. Linemen Chris Cowart and Keenan Wilson, linebacker Davonnis Johnson and backs Carlos Pickett, a Marshall commit, and Anthony Wilson are expected by Floyd to play key roles as Brunswick attempts to improve on last season’s 3-7 record.
The offense will lean heavily on wide receiver A.J. Jackson, who led Region 1 in receptions and yardage last year. Jackson Gibbs (6-3, 265) will complement Demery on the offensive line and Amarrious Wilson returns at running back.
Floyd said the success of this year’s Pirates will hinge on line play on both sides of the ball.
“We return experience on both the offensive and defensive lines,” he said. “We’re expecting big things from those guys. We’re young and some of the skill spots but they’re developing pretty quickly.
“I like this group. I think we have a real good chance. We’re starting two freshmen and that’s unusual but we’re as strong as we’ve ever been in the trenches.”