National Football Challenge Preview

National Football Challenge Preview
August 24, 2011, 3:30 pm
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Grayson Rams are already 1-0 the season after opening with a 7-0win over Kell at the Georgia Dome last Saturday.  Rams are coming off their 2nd state semi-final appearance in their 11-year history and have gone 46-9 the last 4 seasons. 

The school has had one head coach and that's Mickey Conn a local HS star who walked on at Alabama and became a starting member of the Crimson Tide's 1992 national championship team.  The 2011Rams are led by a pair of outstanding juniors in DE Robert Nkemdiche, who maybe the 1 prospect in the entire nation next season.  Also RB Wayne Gallman, who is in his first season at Grayson after transferring from Trinity Christian in Jacksonville, FL and already has offers from Auburn and Clemson.

This will be the season opener for the Orlando Edgewater Eagles and the first game for new coach Zac Yarbrough who was promoted to head coach after the legendary Bill Gierke retired.  Yarbrough was a high school All-American athlete in Florida who became an All-ACC center as a senior at Virginia. The Eagles finished 7-4 in Gierke's final season as coach afterbeing eliminated in the first round of the state playoffs.  Gierke led the Eagles to a 108-33 record in his 11 seasons, reaching the playoffs 10 times, including three straight state championship game appearances 2002-04 and three more state semi-final appearances in the years since.

The Eagles are led by 247 4-star WR Alton "Pig" Howard, the 12 WR in the nation, who has as many as 21 college offers including Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina;  also 3-star safety Karl Joseph whose offers include South Carolina, Nebraska and Michigan State.

This will also be the season opener for the East St. Louis Flyers who will be looking to put the controversy of 2010 behind their program. The Flyers finished 10-0 but had to forfeit six of their victories for using an ineligible player, Charles Tigue, who still awaits trial for armed robbery while he plays his freshman season at Delta State. 

The Flyers program is one of the most storied in Illinois with 7 state championships and two"mythical" national titles.  The Flyers are led by Coach Darren Sunkett who is starting his 10th season with record of 83-24, including the 2008 Illinois state title.  The Flyers other 6 state titles and the 2 national crowns cameunder legendary Coach Bob Shannon who went 193-32 in 20 years at East St.Louis. In 2011, the Flyers are led by 3-star QB Lamontiez Ivy who has offers from Illinois, Kansas and Minnesota.

The North Gwinnett Bulldogs opened their 2011 season with a heart-breaking 26-17 last second loss to McEachern at the Georgia Dome last Saturday.  The loss snapped the Bulldogs 20-game regular season winning streak dating back to November 7, 2008.

The Bulldogs program has undergone a remarkable turn-around under the direction of 6th year Head Coach Bob Sphire.  North Gwinnett had won only 2 playoff games in its 45-yearhistory before Sphire's arrival but has gone 57-10 since, 10-5 in the state playoffs, reaching the 2007 state championship game. 

The 2011 Bulldogs are led by massive DE Jordan Washington who has 6 offers including Miss State and Southern Miss.

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